Israel's horse-riding team found great success in the fifth and final round of the winter round in Wellington, Florida, with Ashley Bond and Daniel Blumen finishing in first and second place.
The win by Ashley Bond and Caroline Off Balmore set the duo's criteria for the World Championships this summer. Now, the riders can choose whether to compete in Denmark with the winning mare or with Donatello 141, one of their top horses. Bond's win earned her $165,000.
"What an amazing day for the Israeli team to reach first and second place in the 500,000 Rolex GP. Definitely, a dream come true. I couldn’t be prouder to bring the honor home to the Israeli team! Thank God," Bond said.
Daniel Blumen, Israel's senior rider, who finished last week in third place at the Grand Prix 4 with Obilock, came in second place with the horse Ladriano Z. Blumen won $100,000.
Only five doubles qualified for the jump-off on the challenging track in Wellington, and the Israeli doubles completed it perfectly.
The two will continue to compete in the US and Canada and will arrive in Europe in June.
"Ashley Bond and Daniel Blumen have once again proven that they are at the top of the riding world. Their victory is very exciting because it is a result they have been aiming for in recent weeks, and have met the goal despite a very technical and difficult track," Dr. Amichai Alperovich, the athletic director of the Israeli cycling team said.
"Their achievement is amazing and raises the expectations of both them and the association for this year's most important competition - the World Championships in August," he added. "Both are at a great starting point, as they have set the criteria for a world championship with two or more horses. The training team will continue to prepare them and the horses to get to Denmark in the best possible way."