Category Archives: HITS

Horseshows In The Sun

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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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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The 2017 FEI Nations Cup CSIO-4* at HITS Ocala Is Drawing Near

(C) ESI Photography.

Ocala, FL (January 5, 2017): HITS, Inc. is pleased to officially announce that the Ocala Winter Circuit will once again play host to the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO-4* for the third consecutive year. The inclusive show schedule will continue to give additional opportunities to National and International competitors during February 14-19, 2017, the fifth week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26.

“We are honored to host the Nations Cup for the third straight year,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “It truly speaks for the quality of the event in Ocala for the past two years. We are very excited to have the support of the community to further evolve the event for spectators and teams alike in the Horse Capital of the World.”

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 Annual 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 teams and equestrians 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.

“With loyal support from Marion County and the City of Ocala, in addition to Ocala Main Street, IHMS and the CEP, HITS will once again welcome show jumping’s biggest players to Ocala to exemplify our continued commitment to growing the sport for exhibitors and spectators alike,” continued Struzzieri.

The Nations Cup Jumping series is equestrian sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge, with national teams from around the globe competing for one of the most coveted prizes in this Olympic-level discipline.

Last year, the 2016 Nations Cup at HITS Ocala garnered over 5,000 on-site spectators, as well as an unprecedented figure of national and international media attention. The 2015 event was ranked as the second highest in national and international media interest for its overall division in the official 2015 FEI Nations Cup™ Media Report.

“Now, with two years of experience, we can continue to make Nations Cup Week an extraordinarily special week for both the exhibitor and the loyal spectators of Marion County,” continued Struzzieri.  “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.”

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 845-246-8833.

The Ocala Winter Circuit runs for 10 weeks, January 17 – March 26. A total of two FEI events will be held, including the Nations Cup, from February 7 – March 5. 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. For the complete schedule, please click here.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Andrew Kocher Dominates in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix and $10,000 Open Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Andrew Kocher and USA Today.

Ocala, FL (December 19, 2016): As the curtain closed on the two-week HITS Holiday Series at HITS Post Time Farm, riders gathered to compete in the finale of the series, the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.

The rider to beat would be Andy Kocher of Lake St. Louis, Missouri riding USA Today, owned by MKO Equestrian. Kocher won the $10,000 Open Prix the day prior to Sunday’s class, as well as the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in the first week of the series, along with several other top five prizes.

“I really like the Holiday Series; it’s a great few weeks to practice and get the horses out there, and the prize money is great for even the smaller weeks,” said Kocher. “I thought Ken Krome did a good job all week in designing the courses. He put the jumps in the right spots and utilized the ring well to challenge some rails here and there, but he had a nice number clean in the jump-offs.”

Eight horses and riders would advance over the first round course, designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland, to vie for the win in the jump-off – where half of the lot would gain clear rounds again.

“This was my first show with USA Today; he’s a really great horse and is a seasoned competitor,” said Kocher. “He’s very experienced and has shown all over the world. I had just sold what was my best horse in the last year or so, so last week I was bummed out, but we brought out our new horses and had a great week, so I’ve changed my outlook for the upcoming winter.”

The first to compete over the shortened course was Christina Kelly of Aiken, South Carolina and The Kingdom, owned by Andrea O’Brien. They flew through the course, laying down a solid, clear round in 37.266 to set the tone for the remaining field. When the class was finished, they would take home the second-place prize.

Next to garner a clear round as the third trip in the jump-off were the victors, Kocher and USA Today. They shaved a full two seconds off of Kelly’s time to move up the leaderboard with a time of 35.070, where the lead would remain.

“The jump-off was fast, and not knowing this horse as well, I just sent him quick to really see what he had in him,” said Kocher. “After seeing Christina go, and she rode really well, I saw her horse had more jump ability then mine but I thought I could be quicker across the ground, so I went for it from the wire to the first jump.”

Ontario equestrian Kim Farlinger entered fifth in the jump-off order to give the crowd another clean round. She piloted Charming Force B, owned by Kim Farlinger Stables Ltd., through the timers in 38.563, a round that would settle them into third place.

Matthias Hollberg, riding out of Middleburg, Virginia, was the final rider in the jump-off and the last to snag a clear round. Hollberg rode Aletta, owned by Hollberg Equestrian, to the finish clocking in at 39.363, just a second shy of Farlinger for fourth place.

The final five rounded out with Margie Engle and Indigo, owned by Gladewinds Farm, Inc. Coming off a victory in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, the two were prepped for success, but a heart-breaking rail at the final fence of the jump-off settled them in fifth in 35.797.

$10,000 Open Prix at HITS Holiday Series

Andy Kocher and Coconut, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC, have been inching their way up the placings over the two-week Holiday Series, and on Saturday, they pulled off the win. Kocher would also grab two more places in the ribbons, fifth and ninth.

“I really like this class and it’s nice if you have a young horse that’s just not quite ready for the Grand Prix,” said Kocher. “Coconut is an eight-year-old that I’ve been producing since he was about six; last year I wasn’t sure if he could be a Grand Prix horse but now I’m thinking he has the potential. He knows where his legs are and is just a very honest horse.”

In a four horse jump-off where all of the trips were clear, Kocher and Coconut sealed the victory as the quickest and most agile team by three full seconds.

First to contend the shortened course was hometown equestrian, Aaron Vale and Stakko, owned by Thinkslikeahorse. They put down a clean trip in 40.260 to set the tone for their peers, ultimately giving them the third-place prize.

Jennifer Jones of Marion, South Carolina followed Vale with Benedetto, owned by Andy Kocher. They shaved two seconds off Vale’s time, stopping the clock with all of the rails up in 38.083, eventually earning them second place.

The rounds kept getting quicker as Kocher entered the ring with Coconut. They zoomed through the course to finish in a lightning-fast 35.254.

The final contenders in the jump-off were Florida equestrian Hayley Waters and Uppie de Lis, owned by Chuck Waters. They mastered the course with all of the rails up, but were not quite fast enough to conquer the trips before them, clocking in at 42.856 for fourth.

Fifth place belonged to Kocher and Carlos, owned by Andrew Kocher & MCM Farm. They were foiled by one mere time fault in the first round.  Kocher also finished in ninth place with E Pleasure, owned by Angelo Danza.

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Holiday Series II Kicks Off with $2,500 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome

(C) ESI Photography. Derek Petersen and Redeemed.

Ocala, FL (December 16, 2015): The Ocala Holiday Classic kicked off as the second week of the HITS Holiday Series. Equestrians returned to HITS Post Time Farm for another week of competition after a brief hiatus to dine, play and explore the city of Ocala, Florida.

Derek Petersen of Archer, Florida walked away with the blue ribbon in the first featured class of the week, the $2,500 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome. The win came aboard Redeemed, a seven-year-old Warmblood gelding.

Four would jump clear to advance to the immediate jump-off, where three would go double clear in contingency for the victory.

Petersen was the first to show and the first to produce a double-clear round to set the tone for the class. He and Redeemed clocked in at 40.983, a round that would remain unsurpassed.

Next to conquer the shortened course was Lexington, Kentucky equestrian Lauren Hester and Clueless P, owned by Hester Equestrian, LLC. They stopped the clock just one second behind Petersen in 41.501 for the eventual second-place prize.

The final pair to go clear in the jump-off was Debbie McCarthy Connor of Patterson, New York and Zim, owned by Connor & Ebetino Jumpers, LLC. The pair won this class in the first week of the Holiday Series. They crossed the finish in 47.140 to secure third place.

Fourth place went to Hayden Morresey riding Cequila, owned by Margaret Bopp, LLC. The final spot in the top five belonged to Ocala rider Allen T. Nabors piloting Cool N’Cavalier, owned by Cassie Bakus.

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Coaches from Five NCAA Collegiate Teams Attend the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final

(C) ESI Photography. Ana Bertozzi.

Culpeper, VA (October 6, 2016): HITS Culpeper was chosen to host the top riders from the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Ranking List to compete in the inaugural East Coast NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final. The East Coast NCEA Medal Final allowed pre-college equestrians to compete in the spotlight, increasing their exposure for collegiate equestrian scholarships. There were five NCAA Collegiate Equestrian coaches in attendance to watch the junior riders compete.

“We were incredibly thankful for the support we received from HITS and the sponsors,” said Executive Director of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, Dr. Leah Fiorentino. The riders were so excited to ride in the bracket format on brand new horses. It was one of the highlights that they all spoke about. Looking ahead, we’re quite excited for the West Coast finals; there were many riders engaged in the NCEA Medal classes on the west coast, so we’re hopeful that the Finals at HITS in November will have a good turnout.”

“It was a wonderful event; it was a lot of fun to watch the riders in the finals compete over the head-to-head courses,” said University of Auburn Women’s Equestrian Head Coach, Greg Williams. “It was a great test for the riders, and from what I overheard from the coaches and the riders, everyone really liked that part of the format. I absolutely see an upside to this event in the future.”

The West Coast Final will be hosted at HITS National Sunshine Series in Thermal, California on November 9-13. Junior riders on the West Coast will have the same opportunity to compete in front of collegiate team coaches.

“This opportunity is fantastic for the riders coming out of the junior ranks and into the college program,” said Showplace Productions owner and manager, Pat Boyle, whose daughter rides on the No. 1 Auburn University Equestrian Team.

Boyle continued to compliment the NCEA Medal Final, saying, “The number of collegiate scholarships available for these riders is growing, and with the notoriety of the program and of this class, I think it will really add to the knowledge of the sport. The overall competition level of the riders was also very impressive going into the NCEA.”

Maryland-based trainer Patty Foster, who is also a parent to a collegiate equestrian athlete, also praised the program. “The NCEA Medal Final, and the format of the class, really gives the riders an idea of what competing on a team is like before they actually get to that level.”

“HITS was honored to host the East Coast NCEA Medal Final at HITS Culpeper; it was a successful event, and we’re looking forward to hosting it again on the West Coast at the National Sunshine Series in November,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri.

Last weekend on the East Coast, Ana Bertozzi of Leesburg, Virginia topped the field of riders to win the Championship, with the Reserve Champion going to Hannah Matts of Oakland, New Jersey. Third place went to Lauren Rachuba of Woodbine, Maryland and rounding out the top four was Emily Leins from McLean, Virginia.

“Thank you to everyone at HITS for supporting this great class and our two Finals both East and West coasts,” said NCEA National Advisory Board member, Tom O’Mara. “Additionally, so many great sponsors have offered to support this event, including Horseware Ireland, One-K Helmets, EquiFit Boots, Fabbri Boots, ECE Equestrian Shirts, Threadneedle, Go Girl Energy drinks and Perry Communications.  Thanks all for making our inaugural year a huge success.”

Riders met for a riders meeting the morning of the class to draw for the order of go, where they also enjoyed a breakfast buffet, compliments of Marshall & Sterling Insurance League.

The Finals consisted of three-phases: Over Fences phase, Flat phase and a Bracket phase, judged by Frank Willard of Oak Ridge, North Carolina and Kim Dorfman of Aiken, South Carolina.  Riders competed over a 3’3” course designed by Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City, in hopes of claiming the prestigious title.

Riders competed under a unique format, which combined a Medal-style course and a flat phase, with the bracket-style competition used at NCAA competitions. The riders that moved onto the bracket phase were determined by their combined jumping and flat scores, where they came back to compete head-to-head on a neutral horse – this gave the riders a taste of the competition format faced when riding for an NCAA team.

Under the bracket format, the first place rider competes with the fourth place rider in a head-to-head round on the same horse over a new course, as do the second place against third place riders. The winners of the two semi-final brackets compete again over fences on a neutral horse to determine the first-ever, NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal – East Coast Champion. Third and fourth place riders are determined by their combined scores in the jumping, flat, and semi-final bracket phases. The fifth through tenth place riders are determined based on the jumping and flat phase.

It all came down to the ride-off between Ana Bertozzi and Hannah Matts to determine the overall winner. The judges critiqued each rider in their craft, carefully accessing the horsemanship and equitation skills of each equestrian as they rode for the win: Matts competed first, followed by Bertozzi. It was a close match as Bertozzi prevailed, edging out Matts’s score by just one point.

“The original course gave the riders a lot of different options and questions, and the two test rounds rode really well,” said Michael Bertozzi, father and trainer to Ana. “Ana has been able to do a fair bit of catch-riding and practicing on different animals, which helped her prepare for the class. The idea of the class is a very good one.”

The NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals will make its first stop on the West Coast at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California, during the National Sunshine Series.

Click here for more information on the West Coast NCEA Medal Finals.

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Gavin Moylan Grabs the Victory in the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix at Culpeper

(C) ESI Photography. Gavin Moylan and Pernod.

Culpeper, VA (October 4, 2016): The curtain closed on the 2016 HITS Culpeper season on Sunday with the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix. Riders and horses laid it all on the line to pursue the last big victory in the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Commonwealth Park.

The team to reign supreme was Gavin Moylan of Middleburg, Virginia aboard Pernod, owned by Alpha Omega Farm. The battle for the blue came down to a race against the clock, with the top three separated by only tenths of a second. This victory marked Moylan and Pernod’s second Grand Prix win of the season at HITS Culpeper, in addition to impressively claiming a number of ribbons in other Culpeper Grand Prix classes.

“I am thrilled with Pernod’s performance; every time I’ve taken him in the ring, I feel like I had a chance to win,” said Moylan.  “I’d like to say thank you to Bart and Abby Frye, who I co-own this horse with.”

Five advanced to the jump-off set by course designer Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City. The first to contend the shortened course was Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas and MTM Reve Du Paradis.

Fenney and Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm, won the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix on Friday, and they had their eyes on another prize. They put down a quick, clear round in 36.129 to set the tone for the remaining field. They would take home the second place prize when the class was finished.

The victors, Moylan and Pernod, immediately followed Fenney, knowing their round would need to be solid to edge her out and also stay strong with three more trips left. They crossed the timers in a lightning-fast 36.098, overcoming Fenney by just fractions of a second.

“The course was definitely challenging and it was a very fast class,” said Moylan. “Tracy, Dorothy and I were all separated by just a tenth of a second give or take, so to be able to compete against those guys, who are so competitive, and come out on top was great.”

Dorothy Douglas, also of Flower Mound, Texas, was next to challenge the shortened course, piloting S&L Elite, owned by MTM Farm. They powered through the course, stopping the clock at 36.202, to ultimately take home third place.

Only two remained in the jump-off. Fenney returned with her second ride for another shot at topping the leaderboard. She rode MTM Como No, owned by MTM Farm, through the course, but a rail at a mid-course fence before the combination thwarted their chance of the win – ultimately settling them in fourth place with a 39.470-second round.

Last to contend the jump-off round was Matthias Hollberg riding out of Middleburg, Virginia aboard Czechmate, owned by Courtney Ramsay. They would turn in eight faults as they crossed the finish in 37.711, rounding out the top five in fifth.

$15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic – 1.45m

The winner of the High Jr/A-O Classic at HITS Culpeper was Myrto Iliadis of Waterford, Virginia riding Voila He, owned by Daphne Iliadis. The equestrian and her mount bested a field of their peers as the only clear round of the three-horse jump-off.

Second place went to Tamara Morse and Ravenna, co-owned with Stuart Morse. Third went home with Felicia Russell and her own Habsurg 2.

$10,000 Pyranha Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low Classic – 1.35m

Nikki Prokopchak of Barnesville, Maryland took home the blue in the Low Jr/A-O Classic on Sunday. Prokopchak piloted Agropoint Cassius to the victory in a two horse jump-off.

Califon, New Jersey equestrian Darby Toben was second place aboard D’Artagnan, owned by Doreen Toben. They earned one time fault in the jump-off with Prokopchak for the placing.

Third in the ribbons was Jocelyn Albaugh of McLean, Virginia and Axei Springs, owned by Lyle Albaugh. The pair claimed their spot in the top three with the fastest four-fault trip in the first round.

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Hunter Riders Turn Out for the Blue at the Culpeper Finals

(C) ESI Photography. David Wilbur and Adore.

Culpeper, VA (October 2, 2016): Exhibitors from the East Coast and beyond traveled to HITS Commonwealth Park for the final weekend of competition, but only one winner could be crowned in each Hunter Prix: the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
The top five riders would claim multiple ribbons in the class, but a HITS Champion returned to the ring in Culpeper to once again claim a winning title. After staking claim to the second-annual Stal Hendrix Pre-Green Futurity at the HITS Championship in September, David Wilbur piloted Adore, owned by Stephanie Ray, to another blue ribbon.

The Ocala, Florida equestrian rode the stunning grey mare to an impressive first-round score of 88, the highest of the round. After the top 12 returned for the second round of the classic, Wilbur and Adore once again swept the competition with an 88, totaling 176 for the victory.

Wilbur also captured the final spot in the top five aboard Fila, owned by Taylor Lampert. They earned an 84.5 in the first round, and a 79 in the second round for a total of 153.5 for fifth place.

Second in the ribbons belonged to Caitlin Venezia-White of Marston’s Mills, Massachusetts piloting Waterfall, owned by Jennifer Combs. Together the pair earned a first-round score of 86, followed by an 88 in the second-round to total 174.

Venezia-White would also garner fourth place with Spottless, owned by Heather Georges. They earned scores of 82 and 84, respectively, for a total of 166.

Melissa Feller of Flemington, New Jersey took Shameless to the third place ribbon with a first-round score of 85.5 and a second-round score of 85 for a total of 170.5. Feller would also earn a second ribbon in sixth place aboard Chanel, owned by Sloan Hodges.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Junior and amateur riders put it all on the line for a shot at the winning spotlight in Saturday’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

The team to beat was Emily Smith of Bethesda, Maryland riding Validictorian. They claimed the highest score of the round with an 82, for the victory.

Second in the ribbons was Emma Koeppen of Frederick, Maryland riding Portrait, owned by Julie Teitel. They scored just behind Smith with an 80 for their efforts.

Emily Simon of Virginia Beach, Virginia took home third place honors piloting Thor’s Hammer, owned by Debra Teets; they turned in a score of 75.

Radnor, Pennsylvania equestrian Jessa Kinney was fourth riding her own gelding, World Power. Rounding out the top five was Payton Lawrence of Leesburg, Virginia and Fair Game, owned by Liam Fell.

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