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Speed thrills

Showpark Racing Festival lives up to its name as Ashlee Bond opens throttle aboard Cornancer

Special to the Horsetrader - August 16th, 2015 - Feature Article, Show & Event News

HUNTINGTON BEACH — This is early text. If you see this in production environment, be sure to alert Warren or Evan so we can resolve it.

International FEI course designer Anderson Lima of Mexico set a precise course that tested both the horses and riders. With three double combinations instead of a triple, the time proved possible, but rails continued to drop for many of the competitors, veterans and up-and-coming riders alike. “It’s a challenge for them,” Lima said of the course. “In every little place… it’s a Grand Prix.”

There were 35 entries for the class, and the first in the ring, Felipo Godinho aboard Sergio Nieto’s Google, posted the first clear of the class. All of the combinations, two one-strides and one two-stride, proved the most problematic. Last week’s Markel Insurance Grand Prix winner, Lane Clarke and Brooklane Farms’ Semira de Saulieu, Ashlee Bond and her second mount of the class, veteran partner Agro Star (owned by Little Valley Farms), and successful pair Josephina Nor Lantzman and her own Chello Z, each ended the first round with faults.

Eight combinations made it to the jump-off. The pressure ratcheted up after Godinho and Google had a rail at the substantial oxer at fence 15, a new element introduced in the jump-off. The second to go, Michelle Rodal on Morgan Hill Partners’ Albert II, posted the first double-clear, with a time of 44.5 seconds. The lead switched again, as Keri Potter and Paloma (owned by Melanie Brooks) posted the fastest double clear round in 40.67.

Last to go, the daring Ashlee Bond aboard Cornancer, went for the win. The crowd held their breath as the horse paused going into the last combination, then cheered as they left all the rails in the cups in a blazing 39.56 seconds.

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