Category Archives: HITS

Horseshows In The Sun

Scott Keach Brings Home the Blue Ribbon in $100,000 FEI City of Ocala Grand Prix

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Scott Keach and Fedor.

OCALA, FL (February 23, 2016): The final day of FEI competition at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida came to an exciting close Sunday with a jump-off battle in the $100,000 FEI City of Ocala Grand Prix. Scott Keach (AUS) and Fedor, co-owned with Southern Cross Equestrian, LLC, prevailed as the sun set on the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium to take home the top spot and a $33,000 prize check.

Fifty-one decorated riders, including the likes of McLain Ward, Ian Millar, and Beezie Madden, tested the course of 13 jumping efforts set at 1.60m by Alan Wade of Ireland, but only nine would prove that they have what it takes to advance to the jump-off round.

Paulo Sergio Mateo Santana (ESA) and Taloubet, co-owned with Filho, were first in the jump-off order and ready to get down to business. The same mid-course combination that had caused trouble for many in the first round got the best of them resulting in four faults. Santana continued without hesitation but another at the final fence would cost them 8 total faults in a time of 43.38.

Second in the order was Luke Dee (AUS) aboard about Auckland de l’Enclos, owned by Ashland Stables. After a tight turn to the second fence, Dee made his way towards the combination but an unfortunate rail resulted in four faults, and a time of 46.36.

Hot off their $5,000 FEI Welcome Stake win earlier in the week at HITS Ocala, Marilyn Little (USA) and Corona, owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc., were next in line and hoping to give onlookers a clean trip. Little’s grey mount gave it her all as she cleared every fence in her way, crossing the timers in 44.87 to move straight to the top of the leaderboard.

Little, a Pan American Games Gold Medalist in Three Day Eventing, gave credit for the day’s success to Corona, saying, “She’s got incredible scope, she’s incredibly careful and she’s got an incredible heart so I really couldn’t ask for much more from a horse. She loves the game – she goes in there and gives you everything. You can count on her every time.”

Next in the order was Brandie Holloway (USA) riding Lucky Strike, owned by Hays Investment Corp. Although they were off to a careful start, three rails down during the trip would result in 12 faults in a time of 45.49. Keach was waiting in the wings, ready to make his home country of Australia proud with a memorable round for the books.

The crowd went silent waiting to see if Keach could one-up Little as he navigated Fedor through the course with no disturbed rails in his path. Speeding through the timers, in a fault-free 43.71 seconds, Keach soon found his name at the top of the scoreboard.

Christine McCrea (USA) and Win for Life, owned by Candy Tribble, followed Keach in the jump-off order, and after a majestic first round, she was hoping for a similar outcome in the second. With a swift, clear round, McCrea was close, but her time of 47.59 placed her just behind Little.

The seventh trip of the jump-off belonged to Cara Raether (USA) and Lyonell, owned by Trelawny Farm LLC. After a clear first jump, Raether found trouble with the second fence of the combination, totaling 3 down rails, 12 total faults as they crossed the marker in 51.42.

Federico Fernandez (MEX) and Guru, co-owned with Paola Amilibia, rode into the ring for the second to last trip of the day, and they kept spectators on their feet until the very last jump. Careful in his craft, Fernandez moved with accuracy over every jump and raced through the timers for the third clear of the jump-off in 43.95, to place just behind Keach.

The last trip was legendary anchor rider Beezie Madden (USA) who, just days prior, helped the U.S. Team to a win in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO4*, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona. In perfect harmony with Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla, they made their way through the course, but again, a rail at the challenging second fence of the combination would seal their fate. With four faults and a time of 43.29, Madden moved into fifth place, leaving Keach in first, Fernandez in second, Little in third and McCrea in fourth.

“I’m very happy with how the horse jumped. I couldn’t have expected any more. In the last six months he has really improved, stepped up and really started to jump some clean rounds. I’m very happy,” said Keach, who has become more serious about show jumping in the past four years after a successful career in Three Day Eventing. “The courses all week have been fantastic, but everyone knows Alan Wade is a very good course builder.”

Delighted with the day’s events, Fernandez added, “I’m thrilled to be here. It has been a fantastic week and I’ve enjoyed it enormously. Today’s course jumped incredibly and the conditions were perfect. The course designer [Alan Wade] was brilliant throughout the entire weekend.”

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Bluman Makes Colombia Proud with $34,600 FEI HITS Jumper Classic Win at HITS Ocala

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Daniel Bluman and Conconcreto Believe.

OCALA, FL (February 21, 2016): International show jumping competition continued Saturday at HITS Post Time Farm when the picturesque Ocala Horse Properties Stadium became the stage for the $34,600 FEI HITS Jumper Classic. Hot off a third place team finish in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO4*, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona, Daniel Bluman, riding for Colombia aboard Conconcreto Believe, owned by Blue Star Investments and Alberto Simh, added another podium finish to the list, this time taking home the blue ribbon.

Forty-five riders attempted the 1.50m course set by Alan Wade, of Ireland, and it proved to be a true test of athleticism for those brave enough to confront it. Tight turns, a tricky mid-course combination and impressive height resulted in just four riders going clear to secure a jump-off showdown.

First to challenge the abbreviated course was Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) and Epire van Wuitenshof, owned by Lazzarotto Deborah. All was in Perez’s favor until he approached the combination, where a refusal earned him four faults and four time penalties. Another rail cost him four more faults, finishing with a total of 12 faults in a time of 55.46.

Next in the jump-off order was Lauren Hough (USA) piloting Ohlala, owned by The Ohlala Group. They had a steady start like Perez, but an unfortunate rail at the mid-course combination and another at the final fence, would result in eight faults as they passed the timers in 42.50.

Scott Keach (AUS) and Viriato, co-owned with Southern Cross Equest, was third to re-enter the ring and after watching his competition, he knew what to do for a clean trip. Together they galloped through the course, with onlookers sighing in relief when Keach cleared the combination with precision. Clocking in with a time of 48.45, and with an intact course behind him, it appeared that a blue ribbon was on the horizon for Keach.

Known to excel in the jump-off, Bluman and his bay mount did just that from the moment the clock started. Careful execution between horse and rider led to a blazing fast clear round for Bluman who completed the course in a time of 44.23, a full four seconds faster than Keach. Bluman’s performance knocked Keach to second, Hough to third and Perez to fourth.

“I personally prefer when there are not a lot of clear rounds, because I’ve had better luck in competition when there have been jump-offs with fewer people. I was happy I got to go at the end with a horse whose height level is this high,” said Bluman. “Alan Wade has always been one of my favorite course designers. As a rider, you have course designers that win you more and some that win you less, and Alan is one where I win more, so I try to jump every course I can when he is building.”

This week marked Bluman’s second trip to HITS Ocala and he was enthusiastic about his return visit, adding, “The show has been lovely. I love the footing and the jumps – it’s nice and fresh. The horses really like it and they jump really well here.”

The final day of FEI Nations Cup Week at HITS Ocala is Sunday, February 21, and will finish with the $100,000 FEI City of Ocala Grand Prix.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Lisa Goldman Tops Leaderboard in $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Lisa Goldman and Morocco.

Ocala, FL (February 20, 2016): Lisa Goldman and her own Morocco have been owning the leaderboard this winter at HITS Post Time Farm. Goldman is certainly no stranger to the winner’s circle, with multiple Grand Prix wins under her belt during the 2016 Ocala Winter Circuit. This week’s win marks the Hawthorn Woods, Illinois equestrian’s third time to win the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix this year. Goldman also garnered third place to claim two spots in the top five.

Irish course designer, Alan Wade, built a nice introductory course for the week that rode fast and created excitement in the stands. Ten horses and riders returned to the ring for the jump-off with eight going double-clear. With placings divided by mere seconds, the need for speed was the top priority to contend for the blue-ribbon title.

Germany’s Andre Thieme and Cellisto, owned by Markus Fuchs, set the tone for the jump-off, clocking in fault-free in 37.234. Unfortunately for Thieme, his lead was short lived as Goldman aboard her own mount, Hindsight, sped through the course, going clear with a 36.298-second round to move to the top.

Another clear round came next, for Canadian Kyle Dewar and his own Russell. They crossed the timers in 39.723, not quite fast enough to top the prior trips but good enough to eventually earn them seventh place. Matthew Williams and Cuchina attempted the course next. They would be clear to add to the group of fault-free rounds, but the slower time of 43.723 put them behind the field and they would finish in tenth place.

Christian Heineking and NKH Calango clocked in clear but still could not overcome Goldman’s lead. Jonathon McCrea and Zerly followed Heineking, crossing the timers in 37.663, just one second behind Thieme’s round for the eventual fifth place.

Goldman returned to the ring on her second jump-off mount, trusted winning companion Morocco. They shaped the corner from the vertical coming home to the mid-course combination, shaving time off the clock with the tight turn. Another turn to the home stretch line quickened the pace as they sped through the timers in a blazing fast 34.780, moving ahead of her own round on Hindsight to take the lead.

Australian Thomas McDermott knew he had to be quick and clear to edge out Goldman. He and Airtime Z GHP galloped through the course, chasing Goldman’s time with their eye on the prize. They put in a precise round in 36.068, not enough to top Goldman’s winning score, but enough to move into second place.

Heather Caristo-Williams and Cosmopolitan 20 were the last team to test the jump-off. They finished fault-free in 38.641, putting them in sixth place.

“It was a really fast class, the footing was great and it was a lot of fun to ride in,” said Goldman. “I knew I had to be quick because there were some very fast ones behind me.”

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

The Countdown Is On: FEI Nations Cup at HITS Ocala | Friday, February 19

The countdown to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona at HITS Ocala has begun. On Friday, February 19 at 2 pm EST, all eyes will be on the Ocala Horse Properties Grand Prix Stadium for the only official stateside Nations Cup this year.

Eight teams will represent their country and the globe’s top riders will battle it out for international fame. Will Team Ireland defend their HITS Ocala title? Or will a new winner be crowned?

Here’s some helpful information to prepare for the big day:

Overlook VIP Club
Overlook VIP Tables are still available for Nations Cup Week, $4,000 per table. VIP reservations include seating for tables of eight, breakfast and lunch served each show day, complimentary beer and wine service during the FEI Nations Cup, and exclusive access to the post-Nations Cup Overlook VIP Club party, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling and Great American Insurance.

To reserve a VIP table, please contact Amy Agricola at Amy@HitsShows.com or see the Horse Show Office.

Live Broadcast
Not in Ocala? No problem. The FEI Nations Cup will be available to equine enthusiasts across the globe on FEI TV. Visit FEITV.com for more information.

Don’t Forget!
Sunday’s $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix will begin at 2 pm EST. Visit HITS Post Time Farm and watch the final class of Nations Cup Week. Adults $5, Children 12 and under FREE.

For more information on HITS Ocala and the 2016 FEI Nations Cup, visit HitsShows.com.

Hunters Converge at HITS Post Time Farm to Contend for the Money and an Elite Victory

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Aaron Vale and Dress Balou.

Ocala, FL (February 15, 2016): The weekend started off right for hunter exhibitors in Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit with Saturday’s Devoucoux Hunter Prix, with a bigger prize purse of $10,000, and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

$10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Aaron Vale has been on fire in the Ocala Horse Properties Grand Prix Stadium, and on Saturday, he returned to claim the throne in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, a qualifying opportunity for the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September 2016. The Texas native, aboard Dress Balou, owned by Donald Stewart, rocked the class with a first-round score of 88 and a second-round score of 93 to take home the title with a total of 181, proving they are ready defend their crown as two-time champions in the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final.

Behind Vale was Week III’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix winner Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina riding Sky Pilot, owned by Allison Mills. They turned out the highest score in the first round with a 91, combined with an 84 in the second, totaling 175 for second place.

Third went to Bedminster, New Jersey equestrian Amanda Steege aboard Calvary, owned by Jessica Tindley. They earned scores of 81 and 88, respectively, for a total of 169. The effort marked Steege’s second time placing in the top three after garnering second place in Ocala Week III’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.

Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina and Caramo, owned by Caroline Russel Howe, came in fourth place. Rounding out the top five was Cassandra Kahle and Redfield Farm’s Chicago.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

Ocala’s fourth qualifying opportunity for the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final at the HITS Championship in September 2016, got underway on Saturday.

The team to beat was Acido 7 and rider and owner Elizabeth Bailey, of Roanoke, Virginia, as they garnered the highest scoring trip of both rounds. They earned a first-round score of 85, improving to a second-round score of 87 for a total of 172 for the coveted, blue ribbon.

Boston equestrian Corinne Milbury and Parker, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC, came in behind Bailey with a first-round score of 78.5, making a comeback with a second-round score of 82, earning second place with a total of 162.5.

Third place was awarded to Reveille Z, owned and ridden by Sydney DeGrazia from Rochester, New York. A score of 79 in the first round combined with an 80 in the second gave them a total of 159.

Fourth place went to St. Petersburg, Florida equestrian Emma Witham and Zenith UHS, owned by 2VR Showjumpers. Elizabeth Traband of Round Hill, Virginia and her mount, Huh, claimed fifth.

Hunter exhibitors have plenty of excitement ahead in the coming weeks of the Ocala Winter Circuit. The biggest hunter week of the winter, Week VI, will feature a plethora of exclusive events: the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the World Championship Hunter Rider Week and the debut of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Zone 4 Handy Hunter Classic to the Ocala Masters (Week VI).

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit Kicks Off with Big Competition

Andrew Kocher and Ciana.

Ocala, FL (February 13, 2016): Elite show jumping competition commenced in Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit with the $2,500 Brook Ledge Welcome Stake and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix.

$2,500 Brook Ledge Welcome Stake
Andrew Kocher from Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Ciana, owned by Eagle Valley Partners LLC, slipped past Aaron Vale riding from Williston, Florida and Carlo, owned by Amatoville Enterprises, and Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois on Barbara Disko’s Sovereign to win the $2,500 Brook Ledge Welcome on Wednesday at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida. In what is turning out to be a battle of the speedsters, these three riders have been duking it out for the top spot in the Open Jumper classes each week of the Ocala Winter Circuit – Kocher, Vale and Goldman were all in the top three last week’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix.

Wednesday’s class featured a 1.40 meter course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Muenster, Germany. Thirty-eight riders tackled the 13-effort course with 22 jumping clean to advance to the jump-off. Marilyn Little of Frederick, Maryland riding Venus, owned by Raylyn Farms, held the early lead with a clear jump-off round in 47.019.

When Vale stepped in to the ring on Carlo, you could tell he had a plan to take the lead. “These German course designers, both Petersen this week and [Martin] Otto last week, are really making galloping tracks and I saw that it would take someone to put the gas pedal down to win. I caught a really good turn back to the in and out and caught the last fence on an open stride.” Vale stopped the clock at 44.351 to take over the lead.

Next up was Goldman on the 9-year-old Sovereign. She picked up a gallop and sliced the turns, but added a stride in the last line to finish in 45.243, just behind Vale. Goldman was very pleased with her young horse: “He was fabulous! We are really starting to understand each other.”

No one underestimated the fact that Kocher was still to go on. With nothing to lose, he and the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood Ciana laid it all on the line and despite a bit of a buck when landing off one fence, their time was a commanding 43.495, almost a full second faster than Vale.

“She’s just a very good game horse and I liked the course,” Kocher said. “I look forward to jumping her in the Grand Prix this weekend.”

$25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix
Lisa Goldman, of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, and her veteran partner, Morocco, swept the competition in Thursday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Ocala for the second week in a row. Devin Ryan, of Long Valley, New Jersey, riding his own Liratus, was second and Mathew Williams, of Wellington, Florida, riding Valinski S, owned by Michael Dorman and Wyndmont, Inc., was third. Andrew Kocher, of Lake St. Louis, Missouri, on Uppie De Lis, owned by BTS Entertainment and Sales, was the fastest with four faults for fourth and the top five rounded out with Hunter Holloway, of Topeka, Kansas, riding VDL Bravo S, owned by Hays Investment Corp.

Lisa Goldman and Morocco
Lisa Goldman and Morocco

Spectators are flocking to the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium during the Grand Prix days to watch the excitement unfold as all the top riders jump for the glory. One horse and rider have consistently thrilled the crowd as they speed around the course – Lisa Goldman and Morocco. They topped the class of 38 competitors with a double clear trip in 42.717 seconds. Olaf Petersen Jr., of Germany, designed the 1.50-meter course of 14 obstacles on a 530 meter track. Seven of 38 jumped first round clears, but only three jumped double clear.

First to contest the jump-off was Kocher on Uppie de Lys. The opening fence was a triple bar, followed by eight tight strides to a vertical at 9B, which toppled for four faults. Kocher kept up the pace with a really tight turn on the rollback to the second to the last, and a gallop home to the Platinum Performance oxer to stop the clock at 42.190, ultimately earning him fourth-place.

Next up was Williams and Valinski S, who opted for a careful clean in 47.146 to take over the lead. Ryan was up next on the big bay Liratus. The 11-year-old Danish Warmblood jumped in classic form, clocking in at 45.261 when Ryan sliced the second to the last, riding a really direct line to the final oxer to set a new Great American Time to Beat.

Taizo Sugitana and Chin Quidam VDL, owned by Hyperion Stud, LLC, were eliminated at 7A of the combination to take seventh place. David Beisel riding the big grey Call Me Hannes, owned by Harlow Investment Enterprises, LLC, had four faults at 7A to finish sixth in 45.846.

Next to go was Goldman and Morocco, and they did not disappoint as they galloped the course. They added a stride up in the opening line to accommodate Morocco’s stride which caused a few gasps as he swerved in front of the last jump, but still managed to jump clear in a time of 42.717 to take over the lead.

The final contestant was Holloway and VDL Bravo S, who also fell victim to 7A for four faults in 45.417 to finish fourth.

“This week’s course was smaller than last week’s, but much more technical; it suited my short-strided horse,” said Goldman. “The triple bar to the steady six to the vertical to vertical combination was really hard for the big horses but I barely had to pull on the reins. In the jump off Morocco tried to leave out a stride to the last jump and when I said you’re not leaving it out he thought we were going around it – I don’t know how he cleared that.”

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Show Jumping’s Top Athletes to Converge at HITS Ocala for Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY.

Ocala, Florida (February 13, 2016): HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce the participating athlete list for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4*, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona, Friday, February 19 at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida. For the second consecutive year, the HITS Ocala event is the only official United States qualifier for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final held in Barcelona, Spain on September 22-25.

The HITS Organizing Committee, in conjunction with the USEF, invited select nations to participate in the international show jumping event. Each country is permitted to bring a team of four riders plus one alternate and a Chef d’Équipe or Team Coach.

“The world’s leading high-performance riders, including Olympic Gold Medalists, World Cup champions and FEI Nations Cup victors, will congregate at HITS Ocala next week for the only official stateside Nations Cup and judging by the entries, a spectacular performance is in store,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “It is an honor to host this event for the second year and we are confident that Marion County will continue to live up to its reputation as the Horse Capitol of the World.”

Australia | Chef d’Équipe Stevie Macken
Thaisa Erwin
Tom McDermott
Scott Keach
Harley Brown
Matt Williams

Canada | Chef d’Équipe Mark Laskin
Ian Millar
Jonathon Millar
Amy Millar
Chris Sorensen
Mac Cone

Colombia | Chef d’Équipe Marcel Delestre
Roberto Teran
Daniel Bluman
Mark Bluman
Fernando Cardenas
Mauricio Guevara

El Salvador | Chef d’Équipe Cate Boon
Diego Muyshondt
Juan Manuel Bolanos
Paulo Santana

Ireland | Chef d’Équipe Robert Splaine
Kevin Babington
Cian O’Connor
Shane Sweetnam
Richie Moloney
David Blake

Mexico | Chef d’Équipe Norman Dello Joio
Alberto Michan
Eugenio Garza
Federico Fernandez
Jose Antonio Chedraui
Santiago Lambre

New Zealand | Chef d’Équipe Craig Martin
Luke Dee
Claudia Hay
Sharn Wordley
Kirk Webby

United States of America | Chef d’Équipe Robert Ridland
McLain Ward
Elizabeth Madden
Lauren Hough
Laura Kraut
Todd Minikus

The starting order for the eight nations is determined by a draw to take place Wednesday, February 17, following the FEI Jog. On February 18, immediately following the $34,600 FEI Thursday Prix, each Chef d’Équipe will declare the order in which he wants his team members to compete.

In each round of the two round competition, the highest score per team will be dropped, and only three scores will count per round for each team. The country finishing with the lowest cumulative two-round score will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, a jump-off against the clock will be held to determine the winner.

Spanning four days of competition, Nations Cup Week at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala will host several notable classes in the FEI Jumper Division. Highlights include the $5,000 Welcome Stake and the $34,600 Thursday Prix on Thursday, February 18; the $112,900 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona, on Friday, February 19; the $34,600 HITS Jumper Classic on Saturday, February 20; and the $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix on Sunday, February 21. A complete schedule is available at HitsShows.com.

General admission tickets for the FEI Nations Cup™ are $10 and available in advance through OcalaTix.com ($2 processing fee applies). Tickets will also available at the gate the day of the event.

Day VIP passes available by pre-order for $100 per person. Includes ringside seating with a deluxe buffet and complimentary beer and wine. For Day VIP, call 352.368.1903. Day VIP tickets must be purchased in advance and are expected to sell out prior to February 19.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Jumpers Go Head-to-Head in $50k Equioxx Grand Prix and $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O Jumper Classic

(C) ESI Photography. Brian Moggre and MTM Flutterby on their way to a $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O Jumper Classic win.

Ocala, FL (February 3, 2016): The weekend brought exciting competition to HITS Post Time Farm in Week II of the Ocala Winter Circuit with the $50,000 Equioxx Grand Prix and the $7,500 U-Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.

$50,000 Equioxx Grand Prix

Dorothy Douglas of Flower Mound, Texas, riding S&L Elite, owned by MTM Farms, galloped to the win in the $50,000 Equioxx Grand Prix on Sunday in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina, riding Kendra Bullington’s Basje, was second place, and third Zent to last week’s $50,000 Tuffrider/Equine Couture Grand Prix winner Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, and Morocco.

Thirty-four horses and riders took on the challenging 1.50-meter course set by course designer Oscar Soberon of Dallas, Texas. A tight time allowed of 85 seconds in the first round kept the riders on a fast track if they wanted to go clean.

First to go clean and meet the time-allowed challenge successfully was Goldman on her first ride, Morocco.

Andrew Welles of Port St. Lucie, FL, riding Shining De Reve, owned by AEM Enterprises, LLC, was the next to jump clear in the first round, just within the time allowed. Goldman returned with her second mount, Rocs to Riches to produce a third to advance to the jump-off.

Four more joined the group to contest the shortened course: Brandie Holloway of Topeka, Kansas, riding Lucky Strike, owned by Hays Investment Corporation; class winner Douglas and S&L Elite; Chopping on Basje; and Christoph Schroeder of Andersonville, Tennessee, riding Catungee, the winner of the Ocala I $25000 SmartPak Grand Prix.

The first element of the triple was removed and the course was set for the jump-off with Goldman and Morocco returning first. They started at a breakneck pace, steadying only in one spot after the combination, stopping 36.801 seconds.

Next up was Welles and Shining Du Reve who had two rails for eight faults in a time of 45.154. Holloway and Lucky Strike moved up in the order, in their attempt to catch Goldman, they left out a stride to the skinny vertical at the last fence. While the gamble meant they had the time, in 36.402, they also had the rail, finishing with the fastest four-fault trip to be fourth.

The big chestnut S&L Elite and Douglas took on the course with a plan to leave out strides wherever possible. Indeed, their plan worked, as they took over the lead in 36.194 seconds. Goldman returned with Rocs to Riches but had a rail at the combination, finishing in 37.523 to finish fifth.

Two remained in the jump-off. Chopping and Basje left out a stride in two places to finish in 36.320 seconds, just two-tenths of a second behind Douglas for the win. Schroeder had 4 faults at the combination and a time of 38.080 for sixth place.

“I can’t thank Mike McCormick and Tracy Fenney enough for all of their support. I’ve been working with S&L Elite for three seasons – he’s the first horse I’ve ever had at this level,” said Douglas. “Mike kept telling me, ‘take the step out everywhere; if the jump comes down then it comes down but try to win,’ I think he jumped even better in the jump-off than in the first round.”

Forty riders who have competed in at least three Sunday Grand Prix will qualify based on money won for the Great American Million to be held in Ocala in March, 2016.

$7500 U-Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic

Another exciting class kept spectators on the edge of their seats as juniors and amateurs jumped for the top prize in the $7500 U Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium at HITS, Ocala. Brian Moggre of Flower Mound, Texas, riding MTM Flutterby, owned by Major Wager LLC, won by a whisker.

The fourteen-year-old equestrian clocked in with a time of 37.561 seconds over Haley Gassel’s time of 37.940 seconds in a head-to-head jump-off for the win. Melissa Ruderhausen of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and Charmeur Ask, was the fastest with four faults in a time of 74.526 for third place.

Juniors and Amateurs tried their best to defeat Dallas, Texas course designer, Oscar Soberon’s 1.45-meter course. It proved to be a difficult task as rider after rider collected four faults, many of which were at the oxer-vertical combination at 9A and 9B.

Third in the order was Gassel, of Lenoir City, Tennessee on Quite Dark 2, owned by Westwind Equine Training Center. Their clear round looked like it might be the only one, until the last rider of the first-round, Moggre, came in on the diminutive MTM Flutterby. The striking chestnut with the flaxen mane never touched a rail, insuring a two horse jump-off.

Gassel returned for the jump-off and pulled out all the stops with a tight roll-back to Fence 8, where Quite Dark 2 made an extra effort to be clear before galloping home in the Great American Time to Beat of 37.940 seconds.

Only one rider stood between Gassel and the win. Moggre and MTM Flutterby kicked out in exuberance between the first two fences in the jump-off, losing some time to the clock, but after the combination, they kicked into turbo drive to stop the clock just a fraction faster for the win.

“He who touches the reins the least wins! My horse is the bomb,” said Moggre. “I’ve been riding her for almost a year. She was a sale horse and super green and young but when she started to do so well I took her over and we decided to keep her.”

It was certainly a good day for riders of MTM Farms and trainer Mike McCormick of Flower Mound, Texas. Both Moggre and Dorothy Douglas, winner of the $50,000 Equioxx Grand Prix, ride and train with McCormick.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

Sunday Jumpers Competed for Big Opportunities at the Close of Week II of the Ocala Winter Circuit

(C) ESI Photography. Robin Swinderman and Cliff II.

Ocala, FL (February 2, 2016): Sunday jumpers of all ages and levels competed in the Grand Prix Ring to contend for the blue on courses set by Oscar Soberon, of Dallas, Texas, during Week II of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. The classes were run under Table II.2.b with an immediate jump-off over some jumps not used in the first round, and some to be jumped in the opposite direction. Riders tried different techniques to achieve the fastest time, including leaving out strides in different lines, choosing to go inside a fence for a shorter turn or turning outside to keep up the gallop.

$2,500 M&S/NAL Adult Jumper Classic – High

The $2500 M&S/NAL Adult Jumper Classic ran in the Grand Prix Ring at HITS, Ocala on Sunday, and course designer Oscar Soberon made use of the entire ring, setting a course of 15 jumping efforts at 1.10 meters.

Thirty-three took the course with a time allowed of 92 seconds, and sixteen went clean to move on to the jump-off Robin Swinderman of Morriston, Florida, and Cliff 2, owned by Meadowwood Farm LLC, have been consistent winners this circuit. They went early in the order setting a blistering pace that could not be beat. Their time of 32.686 seconds held the lead in the class all the way to the end.

Maisie McSwain of Gainesville, Georgia, riding Horseflight.com’s Remiville, came in just a tenth of a second behind Swinderman, in a time of 32.772 for second place. Debi Batz of Lewisburg, Tennessee and Abalia crossed the timers in 32.867 seconds for third place.

“He is an amazing horse! He does all the winning,” said Swinderman. “The plan is to keep the streak alive with the $7500 Classic next week and the $25,000 Classic Week X.”

$2,500 M&S/NAL Child Jumper Classic – High

Young riders tested the 1.10 meter course but it was Sydni Moss of Flower Mound, Texas, riding Erin Hisey’s HSS Lasiano, who topped the leader board. They clocked in with a speedy, clear jump-off round of 32.031 to seal the victory.

Hannah Loeffelbein of Olathe, Kansas, riding FVF Brulee for John and Stephanie Ingram LLC, was second. They passed the timers just behind Moss in a fault-free 33.899 seconds.

Helen Kirbo of Tallahassee, Florida and Cita Z, owned by Raylyn Farms, LLC, also went clear but crossed the timers in 34.573 for third place.

$1,000 S.A. Comunale Adult Jumper Classic – Low

The Low Children’s/Adult Classic was won by Laurie Russell of Ocala, Florida, riding GLS Volos, owned by Kelsey Barfield. Russell and GLS Volos captured the win with a fault-free 34.401-second round.

Second place went to Chino, with Kate Philips of Montpelier, Virginia in the irons. They sped through the timers in 35.639 as the last clear round of the jump-off.

Third went to Grant Anderson of New Canaan, Connecticut, riding Silvermine Farm’s Skelton W. They finished the shortened course in a fault-free 37.946 seconds.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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

HITS Ocala On-Time Entries Are Due Jan. 6

Drains are added to the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium to enhance the riding experience for exhibitors.

The 2016 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit begins in two weeks!

On-time entries must be postmarked by today, January 6, and received at the HITS Corporate Office within seven days.

The countdown to winter show jumping in the Sunshine State is on! Two weeks from today competition returns to HITS Post Time Farm for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit January 19 through March 27, 2016. Don’t miss ten weeks of hunter/jumper shows and over $3 Million in prize money.

What’s New & Exciting:

  • Multiple drains added to the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium and Schooling Areas to enhance the already existing footing.
  • Upgraded fiber added to the footing in Jumper 1 to provide both cushion and shock absorption across an even, consistent surface.
  • Spectator tickets for the FEI Nations Cup, on Friday, February 19, are now available for purchase online. General Admission is $10 per person; children 12 and under are free. Click here to buy!
  • Ocala Week X, March 22-27, is now Premier-rated Hunters.

Season Highlights:

  • Return of the FEI Nations Cup CSIO-4*, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona during the Ocala Winter Festival (Week V), February 16-21
  • Debut of the HITS Hunter Jubilee during the Ocala Masters (Week VI), February 23-28, featuring the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, a $5,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, and the World Championship Hunter Rider Week
  • The third-annual Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 27
  • Countless qualifying opportunities for the HITS Championship in Saugerties, New York

View the complete schedule here.

Additional information, including Lodging and Travel Partners, is available online at HitsShows.com.

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