Ashlee Bond is set for her third World Cup Final and she'll go with the best possible company in fellow West Coasters, Rich Fellers and Flexible. That Oregon-based pair, of course, had a spot all along in this year's Finals, set for April 24-28 in Gothenburg, Sweden. That honor is reserved for defending champions, but just for good measure Rich and Flexible finished the North American West Coast World Cup League in second place with 87 points, including two big blues in the first half of the qualifying season.
The West Coast league officially concluded with the Feb. 24 CSI-W at Thermal. That class was won by amateur Tiffany Sullivan, whose 75 points puts her only a little out of the running for a Sweden trip. The class's second place finisher is another increasingly well-known amateur, Nayel Nassar. This 22-year-old whiz kid is a senior at Stanford and he will be representing his native Egypt at the Finals. He topped the league with an impressive 94 points.
Recently set up as a trainer in addition to her Grand Prix rider credentials, Ashlee finished the league in overall third, and as the second highest placed American rider, behind Rich. Behind Ashlee in the rankings, young stars Karl Cook, Lucy Davis and Saer Coulter all tied at 77 points, but it's Karl and Lucy who get the World Cup spots because ties are solved by weighing first, second, third, etc., finishes through the season.
Getting back to Stanford, Nayel is in good student-athlete company in the World Cup West league rankings. Lucy and Saer are fellow students, along with Alec Lawler, who was ranked 20th.
Best of luck to our region's excellent representatives for the Reem Acra FEI World
The Dressage World Cup Finals run concurrently with show jumping, but we are unlikely to see any locally-based contenders for this discipline's title in Sweden. It's tough for a West Coast-based pair to qualify because the North American league did not have any World Cup qualifiers on the West Coast this season. The eight qualifiers took place on the East Coast, five of them in Florida including the last that was to be held March 21-24 in West Palm Beach. Contenders, including those from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, for this league's two Sweden spots needed two scores to create a composite for the ranking. Idaho-based Adrienne Lyle and Wizard are the one pair from our region on the list. It's a great one, a 75.775% earned early this year in West Palm Beach, but they'd have to log another in late March to have a shot and that seemed unlikely at press time.