Wellington, Florida – February 16, 2019 – Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Ereina produced the only double clear performanceto edge two U.S. Olympic veterans and win the$72,000 CSIO5* NetJets Classic at the CSIO5* CP Palm Beach Masters Presented by Suncast. Bond’s win was her second of the weekend at Wellington, Florida’s picturesque Deeridge Farms, as she also took the top prize in Thursday’s $10,000 CSIO5* CP Welcome Stake.
Bond was the first to go in a five-horse jump-off over the 1.55m Alan Wade-designed course, and she jumped clear in 42.32 seconds. Bond said she might have left the door open for the four riders following her, but she explained that she no longer worries about who’s going after her; she just sticks to her plan.
“Lately, my strategy has been to do whatever I feel is right for me and my horse. I might not win as much, but I have been a lot more consistent,” said Bond. “I no longer think about who is coming after me. It’s a new concept for me, and today it worked out.
“I had a really good rub, and it stayed in the cups,” she added. “Sometimes, you get lucky. It just happened to be my day. I am really proud of my horse. This is the biggest class she has ever done. I couldn’t have asked for more from her.”
Four-time Olympic veteran McLain Ward (USA), the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Champion, had the fastest four-fault round in the jump-off to claim second place with Tradition De La Roque. Ward thought he had a chance to take over the top spot, but things did not work out as planned.
“My plan was to beat Ashlee,” said Ward with a smile. “I got to see a little bit of Ashlee’s round. I thought it looked neat and fast, but not crazy. She went a little wide from (fences) one to two. The mare I have is quite fast, but I also knew that the long run to the double was a little bit of a bogie for her. I tried to set it up well, but it didn’t come off. I was thrilled with the horse, but it was not our day.”
Even though Lauren Hough had a rail down with Paloma for a third-place finish, the U.S. Olympic veteran still had a good day. She enjoyed a win in the morning’s $20,000 CSIO5* Palm Beach Masters Speed Tour class on Joblesse. The pair sped to the winner’s circle out of the field of 31 in a time of 54.33 seconds. Lorenzo De Luca (ITA) was second on Cheindira in 54.58 seconds, and third place went to Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Artillero in a time of 55.04 seconds.
“It’s always a thrill to win at such a beautiful horse show,” said Hough. “Joblesse is a mare that I just recently got back. I knew it was a quick class, but my mare is naturally very, very fast, so I went at her speed, and it worked out.”
The second of the three events in this year’s Palm Beach Master Series®culminates Sunday, Feb. 17, with the $230,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America, the only qualifier in the U.S. for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain, next fall.
About the Palm Beach Masters Series® and Showgrounds at Deeridge Farms
The Palm Beach Masters Series® hosts top international equestrian competitors from across the U.S. and abroad. Beginning with one elite competition in 2016, the series has grown into one of the sport’s most reputable events. The show grounds are located at the spectacular Deeridge Farms, situated in the heart of North American equestrian sport in Wellington, Florida. Award-winning landscaping surrounds the custom-built show grounds and the facilities that host the series, which include two masterfully-created competition arenas – a Grand Prix turf arena and an all-weather sand arena. Additionally, there are two Bermuda grass schooling arenas—one designated for FEI and the other for non-FEI competitors—along with an all-weather schooling arena adjacent to the competition arena and another located near the stables. The events’ picturesque location, unrivaled hospitality, custom-built jumping rings and world-class facilities guarantee a unique experience for riders and spectators.
The best views for the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series are from the Berkshire Bank VIP Club, an exquisite two-story venue for watching the top-level competition in both competition arenas. Club members are treated to special amenities and one-of-a-kind culinary creations from Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group. In addition to the gourmet food served, a complimentary open bar and table service are also included. Expanded hospitality options, including individual VIP Club membership and daily reserved tables, are available for the CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA. For more information and to reserve a table, visit: www.palmbeachmasters.com/vip-hospitality/
Fun for the Whole Family
The Palm Beach Masters Series® has added several exciting features to its 2019 events. The Just World International Kids’ Zone, luxurious Berkshire Bank VIP Club, new Boardwalk Boutiques, Taylor Harris Beach Bar, and picnic style tailgating spaces offer a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family.
New for 2019, general admission and parking are free for all spectators. General admission seating in the grandstands is available on a first-come,-first-serve basis for all events, including the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington, Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States, and the Deeridge Derby.
Following the CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America, the Palm Beach Masters Series will host its third annual Deeridge Derby, February 27–March 3. The Deeridge Derby is a USEF nationally rated show where the nation’s most elegant show hunters take center stage. They’ll compete in prestigious classes, highlighted by the highly competitive $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
Further information on the Palm Beach Masters Series is available at http://www.palmbeachmasters.com.
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