Major League Show Jumping's tour in Mexico ended on a high note for Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Donatello 141. Together, they claimed the GNP CSI5* Grand Prix as one of only two clear rounds at Club Hípico La Silla in Monterrey, Mex, on Sunday.
"Donnie", an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding (Diarado x Lamoureux I), was the only horse to jump double-clear over Gregory Bodo's (FRA) track. It seemed a jump-off may not be in the cards until Darragh Kenny (IRL) went fault-free as the last in the order with Great-Tikila J, an 11-year-old KWPN mare (Carosso VDL x Nabab de Reve).
After pulling a rail in the jump-off, Kenny settled for second, while Mexico's Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia and H-Lucky Retto, a 10-year-old KWPN mare (Bernini x Germus R), took third on three time faults from the first round.
Bond was the one to clinch an all-female sweep of the MLSJ grand prix series in Mexico after her Helios teammate Bliss Heers (USA) won in San Miguel de Allende three weeks earlier, and Lillie Keenan (USA) topped the charts last week in Monterrey.
The victory was doubly emotional for Bond as she traveled to Mexico for the MLSJ tour without her parents, who are usually by her side at events. "My mom got sick, but she has a very good prognosis," said Bond. "She's doing amazing and that's all I can ask for. It's rewarding to know that I am good enough to do this on my own."
"In the jump-offs, [Donatello 141] knows that it's game time and he gives you even more than he does in the first round. You can feel he's even more pumped. I jump four jumps in the warm-up, go in the ring and let him do his thing."
"I dedicated this win to my mom. She's doing fantastic, but life is tough. You have to keep the faith and put your head down and work," Bond said.
After three weeks of fabulous competition in Mexico, Major League Show Jumping continues on to California. With the final two weeks of competition at Desert International Horse Park scheduled for December 1-4 and 8-11, the season peaks in the desert.