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Ashlee Bond Takes the Blue with Ace of Hearts in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Welcome Grand Prix - Lindsay Douglass and Butterfly Tibri Z Win the $5,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier
San Juan Capistrano, CA - Today's $25,000 Markel Insurance Welcome Grand Prix tested forty-five entries over a challenging course with a tight time allowed. Of the ten who advanced to the jump-off, Ashlee Bond rode two horses to double clean finishes, emerging with the first place prize aboard Ace of Hearts (pictured right). Bond finished third on Cornancer, and Vani Khosla, the only other double clean, claimed second with Billy Mexico by just 0.30.

Moving up to go first in the jump-off and give herself more time to prepare her second ride, Bond set the bar high in 38.41 seconds. Nayel Nassar aboard Chirico W, Lane Clarke aboard Romeo Du Paradis, and Russell Morgan aboard Dusty all beat Bond's impressive time, but each picked up faults over the fences.

Ace of Hearts, who was bred by Richard Spooner and picked up by Bond as a five-year-old, is naturally fast, according to Bond. She and the now ten-year-old gelding have developed a partnership that enables them to execute winning rounds.

Referring to his unique style, which is fast but sometimes unpredictable in straightness and stride, Bond said, "I let him cruise for the first four fences and then picked up the pace once he felt good. I think now he's just starting to get into a good head space, and he's getting better every time I go out there."

Bond also noted that she enjoyed the "great field and really good competition" here at the Blenheim Spring Classic IV. Ashlee McGee of Heritage Bloom presented the grand prix winner with a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers.


Ashlee Bond and Cornancer (in place of Ace of Hearts) with Brandon Seger of Markel, Robert Ridland, Melissa Brandes and Ashlee McGee of Heritage Bloom


Lindsay Douglass and Butterfly Tibri Z Win the $5,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier

It was Lindsay Douglass and Butterfly Tibri Z (pictured right) who topped the field of rising stars in the $5,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 class with a score of just one time fault. This also earned her reserve recognition, officially 13th place, in the Markel Insurance Welcome class, which riders under 25 years old have the option to enter simultaneously, as the third fastest of the one faulters.

Estelle Navet picked up second place aboard Revann de Lojou for her four fault score. Dalan Laughlin rode Babiole to a third place finish with a score of five faults-a rail and one on the clock.

Young riders under 25 will have more opportunities to ride at the grand prix level as the Blenheim EquiSports season continues.

Today's Markel Insurance Grand Prix marked the third qualifier in the series, and the Interactive Mortgage U25 class was the first qualifier of the season. Both series offer classes at Showpark Ranch & Coast in May and each will conclude with a final in November at the Las Vegas National.


Lindsay Douglass with Melissa Brandes and Robert Ridland

This week's Blenheim Spring Classic IV has more action to offer, starting with tomorrow morning's $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, honoring Arthur Hawkins. Friday will then be another exciting day of show jumping, as grand prix riders saddle up for the $50,000 Spring Classic IV Grand Prix.


RESULTS
$25,000 Markel Insurance Welcome Grand Prix

Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 117 - Ace of Hearts - Ashlee Bond - Little Valley Farms - 0/0/38.414
2. 400 - Billy Mexico - Vani Khosla - Vani Khosla - 0/0/38.718
3. 865 - Cornancer - Ashlee Bond - Little Valley Farms - 0/0/39.748
4. 470 - Romeo du Paradis - Lane Clarke - Brooklane Farms - 0/4/38.147
5. 271 - Dusty - Russell Morgan - Russell Morgan - 0/4/38.724
6. 868 - Chirico W - Nayel Nassar - Linda Fotsch - 0/8/37.923
7. 388 - Parette - Lisa Carlsen - Lisa Carlsen - 0/8/39.748
8. 883 - Gladiator - Tiffany Sullivan - Haley Farms, LLC - 0/8/40.113
9. 428 - Tornado - Jennifer Crooks - Samia Staehle - 0/8/46.502
10. 410 - Woodpecker De Vilars - Zazou Hoffman - Woodacres Stables - 0/EL
11. 486 - Un Diamant des Forets - Jim Ifko - Eventyre Farms - 1/85.441
12. 201 - NKJ No Regret - Nicole Haunert - NJK Show Jumpers, Inc. - 1/85.578

$5,000 Interactive Mortgage Under 25 Series Qualifier
Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 876 - Butterfly Tibri Z - Lindsay Douglass - Lindsay Douglass - 1/85.701
2. 500 - Revann de Lojou - Estelle Navet - Eric Navet Equestrian Inc. - 4/79.658
3. 103 - Babiole - Dalan Laughlin - Gentry Hill Farm - 5/85.492
4. 406 - Di Caprio RV - Hannah Heidegger - Monarch International - 7/87.551
5. 352 - Damian - Chandler Meadows - Chandler Meadows - 12/88.561

Photos by McCool

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ABOUT Markel Insurance Company
Markel Insurance Company is proud to once again partner with Blenheim EquiSports for another season of fun in the sun.

Representative Brandon Seger is available to answer any questions related to your equine insurance needs. At the show and in the barns, Markel is the Insurance Company with Horse Sense. With offices across the US, Markel is your national insurance provider covering equine risks for over 50 years.

Thank you for your support and don't hesitate to contact Brandon to get a horse, farm or liability insurance quote today: Bseger@markelcorp.com - 213-219-7837.









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