Ashlee Bond and Ionesco Sitte. Photo property of Equinium Sports Marketing/The Ridge at Wellington.
Wellington, FL (January 25, 2022) – The story of success behind Ashlee Bond and Ionesco Sitte is the embodiment of all that the Turf Tour stands for, both in their vision and in a dedication to the development of horse sport. During the third week of competition on the 2022 Turf Tour, presented by The Ridge at Wellington, Bond and the 8-year-old Belgian Sport Horse (Hunter’s Scendro x Argentinus) gelding delivered a win in the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix, over a course set on the beautiful fields of To-Kalon Farm. While she is no stranger to the winner’s circle, her victory with Ionesco Sitte, especially on the Turf Tour, is an encapsulation and milestone for the sporty show jumper. His Grand Prix career did not get off to the smoothest of starts, and time on the Turf Tour has allowed him the breathing room to develop confidence and skill to match his athletic ability with nowhere to go but up!
“We took him to the main Wellington show grounds in 2021 and he was literally jumping over the standards, and not in a good way,” said Bond. “He had some success as a young horse but was really struggling to settle and focus. He’s naturally very talented but seemed overwhelmed. So that season we took him out to the Turf Tour, where the atmosphere is more laid back and he still had the option to jump in the 1.40m Grand Prix. He really settled, and finished second in the final Turf Tour Grand Prix of 2021, his first big class ever! We have been loyally attending the Turf Tours since, including all of the events so far this 2022 season. I’m super happy to be able to bring him here, train and show, and even win prize money before we show in the big ring.”
Bond and Ionesco finished on a time of 38.319, with Alex Granato and Indio, winners of Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic during week 3, had to settle for second on a time of 39.142. Luis F. Larrazabal and Sonsoles Ls La Silla rounded out the top 3 with a time of 39.649.
“I love how you can go to a show at a different location weekly, and compete in different arenas,” said Bond of her Turf Tour experience. “The beautiful and relaxed environment and multiple venue options is really important and beneficial to both horses and riders. It’s great for the horses’ minds, to ride with less pressure and in various locations. A training environment is not something you see often in a show, like you do in Europe, and it’s great to have such a series here in Wellington.”
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