©ESI Photography. Tracy Fenney and MTM Centano close out the HITS Culpeper season with a win.
CULPEPER, VA (September 29, 2014) – There aren’t many HITS Culpeper grand prix that Tracy Fenney hasn’t won. Adding another victory to her trophy case, she rode MTM Centano to a narrow triumph in the $40,000 Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, to take up a familiar spot at the top of the 2015 HITS $1 Million Grand Prix Rider Rankings.
With experience to spare, Fenney and her 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding moved conservatively as one, doing just enough to take blue with only .4 of a second to spare. “He [MTM Centano] is like a carousel horse to ride – perfectly consistent. He flows over the fences,” said Fenney. “Today was no different. He did exactly what he needed to do.”
While big strided, MTM Centano is anything but slow and has developed a reputation for speed with Fenney in the tack. “Sometimes his size and huge stride makes him appear slow, but he’s agile enough to jump from any distance or angle,” said Fenney. “That always saves us seconds when it counts.”
Florencio Hernandez (Mexico City, Mexico) set a sizable track for the Culpeper Finals with 13 obstacles and 16 jumping efforts, which included three double combinations. Six contenders cracked the code on Hernandez’s course and advanced to the jump-off.
Ian Silitch (Ocala, Florida) returned first with the Gaston Family’s Vanita and put the pressure on immediately with a clear trip in 40.56 seconds. The next five to return also posted double-clear efforts, proving that the class results would come down to time.
Silitch’s lead held until Fenney returned with MTM Centano. Quick turns and their signature angled approaches helped the duo shave two seconds off the lead time, stopping the clock at 38.39 seconds. “I knew we were fast, but there were several quick pairs behind us,” said Fenney. “I was holding my breath for a while on the sidelines.”
Despite the capable talent that followed Fenney, no one could catch her. Sloane Coles (The Plains, Virginia) appeared to have the win within reach when she cleared the final fence aboard her own Baloucat, but broke the beam in 38.75 seconds – just fractions too slow.
Harold Chopping (Southern Pines, North Carolina) jumped Kendra Bullington’s Basje to third in 39.60 seconds, bumping Silitch to fourth. Dorothy Douglas (Flower Mound, Texas) rounded out the top five aboard S & L Elite for S & L Farms in 40.57 seconds.
Sunday’s grand prix represented the first qualifier for the 2015 HITS Championship and Triple Crown of Show Jumping, giving Fenney a significant advantage moving into the winter season. “We plan a lot of our year around the HITS Championship,” said Fenney. “To start out on top feels great.”
$15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
Fenney kicked off her reign over high-performance jumper action at HITS Culpeper earlier in the week. She and MTM Farm’s MTM Timon bested all contenders in Friday’s $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix to pocket a $4,350 winner’s check.
One of eight pairs to advance to the jump-off, Fenney and her 14-year-old KWPN gelding are known for their speed, which propelled them to the win over five double-clear efforts.
Harold Chopping is often at the top of the Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix finisher’s list, but this time he and Basje settled for second. Fenney also took third on MTM Farm’s MTM Centano.
Grace Long and Esprit finished fourth for Badger Hill Farm, LLC, while Ragan Roberts and Quipit Group’s Quipit L.F. landed fifth.
Brook Ledge Horse Transportation presents a weekly jumper class throughout the HITS Culpeper summer and fall series. Aside from the winner’s purse, Brook Ledge Open Welcome riders also compete for the Brook Ledge Rider Bonus, which includes a $1,500 shipping credit for the rider who accumulates the most points in those classes throughout the circuit.