Category Archives: HITS

US Show Jumping Team Begins Quest for FEI Nations Cup Title at CSIO4* HITS Ocala

McLain Ward and Rothchild (RedBayStock.com)

 Ocala, Fla. – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team returns to action this week, taking on seven countries in the FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Ocala on Friday, February 17. U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland will lead the team of Lauren Hough and Cornet 39, Lillie Keenan and Super Sox, Beezie Madden and Breitling LS, and McLain Ward and Rothchild as they look to get off to a strong start in the North America standings. Ali Wolff and Casall will serve as the reserve combination. The U.S. has drawn seventh in the order and will compete in the following order:

McLain Ward with Rothchild: 2016 Rio Olympic Games Team Silver medalist Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) returns to CSIO4* HITS Ocala with his 2015 Pan American Games Gold medalist partner, Rothchild, Sagamore Farms’ 2001 Warmblood gelding. The combination helped lead the team to a Gold medal during last year’s competition. Their most recent grand prix victory came during the $380,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival in February.

Lillie Keenan with Super Sox: Keenan (New York, N.Y.) and Super Sox, Chansonette Farm LLC.’s 2006 Hanoverian gelding, will get their competition year in full swing at CSIO4* HITS Ocala. Most recently, the 2016 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final Team Bronze medalists placed second at the CSI3* Grand Prix of Opglabbeek in November.

Lauren Hough with Cornet 39: Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and Cornet 39, Willow Grace Farms’ 2004 Oldenburg gelding, picked up nine top-10 finishes in 2016, including the $130,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI4* in March. They were members of last year’s Gold medal-winning team at CSIO4* HITS Ocala.

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS (FEI/RedBayStock.com)

Beezie Madden with Breitling LS: 2016 Rio Olympic Games Team Silver medalist Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) will ride Breitling LS, Abigail Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion. The combination was part of last year’s Gold Medal-winning Team at CSIO4* HITS Ocala. They recently tied for first place in qualifier for the $35,000 SOVARO Qualifier for the Wellington Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League at the CSI3*-W Palm Beach Masters.

Reserve Combination:

Ali Wolff with Casall: Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall, Blacklick Bend Farm’s 2005 Holsteiner gelding, arrive at CSIO4* HITS Ocala after a productive 2016. The combination earned eight top-10 finishes. Most notably, they placed second in the $86,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI3* at Angelstone in August.

Watch the live stream of the FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Ocala on FEI TV on Friday, February 17, at 2 p.m. ET.

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

Isabelle Lapierre and Cesha M Win $50,000 HITS Grand Prix

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Isabelle Lapierre and Cesha M.

Ocala, FL (February 14, 2017): Week IV at HITS Post Time Farm included plenty of excitement and riders and horses of all ages, levels and states gathered to compete. The week culminated with the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday.

$50,000 HITS Grand Prix

Canadian equestrian Isabelle Lapierre took home the blue-ribbon title in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix in Ocala riding her own mare, Cesha M. Interestingly, Lapierre and Cesha M took home the exact same title last year during Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit – first place in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix.

Lapierre and Cesha M returned to stake claim to their title in a lightning-fast jump-off round, where they took the top spot on the leaderboard with a three-second lead. The pair was third in the order of the nine-horse jump-off, and their fault-free time of 40.763 held up through the rest of the field.

Many of the contenders in Sunday’s Grand Prix have been competing against each other for the entirety of the Ocala Winter Circuit, and the order of go was stacked with talent – it was a class of veteran Grand Prix riders no doubt, with some fresh faces in the top 12 as well.

Scott Keach was the seventh in the order to challenge the abbreviated course piloting Chicco W, owned by Edith Rameika. The Australian equestrian and his mount sped through the course, stopping the clock in 43.065 for the eventual second-place finish.

The last contestant in the jump-off was Kim Farlinger aboard Caprice Van De Brouwershoeve, owned by Kim Farlinger Stables, Ltd. They chased Lapierre’s leading time and zoomed through the course, taking each fence by storm and leaving the rails up. They finished in 43.074, only one-hundredth of a second behind Keach’s round, settling them into third place.

Devin Ryan took home the fourth place prize with Cooper as the quickest four-fault jump-off round in 39.122. Rounding out the top five was Mattias Tromp piloting Avon, owned by Swede Ventures, LLC. They too would be foiled by a single rail to finish the course with four faults in 40.497.

Hayley Waters Wins the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

Local rider Hayley Waters took home both first and third place in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix during Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit, marking her second Grand Prix victory at HITS Ocala this season.

(C) ESI Photography. Hayley Waters and Dorella

The twenty-year-old equestrian took home the prestigious placings in contention for the win among a field of seasoned Grand Prix riders, including Aaron Vale, Tracy Fenney and many more. Not to squander Waters’ fire, the young talent has seen the victory circle in many Grand Prix at HITS Ocala and HITS Saugerties, including a blue-ribbon in the $250,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Classic at the HITS Championship in 2015.

Waters took home the first $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix win this year during Week I at HITS Ocala, and there seems to be no sign of slowing her down. Week IV’s victory came aboard Dorella, owned by Seth Vallhonrat. The third-place prize was with Qurint, owned by Chuck and Dana Waters.

In a four-horse jump-off, there were no clear rounds to be seen. Waters would have the only round with all of the rails intact with two time faults, clocking in with a time of 46.560.

Second-place Devin Ryan and Cooper were the quickest of the four-fault rides with a time of 37.718. Following Ryan in the placings was Waters’ and Qurint. They too would finish with only one rail in a time of 40.029.

Scott Keach was the final rider to place of the jump-off rounds, in fourth, with Chicco W, owned by Edith Rameika. Rounding out the top five was Lisa Goldman riding Sovereign, owned by Barbara Disko. They were the quickest of the four-faulters in the first round to secure fifth place.

$1,500 Platinum Performance

Junior and Amateur riders were able to show in the big Ocala Horse Properties Stadium at HITS Post Time Farm for the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix during Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit.

Holly French would be the rider to beat aboard Chestnut Hill, owned by Marissa Dolan. The two captured the highest scores in both rounds, a consistent 82 for a grand total of 164 and the winning title.

Second in the ribbons went to Leigh Gallagher riding Eternity, owned by Tibri, LLC. They were awarded a first-round score of 81, followed by an 80 in the second round to total 161.

MacKensie Bowles and Bittersweet Symphony were third among their peers, garnering an 80.5 in the first round, combined with their second-round score of 77 for a total of 157.5.

Fourth place went home with Annie Walsh and Erosmith. Walsh and Erosmith moved up the ranking from a fifth-place finish last week. They earned scores of 77 and 79, respectively, for a total of 156.

Rounding out the top five was Rachel Griffin and Jasmin De Bornival 2, owned by Nelson Pessoa. The pair was awarded a score of 77 in the first round and a score of 79 in the second round.

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Patricia Griffith Wins $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at HITS Ocala

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Patricia Griffith and Clearline Z.

Ocala, FL (February 12, 2017): The first of two $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derbies at HITS Post Time Farm commenced on Saturday during Week IV of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. As the sun set and the lights in Ocala Horse Properties Stadium came to life, the crowd watched in anticipation to witness who could master the course with finesse and the highest caliber of precision.

Preluding the FEI Nation’s Cup Jumping CSIO4* week at HITS Ocala, a big hunter week, including a USHJA Pony Hunger Derby, unfolded and the stage was set – Tim Hott of Cumming, Iowa designed a beautiful course of 13 fences for the 47 who gathered from the East Coast and beyond to contest the two-round derby.

The winner would be Patricia Griffith of New York, New York riding Clearline Z. Griffith would also capture the fifth-place prize riding Charisma, owned by Heritage Farm, Inc. Griffith additionally stole away with the win in the 2016 $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final at the HITS Championship last September.

Hunter Holloway of Topeka, Kansas would also walk away with two ribbons in the top five placings, second and fourth. The second-place prize would come aboard Any Given Sunday, owned by Hays Investment Corp.  Fourth place was earned piloting The Governor, also owned by Hays Investment Corp.

Two panels of judges including Scott Fitton, Streett Moore, Kathleen Rice and Sissy Wickes critiqued each rider’s craft.

Unique to the Derby format, in addition to the base score, each judging panel awarded an Option Bonus Score consisting of one additional point for every higher height option fence jumped. As 12 returned for the second round, judges awarded a base score, Option Bonus Score and a Handy Bonus Score, assessing the handiness of the round.

Kristy Herrera and Miss Lucy, owned by Helen Lenahan, finished the first round on top with a score of 185.5, but a talented list of contenders ready to rally for blue still filled the second-round Order. They would ultimately settle for sixth place with a second round score of 169 for an overall total of 354.5.

Patricia Griffith entered second in the order with fifth-place ride, Charisma. Opting for all four height options and getting a handy bonus score of 15, they received the highest total of the second round to boost them up in the standings with a 190.5. Their first round score, 165, added to the mix gave them an overall total of 355.5.

Sixth in the order to return, Holloway and Any Given Sunday were meticulous in their pursuit of a win, coming back seventh after the first round, they opted for three height options and received a combined total of 13 Handy Bonus Points. It was quite the comeback, but not enough to garner the lead. A first-round score of 171.5 combined with a second-round score of 197 totaled 368.5 would give them the red ribbon.

Two trips later, Holloway would return with her second mount, The Governor. They earned a second-round score of 186.5, which combined with their first-round score of 173.5, gave them a total of 360 for the eventual fourth-place.

Griffith and Clearline Z entered the second round ninth in the order and in the current fourth place. They opted for all four height options and received 15 handy bonus points, giving them a high second-round total of 203. Combined with their first round total of 177, they topped the field for the eventual win with an overall total of 380.

Westminster, Maryland equestrian Samantha Schaefer was the final contestant of the eventual top five to return to the second round. She piloted In The Know, owned by Madeline Schaefer, to the second highest score of a 188.5, added to their first round total of 179 that gave them a 367.5 for the ultimate third-place prize.

The $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will make several more visits to HITS this year including once more at the Ocala Winter Circuit during Week X, Coachella Desert Circuit in Week VIII, two at HITS Saugerties (Week IV & VI) and HITS Chicago (Week III & II). The extra opportunity for a prestigious hunter victory and top-level prize money has hunters in high pursuit of a Derby victory.

Maddie Tosh and Flashback Win $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby

Junior riders turned out for the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida. The Pony Hunter Derby took place during Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit and exhibitors were chomping at the bit to compete.

(C) ESI Photography. Maddie Tosh and Flashback

The team to beat was Maddie Tosh of Milton, Georgia and Flashback, owned by Madeline Schaefer. They finished the first round with a score of 84, earning a 76 in the second round for a total of 160.

Not only would Tosh win first place, but she would take home third place as well, taking the yellow ribbon with Cozy Up – their scores of 75 and 77 gave them a total of 152.

Second in the ribbons went to Avery Zwim, riding out of Tampa, Florida, piloting Rapunzel. The pair came in with a total score just one point behind Tosh’s winning score, a 159, combined by their scores of 78 and 81, respectively.

The final five would round out with Sophia Ayers of Reddick, Florida, who took home both fourth and fifth place prizes. Ayers piloted Prima Ballerina to fourth place with a first round score of 63, improving to an 84 in the second round for a total of 147.

Her fifth place ribbon with Bianca came after being awarded a score of 80 in the first round and 60 in the second for a total of 146.

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Ocala Hunters Take It to the Top in Week III

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Hunt Tosh and Casanova.

Ocala, FL (February 8, 2017): Horses and riders descended on HITS Post Time Farm for a shot at winning the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix or the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. It was the third week of competition at HITS Ocala and riders were hungry to place atop the best of the best.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Hunt Tosh of Alpharetta, Georgia grabbed his second win in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix of the 2017 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Last week, Tosh won the class aboard Gotham, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, in addition to a third place prize with Wiser, owned by Ceil and Kenny Wheeler.

This week, Tosh claimed the victory with Casanova, another winning ride owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. They won the class with scores of 86 and 89 for a total of 175. Tosh would claim another ribbon with Wiser, this week in sixth place.

Second in the ribbons went to Amanda Steege of Bedminster, New Jersey riding Loxley, owned by Finale Partners, LLC. They were awarded a first-round score of 87 and a second-round score of 85 for a total of 172. Steege also took home fifth place with Zidane, owned by Susan Darragh.

Aiken, South Carolina equestrian Daniel Geitner brought home the third-place prize riding Sky Pilot, owned by Allison Wolfe Mills. The judges gave the pair scores of 84 and 85, respectively, for a total of 169.

Fourth place was Caitlyn Shiels of Hampshire, Illinois riding Cassius, owned by Don Stewart. They earned scores of 84 and to secure a total of 167.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

A supremely talented crop of riders turned out to challenge the course and prove who the ultimate in hunter style was.

(C) ESI Photography. Melissa Marshall and Valiant

Melissa Marshall of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania won aboard her own mount, Valiant. The pair received eighth place in the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix during Week II and they jumped their way up the standings to claim the blue ribbon victory in Week III.

Marshall and Valiant took the lead in the first round with a score of 83; combined by a second-round score of 79, they brought the win home with a total of 162.

The second-place prize belonged to Lauren Lindner of Warren, New Jersey and Quantonius, owned by Nicole Peterson. They earned a 79 in the first round, improving to an 81 in the second round to total 160.

Williston, Florida equestrian Samantha Perlman piloted Willow Bay, owned by Ann Cohen Farm, to the fourth place ribbon. The earned a total of 159, combined by scores of 80 and 79, settling them just behind Lindner.

Fifth place belonged to Grafite, owned and ridden by Madison Pan-kita. Their scores of 80 and 77.5 earned them a total of 157.5 to round out the top five.

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Dorothy Douglas Wins $50,000 HITS Grand Prix at Ocala Week III

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Dorothy Douglas and S & L Elite.

Ocala, FL (February 7, 2017): Dorothy Douglas topped a field of 33 in the grand finale of the Week III at HITS Ocala. Riders and horses descended on Ocala Horse Properties Stadium in search of the top spot on the leaderboard and hopes to take home the biggest slice of the $50,000 prize purse.

Douglas and S&L Elite won the class in a four-horse jump-off that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. The top two brought home the only clear rounds of the jump-off and were separated by a mere fraction of a second.

Australian equestrian Scott Keach was the first to challenge the abbreviated course piloting Fedor, owned by Southern Cross Equestrian, LLC. They had an unfortunate rail at the third fence on course, finishing the jump-off with four faults in 41.952, proving how quickly the course could be ridden. The time would ultimately be good enough for third place.

Following Keach was Fernando Cardenas of Colombia riding Quincy Car. The pair won the $7,500 U Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic during Week I at the Ocala winter Circuit, but they finished the week in the big leagues in Sunday’s class.

Cardenas and Quincy Car crossed the timers in 44.827 with four faults after a heartbreaking rail at the final fence for the eventual fourth place.

The jump-off course had yet to be mastered until victors Dorothy Douglas and S&L Elite stepped in to compete. They powered through the course, conquering each fence as they flew to the finish. They crossed the timers fault-free in 41.051 for the eventual win.

Following Douglas as the final competitor in the jump-off was Derek Braun riding Lacarolus, owned by MM Family Corp. They chased down Douglas’ time as the crowd cheered them on to the finish line. The clock stopped at 41.521, just a half of a second away from overpowering Douglas’ time on the leaderboard. Their valiant round would settle them in second place.

The top five rounded out with Aaron Vale and Carlo, owned by North Face Farm. They narrowly missed the jump-off round by one time fault in the first round.

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Lisa Goldman Takes the Lead in Week III JHT Welcome at HITS Ocala

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Lisa Goldman and Morocco.

Ocala, FL (February 3, 2017): The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit is in full swing and Week III kicked off with the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome. Riders and horses turned out for a shot at scoring the first featured win of the week, but only one could lay claim to the victory.

The team to beat was Lisa Goldman riding Morocco. They would claim the win with a lightning-fast round by a full two seconds in a six-horse jump-off. The course was designed by Mark McGowan of Kilmarnock, Great Britain.

“Morocco is my tried and true ride, and he is incredibly fast across the ground,” said Goldman. “The course rode quick; I thought it was well designed and it was a nice course for a shorter, speedier horse, like ‘Cowboy’.”

Grand Prix titan Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida was first to return to the jump-off. He set the tone for the remaining field with a quick, clear round aboard Darling GR, owned by Troy Glaus. They stopped the clock at 37.892, a time that would hold up until Goldman entered four rounds later; they would ultimately go home with second place.

Following Vale was Tracy Magness of Baltimore, Maryland piloting Intenz Van HD. They put down a valiant ride, chasing Vale’s currently leading time. They clocked in fault-free in 38.750, eventually giving them the third-place prize.

Milford, New Jersey equestrian, Morgan Ward, was next to test the abbreviated course. She and Diacord, owned by Daniel Bluman, powered through the course to finish in 39.385, ultimately settling them in third place.

Goldman was the fourth to test the jump-off, and she knew she’d have to put the pedal to the metal to overtake Vale’s quick time.

“Cowboy is naturally fast, but I have to keep things level-headed,” said Goldman. “We took 1, 2 and 3 quickly and shaved off a few strides in a few different places on the course to save time.”

They finished in a speedy 35.530 for the eventual win. None would surpass the time including fifth place finisher, Brandie Holloway riding Dublin, owned by Hays Investment Corp. They suffered an unfortunate rail at the second fence on course. The final contender in the jump-off was Debbie McCarthy Connor and Zim, owned by Connor & Ebetino Jumpers, LLC for sixth place.

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Seven Teams Confirmed for the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO-4* at HITS Ocala

(C) Scott Miller – FEI.

Ocala, FL (February 2, 2017): HITS, Inc. is pleased to officially announce that seven teams from across the globe will turn out for the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO-4* at HITS Ocala, February 14-17. The seven teams: U.S.A., Mexico, Canada, El Salvador, Ireland, Venezuela and Colombia will battle it out for global fame in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium at HITS Post Time Farm, and the prestigious event is not to be missed. Click here for tickets to the Friday, February 17, FEI Nations Cup™.

“We are looking forward to the third consecutive year of the FEI Nations Cup™ at HITS Ocala being the best yet,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “The setting for the event, the Horse Capital of the World, could not be more fitting. The Ocala/Marion county community is rallying behind the honor to host the FEI Nations Cup™, and several community events are lined up to create the atmosphere of global sportsmanship.”

Ocala Main Street, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) are coordinating “Jump Downtown”— a special event featuring the Inaugural Parade of Nations Horse Celebration on the Downtown Square in Ocala on Wednesday, February 15th at 6 PM.

The Parade of Nations will honor and welcome this year’s seven teams from around the world that are in Ocala to compete in the extremely prestigious Nations Cup, and showcase many of the breeds that make Ocala the Horse Capital of the World. Sponsored by the City of Ocala, this family-friendly event is free and open to the public, making it a can’t-miss opportunity to cheer on world-class athletes and enjoy the equine side of the community.

“They say the third time’s the charm, and we are certain the 2017 event will live up to the expectation of excellence that HITS is recognized for,” said Struzzieri. “We are looking forward to witnessing which team will be the winner this year.”

Throughout the Nations Cup Week at HITS Post Time Farm, HITS will offer an upgraded hospitality experience in the Overlook VIP Club featuring ringside seating, as well as beer and wine service and the culinary art of Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli of The Tavern at Diamond Mills in Saugerties, New York. VIP tables are expected to sell out and reservations are encouraged.

For Overlook VIP Club information and bookings, contact Chris Mayone at Chris@HitsShows.com. Day VIP will also be available for purchase which includes reserved, ringside seating, lunch with beer and wine service. To purchase Day VIP, please contact HITS at 352-368-2449.

The Ocala Winter Circuit runs for 10 weeks, January 17 – March 26. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26. The Circuit culminates with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 26.

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Week II Hunters Grab the Spotlight at HITS Ocala

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Hunt Tosh and Gotham.

Ocala, FL (January 30, 2017): The second week of qualifying opportunities for hunter exhibitors in Florida commenced with the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Both classes are qualifiers for the ever-prestigious hunter events of the season at the HITS Championship in September: the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final and the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Hunt Tosh was victorious in Saturday’s Devoucoux Hunter Prix aboard Gotham, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. They topped the field the highest scores in both rounds, a 90 and an 89, respectively, for a winning total of 179.

Not only would Tosh take home the blue ribbon, but the third place prize as well aboard Wiser, owned by Ceil and Kenny Wheeler. Their total of 170, combined by scores 84 and 86, would score just behind second place earner, Harold Chopping piloting Celtic Gold, owned by Meg Valnoski.

Chopping rode Celtic Gold to a first-round score of 85, improving to an 86 in the second round for a total of 171.

Fourth place belonged to Ehrin Rittmueller and Chicago, owned by Christine Braeutigam, with a total score of 168, and the top five rounded out with Cassandra Kahle riding Applause, owned by Nevergreen Farm, LLC, with a total score of 166.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

Erin Brody brought home the win in Saturday’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix with Z, owned by Heritage Farm, Inc. They took a score of 83 in the first round, combined with their second-round score of 85 for a total of 168.

(C) ESI Photography. Erin Brody and Z

Second place was awarded to Carla, owned and ridden by Cara Garito. They garnered the highest score in the first round, an 86, and combined with their second-round score of 81.5, took the prize with a total of 167.5.

Third in the ribbons was Amy Lloyd Thomson riding her own Paramount. The received an 82 in the first round from the judging panel, and with a second-round score of 83.5, raked in a total of 165.5.

Alexa Bayko, winner of several Platinum Performance Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala, finished fourth on Whisper, owned by Monica Hunt. The top five rounded out with Leigh Gallagher riding Eternity, owned by Tibri, LLC.

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Lisa Goldman Conquers the $50,000 Equioxx Grand Prix at HITS Ocala Week II

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Lisa Goldman and Hindsight.

Ocala, FL (January 30, 2017): Elite competition resumed in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium on Sunday with the $50,000 Equioxx Grand Prix. Thirty-seven riders turned out for the grand finale of Week II, and everyone had their eyes on the prize.

Oscar Soberon from Monterrey, Mexico designed a challenging course for Sunday’s crop of riders, comprised of 16 jumping efforts. Nine would advance from the first round to the jump-off where only two would go clear in contingency for the win.

Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois garnered the blue-ribbon victory aboard Hindsight, marking the horse’s first Grand Prix win. They entered as the first competitors the jump-off and laid down a solid round that would stand the test of the entire class — not an easy feat for a class of this caliber.

“The course was big and technical,” said Goldman. “There are a lot of very good horses and riders here, so I thought [Oscar] designed the course well. The time allowed was tight but the course was the right amount of challenging for the riders here.”

They clocked in fault-free in 44.120 for the eventual win. Eight more followed Goldman, but none could match her speed.

Venezuelan rider Emanuel Andrade immediately followed Goldman in the order, but an unfortunate rail at the B element of the combination would settle them with the eventual fifth-place prize.

The only other clear round of the jump-off would be Manuel Torres of Colombia, riding Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro. With many top five finishes and wins at HITS Ocala, as well as several classes competing against Goldman, Torres knew what he had to do to compete — be quick, be clean and shave the time off the clock.

They zoomed through the course as the clock ticked and the crowd cheered.  They powered toward the finish, passing the timers clear with a time of 44.242, just one tenth behind Goldman’s time for the ultimate second place.

Eliza Lehrman of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania took home third place riding Fenom Van Klapscheut, owned by Five Way Farm, LLC. As the final pair in the jump-off, they nearly turned in a clear round, but their time of 51.164 gave them two time penalties.

Tracy Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm, have been on fire at this year’s Ocala Winter Circuit. They returned to Sunday’s class after winning the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Thursday with another winning goal to set.  Unfortunately. a rail at the second-to-last fence kept them from topping Goldman on the leaderboard, but their speedy time of 43.006 earned them fourth place with the quickest round with four faults.

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Competition Continues during Week II at HITS Ocala

(C) ESI Photography. Tracy Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis

Ocala, FL (January 28, 2017): The second week of horse shows at HITS Post Time farm is in full swing and riders and horses are hunting for the win in all of the classes the Ocala Winter Circuit has to offer. On Wednesday and Thursday, riders tested their skills in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, but only one pair could go home with the win in each class.

$5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome

David Jennings and Carmina, owned by Woodrun, took home the first, featured win of Week II with a victory in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome. It was a competitive jump-off, with 12 exhibitors scoring double-clear rounds, leaving the winning round all up to speed.

Jennings and Carmina captured the win with a clear jump-off in 41.157. Following behind in second place was Emanuel Andrade aboard Inne Van De Plantaan. They clocked in exactly .01 seconds behind Jennings in 41.167. Andrade would also garner fifth place aboard U.

Harold Chopping and Basje, owned by Kendra Bullington, were third in the ribbons with a clear round in 42.392 seconds. Fourth place was Francois Lamontagne piloting Chanel Du Calvaire with a clear round in 42.958 seconds.

Tracy Fenney Wins $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

The popular SmartPak Grand Prix proved to be a very challenging class for the 36 horses and riders that were in attendance, and everyone was hunting for a slice of the prize.

Course designer Tim Hott of Cummings, Iowa designed a terrific course of 15 jumping efforts for Thursday’s Grand Prix, but only one would go home victorious – and that was Flower Mound, Texas equestrian Tracy Fenney aboard her winning mount MTM Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm.

In a 10-horse jump-off, they powered to the finish to win the class with a 39.621-second jump-off round to follow their successful showing in last Sunday’s $50,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix where they placed third.

Manuel Torres and Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro, placed second among their peers, stopping the clock in 41.886 with all of the rails up. Third place was Kyle Timm riding Can Fly 12, owned by Apex Equestrian Center. They flew passed the timers in 43.031.

Isabelle Lapierre captured fourth place in the standings with her mare, Cesha M, and rounding out the top five was Juan Manuel Gallego riding Coulash Van De Broy Z.

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