(c) ESI Photography. Hasbrouck Donovan and Cymplify.
Rachel Hopkins and US Marshall Win $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
OCALA, Florida (March 7, 2015) Hasbrouck Donovan, of Gainesville, Florida, and Cymplify showcased their partnership and Cymplify’s spectacular jumping style with a win in Saturday’s $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, held in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. The beautiful chestnut epitomized the classic hunter style and earned a class-topping second round score of 88, combined with a first round score of 84.25.
Amanda Steege of Bedminster, New Jersey, riding Susan Darragh’s Zidane, had to settle for second this week with scores of 84.5 and 86.5, to finish 1.25 points behind with a total of 171. Zidane has been a consistent winner in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix, including last week. “Zidane won two classes in the Performance Hunters this week and will be doing classes with his owner later,” Steege said, and was quick to add praise for Donovan. “I am really happy for Hasbrouck. She deserved the win this afternoon.”
Third place went to Aaron Vale on Don Stewart’s Dress Balou. Vale was last year’s winner of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. The pair topped the first round in Saturday’s Devoucoux with a score of 87 and finished the second with an 83.5 to finish less than two points off the leader, with a total score of 170.5.
Thirty-eight competed over the course, designed by Tucker Williams, of Houston, Texas. The class is a qualifier for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, at the HITS Championship in Saugerties, New York, September 2-6, 2015.
HITS Hunters also have the opportunity to compete in the bi-coastal $50,000 East Meets West Hunter Challenge Friday and Saturday, which is also a qualifier for the Diamond Mills Final. Viewers at home can watch the East Meets West Hunter Challenge Round 2 webcast Saturday, March 14, at 3 p.m. EST. For more viewing information, click here.
$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Thirteen-year-old Rachel Hopkins of Ashland, Massachusetts had to pinch herself when she came out on top of the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Saturday, riding US Marshall. Hopkins and the 9-year-old American Hanoverian, owned by Kiki Hopkins, scored a 75.5 in the first round but improved to an 83.5 in Round 2 for a total of 159 to win.
Hopkins was ecstatic about her win, saying, “I never expected to win. This is a really big deal for me. My dad is so amazing for getting this horse for me and letting me do this.”
The Platinum Performance Hunter Prix was the first class of the day in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Riders with first round scores of 70.5 to 80 returned for a second round. The top three were separated by total scores of only 1.5 points apart, with second round leader Alex Trolii, riding Hey Sailor, owned by Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, coming in second with scores of 74 and 84 for a total of 158, just one point shy of the win. Third place was an even closer call as Cole Battershaw, riding her Hollister, scored a 75 and an 82.5 for a total of 157.5. Corinne Milbury, on her Kavalier, was in first after the first round with a score of 80, but dropped to sixth after a second round score of 73.5.
Hopkins, who was not in the lead after the first round, said, “I came back in with a score of 75.5, so there was no pressure, and my horse was perfect. I just have to think of every Prix as being a qualifier for $250,000 Platinum Performance Final. Last year I was Reserve Circuit Champion in the Children’s Hunters but this is my first win in the Hunter Prix.”
Thirty-six competed over the course designed by Williams. The Platinum Performance Hunter Prix is a qualifier for the Platinum Performance $250,000 Hunter Prix Final at the HITS Championship in Saugerties, New York in September.