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David Beisel and Ammeretto Win $50,000 HITS Grand Prix

By on February 25, 2015

(c) ESI Photography. David Beisel and Amaretto.

German Andre Thieme and Conthendrix Take Second

Ocala, Florida (February 24, 2015): David Beisel, of Goshen, Ohio, took first place in Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix on Ammeretto, owned by Equine Holdings, LLC.

The Grand Prix took place in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium with a large crowd of spectators gathered around to watch the spectacle under beautiful, sunny skies. There were 16 efforts in the first round course designed by Coronado, California’s Jack Robson. Fifteen jumped first round clears which set the stage for an exciting jump-off against the clock.

The jump-off started with the first fence from Round 1 (the Brook Ledge) in the opposite direction, then a left rollback to fence six which was changed to a vertical, a gallop and right rollback to fence eight, a half circle right to fence seven and a left turn to the combination 4a and 4b finishing over fence 10 going the opposite way from the first round. Fence 12 from the first round was removed to allow the riders to cut the turn from the first to the second fence in the jump-off.

Beisel and Amaretto went first — and so fast that none of the 14 other horses behind him could beat his time. The crowd whooped and hollered as he galloped and the bay stallion turned around the short course, finishing clear in 36.324, setting the Great American Time to Beat that held up the entire second round.

Andre Thieme of Germany qualified three for the jump-off. His first entry was Contanga 3, the winner of last year’s Great American $1 Million Grand Prix and Thursday’s SmartPak Grand Prix. His split time was on track to take the lead but a rail late in the course slowed him to 37.494 with four faults.

Next up was Amanda Flint of Long Valley, New Jersey, riding the Coverboy Group’s Superbad, who proved that the winning time could be beaten but had a rail at 4a of the combination for 4 faults in 36.321. Fence 4a fell six times in the jump-off.

Five more tried but failed to jump clear until Thieme returned to the ring on his second mount, Conthendrix. The pair cleared the course with ease, stopping the clock just short of the winning time in 36.823 to place second. Scott Keach of Reddick, Florida, riding Southern Cross Equestrian, LLC’s Viriato, was next to jump clear in a slightly more conservative 39.432 for third. Thieme returned on Seth Vallhonrat’s Cellisto to ride a slow clear in 46.448 for fourth to round out the double-clears.

Beisel said of Ammeretto, a 10 year old stallion by Numero Uno, whom he has had for seven years, “I had the fastest time in Thursday’s Prix with the last jump down so I was pretty sure if I was clear that I could be fast enough to win. For a little horse, he has a humongous stride. He’s a good turner and he’s crafty so I could go a little faster than the big horses to the combination. I gave him a week off before Nations Cup and he came out way too fresh and amped up that week. It was nice to have him back in form.”

Thieme, who had three in the jump-off and placed second, fourth and ninth, was happy with his results. “I was hoping on my first horse (Contanaga 3) to go for the win but he had a rail. The second one (Conthendrix) I thought I might have had it and it almost worked. He was second. The last one (Cellisto) I knew I had no chance for the win. I rode him for my friend Seth Vallhonrat and it was his first Grand Prix so I just rode for clean. My horses are jumping well so I am not complaining,” said Thieme, who is looking to defend his title in the Great American Million on March 23. (Beisel and Ammeretto placed seventh in the class.)

Third-place Keach was pleased with his horse, saying, “You can always go quicker but for where my horse is in his training it was very good.”

Time change: Please note: the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix is now scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2015.

Lina Rojas-Restrepo and Cafino Z Win $7,500 U-Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner High Classic

Lina Rojas-Restrepo and Cafino Z and stepped in to the ring for the jump-off, blazed around the course in 28.637 seconds and took home the blue ribbon in the $7,500 U-Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner High Classic Sunday in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.

The difficulty of the first round course was made clear when all fifteen obstacles fell at least once during the class. Only four successfully negotiated the 1.45 meter course designed by Jack Robson of Coronado, California.

Robert Lee of Old Saybrook, Connecticut, riding Brook Run Farm, LLC’s Acrobat, was first to jump-off and had both elements of the final combination down for eight faults in a time of 29.447 to finish fourth. Next up was MacKenzie McGehee of Jacksonville, Florida, riding her own Fiona Van’t Paradijs, who went clean in 31.178 to take the lead. Michael Burnett of Carmel, Indiana, riding his own Iron, was also clear, just a fraction behind in 31.252. All bets were off when Cafino Z and Rojas-Restrepo shaved over two full seconds off the leading time, dropping McGehee to second and Burnett to third.

Sugar Ray and Samantha Schaefer Win $2,500 Pyranha Low Amateur Jumper Classic; Gabriella Fournier and Milky Way Win $2,500 Low Junior Classic

Course designer Anderson Lima from Brazil designed a track of 15 efforts at 1.25 meters for the $2,500 Pyranha Low Amateur Jumper Classic and the $2,500 Low Junior Classic held in the Grand Prix field at HITS Ocala. In the Low Amateurs, five jumped clear first rounds and went on to an immediate jump-off.

First to tackle the jump-off and one of the three double clears was Abby Slaven, of Ocala, riding the Coverboy Groups’ Vougeot de Septon. She had a clear round in 38.547 which earned her third place. She was followed by Alexandra Carlton of Madison, Connecticut, riding her own Colourline, who had four faults in a time of 34.617 to place fourth.

Next up was class winner Samantha Schaefer from Westminster, Maryland, who said of the course, “The track was bigger and more technical than it has been in the last few weeks. There were no double clears in the junior section of the Classic and I knew from the walk that I could not ride the jump off ‘pedal to the metal.’ I had to ride it smart. I have had Sugar Ray for six years and every day you know exactly what you have. He wants to win as much as I do and that’s hard to beat.”

Schaefer’s time of 34.138 held the lead despite a clear attempt by Dana Gattuso of Flemington, New Jersey riding her own Brecourt who came close, with a time of 34.446 to place second. Mallory Vale of Williston, Florida, riding the entry of Thinkslikeahorse, Lagrain Junior Z, had eight faults in the jump-off in a time of 39.762 for fifth.

In the $2,500 Low Junior Classic, six went on to an immediate jump off, but the course took its toll with no one going clean in the jump-off. The winning round was completed by Gabrielle Fournier of Rochester, New York, riding Brie Tiffany’s Milky Way, with four faults in a time of 35.627. Madison Johnson of Mathews, North Carolina, riding Taggert Enterprises’ Eminem, also had four faults for second place in 36.333. Lizzie Van der Walde of Ann Arbor, Michigan, aboard Paraizo Equestrian Partners LLC’s Unbelievable, finished third with four faults in 51.736.

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

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