Tag Archives: Andre Thieme

Individual Gold for Thieme on a Magnificent Day of Sport

Andre Thieme. (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Individual glory for Germany’s Andre Thieme and his lovely mare DSP Chakaria brought the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2021 to the perfect close at Riesenbeck (GER). On an afternoon of spectacular sport, the 46-year-old rider rose from overnight silver into gold medal position in the first of two final rounds. Once there, he held on tight, pinning Friday’s team gold medallists, Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei, into silver while Sweden’s Olympic team gold and individual silver medallist Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not took bronze.

And the new champion wasn’t holding back. At a press conference filled with joy, relief, reflection, and laughter, Thieme said, “I’m just as much in love with that horse as I am with my wife – and she accepts that!” before turning his attention to Fuchs.

The Swiss rider had teased him by calling Thieme “one of the happy ones!” when he met him in the aftermath of Friday’s team competition, in which the hosts had to settle for silver. But the German rider pointed out that the result had been very close. “And he looked at me and said, ‘Did you really think you guys could beat us? He really said that!” Thieme said with a laugh, very pleased that he had managed to turn the tables on the 29-year-old defending champion, who had to settle for runner-up spot this time around.


It was vintage stuff from start to finish and course designer, Germany’s Frank Rothenberger, played a big part in ensuring drama and excitement all the way.

Fuchs was in the lead as the action began, but there was less than a fence between the first seven and less than two fences between the top 12 in the opening round in which the top-24 started. And when the Swiss rider’s fabulous nine-year-old, Leone Jei, hit the oxer after the water at fence nine, then he opened the door for his German rival whose mare made it look pretty easy as she posted a clear to take the lead.

Only the top 12 returned for the second-round medal-decider, and Fuchs was lying fourth on a score of 5.31 this time out, with the sensational partnership of Ioli Mytillneou and Levis de Muze from Greece in third on 4.64 and Sweden’s Fredricson now in silver medal spot, just over two points behind Thieme.

So when the Swiss star lowered the first element of the triple combination in the final round, it seemed his chance was gone. But that fence caused multiple problems and when Mytillneou and her brilliant stallion met it all wrong, she decided to retire. At 24 years old, and with relatively little experience compared to those she was competing against, it was a mature decision as Show President Ludger Beerbaum pointed out later in the day.

So that let Fuchs into bronze medal spot, and when Fredricson’s grey gelding hit the second fence, Fuchs moved up into silver. Thieme could now afford one fence down but no more, and at the bogey triple combination he used up all his luck. But he kept his nerve to bring it home to the delight of the home crowd who roared their approval.


The new champion talked about the challenge of that second course: “Walking it you could see that triple combination was going to be very difficult for everybody. The course designer was just very smart.

“From fence three to four he gave us a floating forward six strides to a big oxer with bushes underneath, so you arrived with a lot of impulsion and then it was a bit downhill coming into those two tall verticals. So you had to ride it perfect, and even then there was a chance to have it down,” he explained.

“I got there (to the first part of the triple combination) exactly the way I wanted to, and then boom! I hit the front rail and I thought we have a long way to go. So I tried to stay calm, and she stayed calm with me and I don’t know how many times I can say it, but I’m very blessed with that horse! It’s something very special. Tokyo (Olympic Games) came too early for us; we thought we could do it and then we paid our price, but she learned something in Tokyo and I learned something in Tokyo and I’m glad it came out this way!” he added.

Show President, Ludger Beerbaum, paid tribute to Mytillneou, whose copybook clear rounds throughout the week put her well in contention until things didn’t go right for her. “She showed us how a trusting relationship between a rider and horse can make such difficult courses look easy. And the way her horse jumps, your heart starts smiling by watching it…. I’m absolutely sure we will see this pair again in the top classes, and some day probably on the podium!” he said.

Fuchs admitted that playing second fiddle doesn’t come easy for him. “For the first few minutes I was disappointed about the result, that it wasn’t good enough for gold, but now I’m really happy with silver! I’ll go home with two medals, one gold (team) one silver (individual). Andre was just better than me today and I hope one day I’ll be better than him!” said the 2019 champion.

Fredricson blamed himself for the mistake with Catch Me Not made at the second fence, after he changed his original plan on how to ride that line. And as he said, his time fault was also expensive. “But I think the course designer built in a really clever way: questions all the way around, time just tight enough. Like Martin, at first I was really disappointed with the choice I made, but 45 minutes later I feel happy for my bronze medal,” he said.

Huge task

Multiple champion Ludger Beerbaum admitted that he took on a huge task when he offered to step in and run this Championship at Riesenbeck after it was cancelled last year. But he was happy and relieved.

“I couldn’t be more happy or grateful for having the opportunity to host such an event. It was a brave decision, and the whole team knows what we had to deal with, and it was a tough job, no question. But once we decided to go ahead with it, we had a lot of support and positive energy from everyone. You have to be fortunate to get two weeks weather like this and we are thankful. We’ve seen great, great sport, a super podium, and an unbelievable winner – and I’m also really pleased with number 4 Christian Kukuk who was really close. I’m delighted and well done to everyone!” he said.

He wasn’t the only one feeling grateful after an amazing week at his fabulous venue surrounded by the Surenberg Forest.

Speaking on behalf of all the riders who competed at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2021, silver medallist Martin Fuchs said, “Ludger, thank you very much for organising this. We have seen many shows that have years and years of putting on a show; you didn’t have that and for all of us riders, you are one of the most inspiring people in the sport. We call you the legend behind your back!

“And now that you start to do even more for our sport and that you hold this European Championship during these difficult times, everybody really appreciates it. Everyone has great things to say about the whole organisation and the competition, and I think this deserves a big and warm thank you from all of us!”

No-one was disagreeing with that.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
+41 78 750 61 46

Andre Thieme Captures Great American $1 Million Grand Prix Win

It was a perfect day at HITS Ocala for the seventh Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, where riders from near and far took their shot at the coveted title and the winner’s share of $350,000. The sun was shining as previous Million Winners, first time Million riders, Grand Prix and Olympic Veterans, and newcomers were welcomed under the HITS arch into the Grand Prix Stadium for the richest class in the world so far in 2020 and 2021. Not only was this the seventh Great American Million, but it was also the 22nd $1 Million Grand Prix hosted by HITS.

The course designed by Mr. Bernardo Cabral of Lisbon, Portugal challenged riders to be accurate and earn their shot at the top honors. “This class was a varied group of riders. Some have been in Ocala all circuit, and some came from other parts of the state. It was a big field, so I thought it was a hard class to put together,” said Cabral. “I didn’t make it overly big but it was technical and I thought asked a lot of questions to the riders, but also left an easy way out for the horses if there was a mistake by the pilot.” The first round course consisted of fourteen fences and included several delicate verticals throughout the track, often with wide oxers right before or after, making riders plan their adjustments quickly. The triple bar to the triple combination was a unique effort early in the course, and the last line of a wide oxer away from the ingate to the final vertical foiled many a rider’s plan of making it to the jump-off. Eight riders jumped clean to move on to the jump-off course which featured several new elements as well as parts from the first round course.

Andre Thieme is officially the most decorated HITS Million Winner as Sunday marked his fourth HITS Million title, this time taking home the blue ribbon aboard his own CHAKARIA. “I think everybody can tell by now that this class [HITS $1 Million Grand Prix] means something to me! It’s my goal every year and while I’m not giving away other classes, I definitely don’t put as much effort toward some of the other classes,” said Thieme. “I try to really produce my horses for this class every single time. I try to be sure that everything on the day of this class goes perfect because this is the class that I really want to win each year.”

Thieme’s first HITS Million win came aboard ARAGON ROUET in the 2011 Saugerties Million, followed by his first win in the Great American Million aboard CONTANGA 3 in 2014, and the third being back in Saugerties with CONTHENDRIX in 2017. “Now that I’ve won this class four times, it’s just unbelievable to me,” Thieme exclaimed. “I would have never thought that it is possible, but I have a superstar horse for the first time in my life and it’s just so much easier with that kind of a horse.”

Thieme has been riding CHAKARIA for the past year-and-a-half and said that it didn’t take him long to realize how amazing the chestnut mare is. “I couldn’t believe my luck that for the first time in my life, I was a little bit quicker than someone else buying the horse. She is fast, sound, a fighter, careful, and scopey – I don’t know how to start and how to end; she’s just an amazing horse.”

As Thieme continued talking about the day, he discussed the course, saying, “When I first walked it, I thought that it was probably going to be a little bit too small. I was expecting something bigger for the number of horses entered, to not have 15 clear rounds. Bernardo [Cabral] explained it to me and I realized that the course was a touch trickier than I thought.” Going 41st in the order, Thieme was the fifth to go clean in the first round, giving him an advantage of returning later in the in the jump-off.  Several early riders had rails or other mistakes, so Thieme knew a clear round was most important, but a fast time would put the pressure on the final three. Thieme jumped clear in 34.393 to claim the lead. “It worked for my horse because she is really careful,” said Thieme. “I have to thank Tom and HITS once more because without him we wouldn’t have a class like this and I and many of the other riders really appreciate it.”

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Team Germany Wins Thrilling FEI Nations Cup Jumping Division 1 Opener in Lummen

FEI President Ingmar de Vos (front) with Team Germany (left to right) – Mario Stevens, Holger Wulschner, Otto Becker (Team Germany Chef d’Equipe), Andre Thieme and Maurice Tebbel. (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Andre Thieme (42) snatched victory for Team Germany in a thrilling three-way jump-off at the opening qualifier of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 at Lummen (BEL).

The 2016 FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping champions were level with both France and host nation Belgium on just four faults after the first two rounds, and one rider from each side went into a third-round race against the clock.

“My Conthendrix has done so many Nations Cups for Germany and he is so consistent, such a fighter – I think he likes me and I really love him. We are just a great team together.”

Belgium’s Pieter de Vos (31) was first to take on the jump-off track, but left the door wide open when a misunderstanding saw his Olympic ride, Dream of India Greenfield, stop at the first element of the double.

Thieme made no mistake when next to go, scorching home in 39.75 seconds to really put it up to Rio Olympic French team gold medallist Penelope Leprevost (36) who was last into the arena.

Despite a tremendous clear round from her feisty 12-year-old mare Ratina d’La Rousserie, she was just over a second slower when breaking the beam putting Team France into the runner-up spot.

There were five teams chasing qualifying points for the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final and Germany took the maximum 100 points ahead of France (90) and fourth-placed Italy (70). German Chef d’Equipe, Otto Becker, was delighted with his four-man crew that also included Maurice Tebbel (23) riding Chacco’s Son, Holger Wulschner (53) with BSC Skipper and Mario Stevens (34) partnering with Baloubet. “They were brilliant!” he said.

FEI President Ingmar de Vos, who attended the event, said: “This was a great first qualifier for Division 1, and it shows again how wonderful the concept of Nations Cup Jumping is! Having a jump-off between three nations was so exciting – it shows how passionate the riders are to defend their country, and their nation’s pride!”

Andre Thieme – Team Germany (winners), talking about the jump-off with his horse Conthendrix: “I wasn’t surprised by my horse’s performance – he did a few of the million dollar Grand Prix classes in the US and he was second, third and fourth. He finished in the top five in his last five Grand Prix classes! He’s a very, very special Nations Cup horse; I think he has done the most Nations Cups of any horse for Germany.”

Otto Becker – Chef d’Equipe for Team Germany: “I chose Andre because Conthendrix jumped the first two rounds really well. He also had enough time to prepare, and the horse is very experienced. I knew the team would fight and give their best, but it’s unbelievable how it happened.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Andre Thieme and Conthendrix Win the $34,000 Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round 1.45m

Andre Thieme and Conthendrix (Photo courtesy of www.PicsOfYou.com)

Ocala, FL (March 23, 2015) — Andre Thieme and Conthendrix bested a class of 40 combinations with a time of 42.70 seconds to win the $34,000 Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round, the last class at the 2015 Live Oak International. The top ten riders of the highly competitive Winning Round class were invited back to the jump-off — with any penalties reset to zero. The top two riders, Andre Thieme and Cian O’Connor, went clear in the first round and were able to repeat their success to stay atop the leaderboard.

Cian O’Connor — who won yesterday’s CSI2*W Grand Prix and World Cup Qualifier and Friday’s 1.40m Waldron Private Wealth Management Welcome Speed Stake at Live Oak International — and Chandon Blue were just slightly slower than Thieme, and finished in second place with 43.47 seconds in only their second competition together. Margie Goldstein-Engle riding Eckham van het Steentje went clear and fast early in the jump-off, putting pressure on the rest of the field with a time of 43.57 seconds, only .1 second slower than O’Connor. Their efforts resulted in a third place finish.

Molly Ashe and Balous Day Date came in fourth with a 44.44 second clear round. Fifth place was earned by Nicole Walker and Cooper. Angel Karolyl and Wings, winners of Friday’s Pasmore Stables Power & Speed1.35m class and last year’s Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round, took sixth place as the fastest of the four fault combinations in the jump-off. Peter Leone and Wayfarer finished in seventh, Quentin Judge claimed eighth with Hh Whisky Royale, Callan Solem and VDL Torlando finished in ninth place, and Andrew Ramsay and Woltcek rounded out the top ten.

Course designer Leopoldo Palacios created a challenging course, drawing out the best efforts from competitors as they flew across the field. Thieme grinned, “When we walked the class we thought Palacios was nice with us today, but then we all realized the time was very, very short.” Obstacle number 8, a standard with the appearance of a paddock gate, proved to be challenging for many competitors. Goldstein-Engle admitted her horse over jumped the gate a little, but with a smile, Thieme declared, “My horse had no problem with it.”

O’Connor’s performance in the Winning Round helped him earn the $10,000 E2 Show Jumpers Leading Riding Award for the second consecutive year. He came to Live Oak International on a mission to win the prize. Of the event he said, “It is a fantastic show. To come here and jump on grass is great preparation for what we have in Europe. It really gets you motivated.” Margie echoed his sentiment, saying, “The show is wonderful. It couldn’t be prettier here.”

After competitors cleared the final jump of the $34,000 Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round, many were already making plans to return to Live Oak International next year. The 2015 world-class jumping competition was truly an international affair, with the top three riders representing three different countries (Germany’s Andre Thieme, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor, and United States’ Margie Goldstein-Engle).

Chloe Reid, winner of the $1,000 Jerry Parks Insurance Leading Amateur Award for attaining the best overall results in the Amateur division, said, “When the horses get here and step off the trailer, you can see them take a deep breath. They are happy to see the grass and have a different venue for a weekend.” She competed at the Live Oak International with two horses: Athena, her 10-year-old KWPN mare, and Victor E, a13-year-old KWPN stallion. Reid was also awarded the Style of Riding Award, a prize presented to the rider that demonstrates the best combination of horsemanship, skill, and presentation while competing.

Callan Solem captured the title of Equiline Leading Lady Rider. Solem competed VDL Torlando, a 15-year-old KWPN stallion by Corland and VDL Wizard, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Gentleman. Solem placed in all four jumping classes held at Live Oak International, including a sixth place finish in the Hollow Creek Farm Winning Round.

For complete results from the 2015 Live Oak International and more about Ocala’s most beloved annual equestrian tradition, please visit www.liveoakinternational.com.

For more information contact:
Damian Guthrie
Live Oak International
Press Office
Johnny Robb

Andre Thieme and Contanga 3 Win $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Ocala VI

(c) ESI Photography. Andre Thieme and his Contanga 3 win the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on Thursday, February 19.

David Tromp and Horse Bill Clinton Top Brook Ledge Welcome

Ocala, Florida (February 20, 2015): Million Dollar Man André Thieme from Germany and his Contanga 3 won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on Thursday, hitting top form while continuing his quest for a repeat win in the Ocala Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. As winner of last year’s Great American Million and the 2011 Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix, Thieme has made Ocala his mid-winter destination with that goal in mind.

“I competed last week in FEI week as an individual riding for Germany, and was third with my horse Conthendrix in Sunday’s $150,000 Grand Prix. I rode a slow easy trip on Contanga for sixth in the Thursday Prix. I will use the next three weeks here at HITS to get my horses in shape for the really big classes, then fly to California for the AIG Million (at HITS Desert Horse Park, March 15),” said Thieme at a celebration dinner with friend and trainer Emil Spadone, and fourth place winner Adrienne Iverson, whom Spadone also trains.

It appears that Contanga 3 is already in shape as the 11-year-old mare topped the 31 horses competing in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at the Ocala Masters. The Ocala Horse Properties Stadium was set with a course of 16 efforts at 1.5 meters which included three combinations by Course Designer Jack Robson of Coronado, California. The quality of the horses showing was evident, with 15 horses jumping clear first rounds.

Every rider took a shot to win in the jump-off, speeding through the course, resulting in rails falling throughout, and only four jumping double-clear. The first rider to clear all nine efforts in the jump-off was Iverson from Califon, New Jersey, riding Redfield Farm’s Donar R, stopping the clock at 43.628. Iverson’s trainer Spadone commended her, saying, “In a sport that has become so specialized, Adrienne is one of the few riders that can be successful in both the hunter and jumper rings. This week she was champion in the Pre-Green Hunter 2 Division on my new stallion Fandago HX and reserve in the High Performance Hunter Division with Chapman ET – and today she was fourth in the Grand Prix.”

Amanda Flint from Long Valley, New Jersey, riding the Coverboy Group’s Superbad, bested Iverson’s time and finished in 43.032. Flint said, “Thinking ahead for Sunday I really didn’t go that fast since we went early and there were so many in it.”

The next rider to jump double-clear was eventual winner Thieme, who stopped the clock at 39.812. He described the jump-off, saying, “There were two or three risky turns and an option to leave out to the last jump, which my friend Emil told me to do. I think a lot of other people tried to do the same and had the last jump down.”

One other person who was able to successfully leave out the stride to the last fence but did not quite catch Thieme’s time was David Tromp of Saugerties, New York. “With 15 in the jump-off, conservative was not really an option,” said Tromp, who finished second on Koyo Investment Group’s horse Bill Clinton, after winning the Brook Ledge Welcome on Wednesday. Tromp continued, “Wednesday’s quick round really helped prepare my horse for Thursday’s jump-off. I opened up his stride and he stayed with me every step of the way.” Tromp’s time of 40.701 earned second place in the class.

David Tromp and Bill Clinton Top Brook Ledge Welcome

A day before placing second in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, Tromp and the 9-year-old, 17.3 hand grey, Bill Clinton, topped the leaderboard in Wednesday’s Brook Ledge Open Welcome in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Horses competed over Robson’s first round course of 14 efforts set at 1.4 meters, which included an optional water jump. Nine horses advanced to the jump-off.

Five had already gone clean in the jump-off before Bill Clinton stepped in to the ring. MTM Cravitz, owned by the MTM Farm and ridden by Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas, had stopped the clock at 37.744 seconds, and held the lead until Bill Clinton and Tromp finished with a time of 36.634 for the new Great American Time to Beat.

Tromp said, “I wasn’t really trying to win but he accelerated really well off the rollbacks. He has a huge step and there were several long gallops. He is the first horse purchased for me by the Koyo Investment Group. He’s really easy to ride and we are happy with his progress since we bought him late in the summer. He’ll be showing in both the Thursday and the Sunday Grand Prix here at HITS.”

Fenney came in second on her MTM Grand Slam at 36.893 seconds. Ian Silitch of Ocala, Florida, riding Cordova, owned by Gaston Family Investments, LLC, made a bid for the lead but fell short in a time of 37.161 for third. Fenney’s other horse MTM Cravitz, who had held the early lead, ended up in fourth place. Flint, riding her own VDL Wittinger, was clear in 38.420 for fifth place.

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!

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

Andre Thieme Returns to Million-Dollar Stage, Wins Great American $1 Million Grand Prix

©ESI Photography. Andre Thieme and Contanga 3 soar to a win in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix.

OCALA, FL (March 25, 2014) – After a commanding performance under the lights of the all-new Ocala Horse Properties Stadium in front of a sold-out crowd, Andre Thieme of Plau am See, Germany planned a trip home to Europe $350,000 richer. Thieme claimed his first million-dollar victory in 2011 and returned to familiar territory Monday night to take the blue in the debut of the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix with his 10-year-old Oldenburg mare Contanga 3.

“I planned my whole trip around these two $1 million classes,” said Thieme after finishing 19th in last weekend’s AIG $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Thermal. “I wasn’t quite as lucky in California, so I was really hoping that it would work out this time. The pressure was on, but the result was perfect.”

No stranger to success at HITS Ocala, Thieme was in the ribbons several times this winter on the road to qualifying for the Great American Million and capped last year’s circuit with a win in the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix.

“We think of Andre as part of the family,” said HITS president and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “He shows with us a lot during the winter and I couldn’t be happier to give him this check – he’s a great supporter of our show, so it feels good to see him do well.”

Kent Farrington, who hails from Wellington, Florida, proved that Bernardo Cabral’s track could be jumped from the fifth spot in the order and returned first in the jump-off. After finishing 11th in the AIG Million with Amalaya Investments’ Willow, Farrington entered the Great American Million determined to climb the ranks.

In the jump-off, Farrington had the speed with a time of 44.66 seconds, but Thieme’s clear round in 52.92 seconds kept him from the win. “I’ve never backed into a class going slow and hoping for other people to have faults,” said Farrington, who was clear and impressively fast in the jump-off until a single rail fell after the double combination. “He [Willow] is a naturally fast horse and my plan was always to do six strides to that fence. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would do it the same. I think it was just Andre’s night to win.”

Candice King of Wellington, Florida guaranteed a jump-off from the eighth spot in the order aboard Kismet 50 for Bellissimo, LLC and Kirsten Coe of Royal Palm Beach, Florida made it three with Ilan Ferder’s Baronez just four trips later. Thieme rode clear from the 24th spot and the crowd saw 26 more horses before California native Ashlee Bond Clarke and Chela LS completed the jump off field.

Thieme was the only double clear round after four jumped off, but he hadn’t won it just yet. Bond Clarke was a force to be reckoned with in the last go of the five-horse jump-off. Coming off the momentum of wining the AIG Million at HITS Thermal last week, she and her exuberant mare were poised for a repeat.

“I knew there was a lot of speed coming behind me, so I definitely had to put some pressure on,” Thieme said after watching Farrington, King and Coe pick up faults in the jump-off.

When Thieme watched a rail fall for Bond Clarke coming out of the double, he let out a cheer of excitement while standing at the in-gate. “I knew she [Bond Clarke] had the speed, but I realized in that moment that I won the class, and it’s a big difference between first and second. Maybe I was a little too loud,” he joked. “I think she realized during the jump-off that she had to give a touch more to really get me, and that’s when her rail came down.”

Coe found herself in the top three again this week after jumping Baronez to the same spot in last week’s AIG Million. She crossed the timers in 55.87 seconds, but also picked up four faults at the fence following the combination.

“It’s really a dream,” she said. “Just to have these $1 million classes is amazing for our sport. Then to have my horse jump clean two weeks in a row is really something special.”

King and Kismet 50 turned in a brilliant first round, but their luck ran out in the jump-off and landed them in fourth. Bond Clarke was in the hunt for two out of three in the HITS Triple Crown of Show jumping, but after two rails, she pulled up to save Chela for another day and settled for fifth place and $75,000.

Bond Clarke was one of seven riders to fly horses from California to the East Coast to compete, proving that the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping is attracting national, as well as international interest and fame.

Cabral, a renowned course designer from Portugal, has seen it all from the Olympics to the highest in money stakes, but admits he still couldn’t escape his nerves. “These are superstars – it was flattering to watch them jump my course,” he said. “I was hoping for several clean, so five was perfect and I could not be happier with the result.”

Thieme recalled that when he won the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in 2011, his goal for the prize was to build his family a home. Three years later, Thieme says that his goals haven’t changed much. “I started building the house and it got way more expensive than I planned, so it’s still going straight to the house,” he concluded with a smile.

Jim Muething, Divisional President at Great American Insurance Group, watched Monday’s class in delight after a steadfast relationship between HITS Horse Shows and the 142-year-old property, casualty and annuity insurance company led Great American to the Triple Crown family.

“We are blessed to have them involved,” said Struzzieri. “They are long-time sponsors of HITS and we look forward to seeing this partnership grow even further.”

Excitement has been building for the Great American Million all winter at HITS Ocala and qualified riders turned out in droves to take a well-earned shot at the richest prize in show jumping. HITS Ocala regular David Beisel of Goshen, Ohio cultivated a winning streak with Equine Holdings, LLC’s Ammeretto over the last few weeks and was the clear crowd favorite Monday night. He was the second fastest of the four-faulters and cashed a $30,000 check in seventh. Leading HITS Ocala money winner Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas entered the ring last in the first round and excitement peaked as she attempted to collect her seventh grand prix win of the winter season with MTM Timon. It was sadly not their night as they finished out of the money but still take home a season worth of bragging rights.

With the first two events in the first-ever HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping in the books, Struzzieri is encouraged by the attention the classes have received. “Marion County really showed up on a cool Monday night and they made the atmosphere electric,” he said. “This was also one of the strongest fields we have ever seen in one of these classes.”

Now attention will turn to September when the HITS Championship features the fourth-annual Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, September 7 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. The class will beg international talent from all corners of the world back to where it all began in upstate New York as the Zoetis Million writes an ending to the first Triple Crown of Show Jumping.

About Great American Insurance Group
The Great American Insurance Group Equine Mortality Division, based in Ocala, is one of the world’s leading providers of Equine Mortality, Horse Farm Insurance and related coverage through professional independent agents. Both their Underwriting and 24 hour in-house Claim staff offer superior service. For more information, visit GreatAmericanInsurance.com.

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!

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

Andre Thieme Makes Germany Proud in $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix

©Flying Horse Photography. Andre Thieme and Contanga 3 were the faster of two clear rounds in the jump-off of the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix.

OCALA, FL (March 18, 2013) – Andre Thieme didn’t think it was Contanga 3’s day when they were one of nine pairs to return to jump off yesterday in the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, at HITS Ocala. “I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to be fast enough, but when everyone started having rails, I reconsidered,” he said. “I am very happy with my horse’s performance.”

Mexico’s Florencio Hernandez built the track that 48 pairs rode on Sunday, which included 14 obstacles with three double combinations. In front of a packed VIP tent and exuberant crowd that stacked the grandstands at HITS Ocala for the richest class of the season, Thieme was first to return to the short course. He and Contanga 3 finished in 50.51 seconds, topping one of the largest grand prix fields HITS Ocala has ever seen.

Thieme was crowned Pfizer Million champion in 2011 after riding Aragon Rouet to a historic victory. Thieme knows good horses after he and Aragon Rouet rode to the richest prize in show jumping over one of the most difficult courses he will ever face, but he admits that Contanga 3 is rapidly becoming one of the best horses he has ever ridden. “She is young, but very experienced,” he said of the nine-year-old mare. “She has had a very successful winter and I am so surprised at how far she has come.”

While Thieme considers whether the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties September 8 is in the mare’s future, he admits that she will need some more development. “I know that course. I know how hard it is,” he said. “I will only bring her if she is absolutely ready and, with as scopey as she is, she might be ready in six months.”

In the jump-off, the only rider to challenge with another clear round was Aaron Vale of Morriston, Florida. After winning Thursday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, Vale and Zippo II, owned by 2VR Showjumpers, were fifth to go in the second-round order and were just over a second shy of the win with a time of 51.73 seconds.

“My horse jumped great today. I just never quite found a rhythm in the jump-off,” Vale remarked. He has seen much success in the big money at HITS Ocala and was also second in last year’s $100,000 grand prix.

Third went to Megan Wexler of Reddick, Florida and Procedure, Inc.’s Cadence. They were the fastest in the jump-off with a time of 48.72 seconds, but picked up a heartbreak rail at the final fence, the plank coming home, for four faults. Wexler, however, wasn’t the only one to find trouble at the plank. The diabolical fence also ruined clear rounds for Callie Morgan Smith of Bernardsville, New Jersey on Captain Krutzmann and Thieme with Seth Vallhonrat’s Catharina 9.

Thieme had four horses in the grand prix and made it to the jump-off with three, finishing fourth on Catharina 9 with a four-fault, 51.48-second round. He was also seventh on Quanshbob and finished out of the money with Klitschko. Thieme owns both horses.

Capping the top five, 17-year-old Michael Hughes piloted Christina Fried’s MacArthur to a time of 51.66 seconds with one rail down.

Thieme will return to Germany after a successful winter circuit and, and after some well-deserved time off, will again join the German Nations Cup Team. “I have had a great season in the states, but I miss my family and can’t wait to get back to them,” said Thieme who will make the trip back to Europe, $30,000 first-place check in hand, where his wife and six-year-old son wait.

This year’s event is the second consecutive season that Sullivan Buick GMC has sponsored the richest grand prix of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, making it possible for HITS to deliver significant prize money to East Coast competitors.

The $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, wrapped up the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit on a high note as attention now turns north and riders take aim at qualifying for the Zoetis Million. The coveted million dollar class will take place during HITS Championship Weekend September 6-8 and will welcome some of the world’s most accomplished riders for the fourth-annual event.

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Andre Thieme Captures His Second Grand Prix Win of the Season in the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

© ESI Photography. Andre Thieme and Coco 135 on course in the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida.

OCALA, FL (March 15, 2011) — On a perfectly beautiful afternoon at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida, German show-jumping icon Andre Thieme riding Seth Vallhonrat’s Coco 135 captured the victory in Sunday’s $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, to close out the Ocala Finals. Thieme’s win marked the first time this season that a rider captured more than one victory in a Sunday Grand Prix, his first being aboard his own Cesar three weeks ago in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at the Ocala Winter Festival.

Thieme is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Rapidly making a name for himself as a top rider competing in the United States, he’s built a solid reputation at HITS shows, nationwide, in a very short time. At the 2010 Ocala Masters, he and Cesar won the $75,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Thieme also traveled west to compete at the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California, that same year and placed fifth aboard Aragon Rouet in the $300,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini of Newport Beach, which helped to cement his spot in the top 20 of the 2010 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix Rider Rankings. Last September, Thieme traveled back from Germany to compete in the Pfizer Million and placed ninth aboard Aragon Rouet, collecting $15,000 in prize money. This year, with six of the eight Grand Prix needed to become eligible, he is once again on a path to qualify for the 2011 Pfizer Million, a clear goal for him as his winnings continue to grow.

Continue reading Andre Thieme Captures His Second Grand Prix Win of the Season in the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix at HITS Ocala