In May of this year, 33-year-old Ashlee Bond officially changed her nationality from USA to Israel, and now rides proudly under the Israeli flag. She sat down for an intimate barn aisle chat with NF.Insider writer Leslie Threlkeld between classes at Spruce Meadows to explain why she did it, and why bold action is often rewarded.
In the words of Ashlee Bond
There were three main reasons behind my decision to switch my nationality to Israel, which some people might not quite understand, as I grew up showing in the United States. First and foremost, my dad, Steve, was born and raised in Israel. Because of that, I’ve always felt deeply connected to Israel, especially being Christian. That’s the birthplace of Jesus and my faith is a big part of my life, which helped make the decision feel really right. Thirdly, being a new mom and having my family in California, riding for Israel will give me the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of the sport - as far as Championships and team events - without sacrificing my family life.
Switching nationalities might seem like a bold choice, but it was absolutely the best choice for my family and for my career. I wanted to have a balance with my life. My daughter is going to be 21-months old this month, and I didn’t want to be showing 50 straight weeks out of the year and traveling constantly. Some people do it and they love it, but for me I wanted - I needed - balance. I need to have a home and a place that I can be - and not just for a couple days here and there. I want to spend weeks and months at a time at home with my family, and pursue my career with horses at the same time.