Bond is right where she wants to be

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:01 PM ET

CALGARY — Bond girls and international intrigue seem to go hand in hand.

The world of show-jumping doesn’t involve much of what you see in James Bond flicks, but American rider Ashlee Bond does get her share of adrenaline boosts.

Just not while guiding a massive horse over impressive heights. She’s cool and collected during the action.

When she wins, however, watch out.

“When you win, it’s like ‘Holy s---, I just won a Grand Prix at Aachen. That’s insane!” said the 25-year-old who calls Santa Monica, Calif., home.

“The after part, I’m way more energized and so excited.”

She was pretty wired this week after beating Eric Lamaze in a jump-off to take home top prize Thursday in the $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup, a 1.60-metre event that paid her a cool $10,500.

Falling just shy of Lamaze’s time after going double clear in the $40,000 ATCO Midstream Cup at 1.45-metres Friday, Bond added another $7,700 to her purse at the Spruce Meadows National.

She claimed fourth place on opening day in the 1.50-metre Enbridge Cup and took a three-day International Ring total of $21,200 into weekend action at the National.

Not a bad haul for a promising young rider who fell just shy of the U.S. short list of 15 for the World Equestrian Games this fall.

“I feel like this is where I should be, where I want to be as a rider. I’ve arrived at the goal of being an international rider,” Bond said. “Maybe that’s part of (why I’m so calm riding). I just thrive off of the energy of the crowd. I love it.”

Her first visit to the Spruce Meadows series in 2008 ended in fine fashion when she won the $75,000 Sun Life Financial Cup 1.50-metre Grand Prix at the North American tournament after getting gelding Cadett 7 halfway through the summer.

Last year she won the $60,000 Euro Grand Prix in Aachen, Germany.

Hoping to get into the WEGs and Olympics in the near future, she has yet to feel the anxiety some riders experience as the events get larger away from home.

“I’m waiting to see if this is a weird enigma,” Bond said. “Wake up and then be all nervous in like five years.”

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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