Lexington, KY – August 6, 2011 – There was a huge crowd gathered at the Rolex Stadium tonight to witness the $50,000 Rood and Riddle Grand Prix during the Kentucky Summer Classic. The event was held in conjunction with the Kentucky Horse Park’s “Hats Off Day,” and the audience had the opportunity to witness a very exciting grand prix event. Michael Morrissey and Vorst topped the eight-horse jump-off with a very fast double clear effort, and Morrissey took home the winning prize for the second year in a row. The duo surpassed Ashlee Bond and Chivas Z who took home second, while Rebecca Conway showed Twister to the third place honors as the only other fault free horses over the short course.
Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela designed a demanding first round track for tonight’s 20 competitors, which featured a liverpool, an open water with a pole, a vertical-oxer double combination, and a large triple bar-vertical-vertical triple combination. Eight horse and rider combinations were able to advance to the tiebreaker for a shot at the winning title. The jump-off began with a single vertical followed by a wide oxer to the vertical-vertical portion of the triple combination. Riders then made a left turn to an oxer-oxer line before galloping across the ring and past the gate to the final vertical.
Ashlee Bond was the first to make an attempt over the shortened course and she set the time to beat aboard Chivas Z, owned by Little Valley Farms of Hidden Hills, CA. The duo was very speedy to each obstacle and took a sharp route to the final vertical, cutting through the double combination. Their efforts paid off with a fault free score in 37.583 second, which would eventually net them the second place honors.
“Chivas Z was so good; I am so happy because he has become such a consistent horse and so reliable,” said Bond. “I think especially going first you have to go for it, but you can’t do crazy things because you want to go clear and put the pressure on the rest of the field. Sometimes if you leave a little gap it can happen that you get beat, which I did tonight with the pull up to the last jump, but I wanted to be clear. I was really happy and there is nothing I would change. My horse is performing the best he has ever been!”