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Ashlee Bond and Ace of Hearts Trump the Competition in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix - Delaney Flynn and Milan IV Win the $5,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier

Ashlee Bond and Ace of Hearts

Del Mar, CA - After laying down an unbeatable jump-off round in a speedy 36.65 seconds, Ashlee Bond clinched the win in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix aboard Little Valley Farms' Ace of Hearts. Third to go, Bond stopped the clock two seconds faster than the previous double clean. Tina Yates did ride ACE Equestrian's Caesar faster than Bond, but with one heartbreak rail finished with four faults and fourth place.

Renowned course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela designed the grand prix track, which challenged riders over three double combinations plus a variety of technical questions. Eleven riders incurred time faults, three of whom would otherwise have been clear.

Bond had the right strategy for the first round. "Timewise, I always plan like I'm riding a 'Leopoldo course,'" she explained. "So when I am, we're usually within the time, no problem."

Jason McArdle and Elicole take second

Palacios set a jump-off with two tight rollback turn options, one right after another. All six riders opted for the first rollback turn and the first three to return were double clear, each one faster than the next. Bond was the first to attempt the second inside turn, did it with ease, then maintained a strong gallop to claim her speedy time and the title.

About her winning track Bond said, "In the jump-off, I was just going to land and see where I was for the second inside turn. I landed and it was right there on the inside track."

Bond and Ace of Hearts celebrated their victory without their usual ground man, her father, Steve. Far West Farms' Kost Karazissis stepped in to support Bond from the ground today. Since she rode with the Karazissis family for the first ten years of her career, the connection came naturally. "Kosti knows me very well and we've remained very close throughout the years," she said. Bond called her dad on FaceTime, though, to share her glory.

For her win, Bond was presented with an embroidered SmartPak cooler and an engraved pewter plate. She is certain to be a fierce competitor in Sunday's $30,000 Summer Festival Grand Prix.

Ashlee Bond celebrates the win with her husband Roy and daughter Scottie,
and Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports

Delaney Flynn and Milan IV Win the $5,000 Interactive Mortgage Under 25 Series Qualifier
The $5,000 Interactive Mortgage Under 25 Series Qualifier was run concurrently with the Markel Insurance Grand Prix. As the only rider to qualify for the jump-off, Delaney Flynn emerged victorious riding Grace Jacobsen's Milan IV. Emma Waldfogel and Chandler Meadows both left all the jumps up, but picked up faults on the clock, finishing second and third respectively.

Flynn and Milan IV

Flynn and Milan IV's story is a unique one. Only a pair since right before the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit this year, the young rider brought the Holsteiner gelding along from the 1.10m division to the 1.30m division by the end of the eight-week circuit. Just over six months after their start, the duo are competing successfully at 1.40m. Earlier this summer, Flynn and Milan IV contributed to the USA's Team Silver at the Junior Nations Cup in Canada.

Commenting on their bond, Flynn said, "With this horse it feels a little more special than with any other grand prix that I've gone clear in, because I've put so much work into him."

Delaney Flynn and Milan IV with her mother Jennifer and Melissa Brandes

Upcoming highlights on Sunday of the Showpark Summer Festival include the $7,500 Interactive Mortgage Horses 10&U Futurity and the $30,000 Summer Festival Grand Prix. Just the first of three weeks of events, stay tuned for more horse show action from the Del Mar Horse Park.

$25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix

Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Faults/Time
1. 102 - Ace of Hearts - Ashlee Bond - Little Valley Farm - 0/0/36.651
2. 215 - Elicole - Jason McArdle - Fairbanks Valley Farm, LLC - 0/0/38.426
3. 630 - NJK No Regret - Nicole Haunert - NJK Show Jumpers, Inc. - 0/0/39.655
4. 446 - Cesar - Tina Yates - ACE Equestrian - 0/4/36.522
5. 756 - Insouci S - Mavis Spencer - Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc. - 0/4/37.70
6. 620 - Milan IV - Delaney Flynn- Grace Jacobsen - 0/8/40.599
7. 270 - Bowmore VDL - Emma Waldfogel - Emma Waldfogel - 1/76.120
8. 258 - Damian - Chandler Meadows - Chandler Meadows - 2/77.421
9. 164 - NKH Quanto - John Bragg - October Hill Hunters and Jumpers - 2/77.656
10. 103 - Cornancer - Ashlee Bond - Little Valley Farms - 4/71.550
11. 752 - Chenoa - Mavis Spencer - Caroline Suarez - 4/73.728
12. 486 - Luebbo - Jamie Barge - Kylie Co. - 4/74.610

$5,000 Interactive Mortgage U25 Series Qualifier
Place - Entry Number - Horse - Rider - Owner - Fault/Time
1. 620 - Milan IV - Delaney Flynn- Grace Jacobsen - 0/8/40.599
2. 270 - Bowmore VDL - Emma Waldfogel - Emma Waldfogel - 1/76.120
3. 258 - Damian - Chandler Meadows - Chandler Meadows - 2/77.421
4. 259 - Bubamara - Chandler Meadows - Chandler Meadows - 14/77.805


Photos by Captured Moment Photography


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: - 213-219-7837.

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