Bond Banks Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon Win

Hunter jumper horse show competition reached its pinnacle Thursday Night at the Devon Horse Show as 24 horse and rider partnerships set their sights on the Dixon Oval for the biggest event of this year’s show, the $226,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon. The class was set at the CSI4* level, which included jumps up to 1.60m in height. The talented group of riders represented four different countries, including the United States, Columbia, Israel and Great Britain.

Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141 in the $226,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon.
© Phelps Sports/Jillian Eberlein

Just as the other FEl classes thus far, the course was designed by well-known course designer, Anderson Lima. With the grand prix being the highest level of competition, Lima tested the riders in every way possible on his 13-obstacle, 16-effort track. Amongst the obstacles was a triple combination, an over-water oxer, and a triple bar jump. The riders that bested the first round course qualified for the highly anticipated jump-off. The course proved to be a difficult one as only four combinations advanced to the jump-off. Leading the way was Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141 with a jump-off time of 37.29 seconds that proved to be too tough to beat. Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue took second with the only other double clear effort of the class and Schuyler Riley and Robin De Ponthual rounded out the leaderboard.

Bond on her plan in the jump off:

“I’ve had my horse for six years, so the plan is always the same—to do what’s best for my horse and I regardless of who’s behind me.”

Bond on the atmosphere at Devon:

“I feel like this is so rare in our sport, we don’t really get this. Aachen is the only other place I’ve experienced this kind of energy before. I’m just really appreciative of getting to have this kind of environment, I think we all are.”

For full results, click here.

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