Tag Archives: HITS

The Cavalier Classic Is a Wrap at HITS Culpeper

Agustin Rosales and CAPELIUS. Photo Courtesy of ESI Photography.

Agustin Rosales Soars to First and Second in the Open Prix; Dominique Damico Jumps to First in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Exhibitors jumped into another week of Show Jumping Competition at HITS Commonwealth Park to wrap up the July series of the circuit in Culpeper, Virginia. With trees and flowers blooming and beautiful sunny weather, the two-week HITS Culpeper July Series were just what exhibitors were hoping for.

“It’s been a nice two weeks for me in Culpeper,” said Gavin Moylan, owner, trainer, and rider at Meadowville Farm, based in Middleburg, Virginia and Wellington, Florida. “I won the Devoucoux Hunter Prix last week and the Johnson Horse Transportation Prix this week, so I practiced all the disciplines!” he continued. “I have a new group of horses and this was a great place to bring them to get them started jumping some bigger classes. The footing is great – even better this week than last. Rian Beals (Technical Coordinator) does a nice job running things outside and is easy to work with.”

Pam Baker, owner and trainer at her Hillcrest Farm in Bealeton, Virginia, had a successful two weeks with her clients, and expressed her appreciation of the shows. “I’ve always loved Culpeper – of course I’ve been showing here decades! Now that the footing has been redone I think Culpeper is one of the best facilities in the country.” Pam is also a fan of the Quiche breakfast special served on Saturday mornings at the restaurant. “I wish they had quiche on Sunday too! It’s SO good!”

Melissa Rundershausen and CHARMEUR ASK soared into the Cavalier Classic with a win in the $5,000 Open Welcome Jumper on Wednesday, securing the first place ribbon.

On Friday, Gavin Moylan would capture the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Prix aboard DON FERNANTES Z in a time of 38.347. Taking home the second place ribbon was Lucy Matz and CARDELLA in a time of 38.360, followed by Agustin Rosales and CAPELIUS S in third with a time of 39.291. Dominique Damico would take home the fourth and fifth place ribbons aboard WOODSTOCK O and DORELLA HBC, respectively. Damico finished with times of 40.036 and 40.260.

Shelly Zimmerli and GUMMI VAN OZ captured a win in the $2,500 Pyranha Jr/A-O/Am 1.20m Jumper Classic with a time of 41.216.

Taking home top honors in the $5,000 Summit Joint Performance Jr/A-O/Am 1.30m Jumper Classic with a time of 43.228 was Ginny Gale and EVENSONG.

Tamara Morse and RAVENNA ADELHEID Z soared to a first place finish in the $7,500 Jr/A-O/Am 1.40m Jumper Classic in a time of 41.286.

Taking home top honors in the $20,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Open Prix at the Cavalier Classic was Rosales and CAPELIUS S in a time of 39.236. Rosales also captured the second place ribbon aboard AVALON in a time of 41.862. Alex Matz rode to a third place finish aboard CASHEW CR in a four-fault time of 41.762. Ashley Foster would round out the top five, taking home both the fourth and fifth place ribbons aboard DALIANTE M and LUMINOUS, respectively. Foster jumped to her placings with a four-fault time of 49.645 for fourth and an eight-fault time of 53.620 for fifth.

In the Hunter Rings, riders were looking to qualify for the HITS Championship that takes place September 5-9 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. HITS Culpeper features the $1,500 Devoucoux and $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix each week, which are the respective qualifying classes for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Finals and the Platinum Performance $100,000 Hunter Prix Finals.

To go along with her successes in the jumper ring, Damico jumped to a win in the $1,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix aboard NEMESIS 11 with a score of 84 in Round One and 82 in Round Two for a combined score of 166 to secure top honors. Taking home the red ribbon in the Hunter Prix was Sara Taylor aboard EXCELLENT with scores of 86 and 78 in her two rounds, adding up to a total score of 164. Rounding out the top three in the Prix was Katie McAfee and CAPPUCCINO. McAfee scored an 87 in the first round, the highest of those competing, and a 75 in the second round putting her in third with a two round total of 162.

Taking home the top honors in the $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix was Catherine Black and HEADLINES with scores of 77 and 84 for a combined score of 161. Second place was Jakob Kronenwetter and EYEWITNESS scoring a 75 in Round One and 72 in Round Two for an overall score of 147. Lauren Miller would round out the top three in the Junior/Amateur Prix aboard FERNHILL STARBOY with a two round total of 134. Miller scored a 65 in the first round and a 69 in the second round.

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Riders Are All Smiles after Successful Week at HITS Culpeper for Showday National

Photo Courtesy of ESI Photography.

Jennifer Brennan and Gavin Moylan Ride Away with Top Finishes in the Featured Hunter and Jumper Classes

Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation riders return to HITS Commonwealth Park for another week of USEF-Rated Show Jumping Competition. The Showday National featured over 400 classes, including qualifiers for the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League Finals and the HITS Championship, and of course the featured $20,000 ULCERGARD Open Prix. Riders would trot away with blue ribbons, championship titles, and smiles on their faces.

Professionals were ecstatic to be back at HITS Commonwealth Park to kick off the July Series. Ken Krome, USEF and FEI Course Designer and Judge, travelled from his farm in Westminster, Maryland to show at the Showday National in Culpeper, Virginia. Krome stated, “It was beautiful here this week. Rian Beals (Manager and Technical Coordinator) did a great job. The show grounds look the best it ever has, and the footing was tip top in every ring.” Krome had riders with top finishes in Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation classes. “From the schedule, to the in-gate staff to the office, everything ran smoothly and we’re looking forward to another great week,” Krome said, expressing his excitement for the show this week.

Ian Silitch, a well-known trainer and rider in Virginia, now based out of Ocala, Florida, said, “Culpeper really is a hidden gem! We came early this week, and everything was ready to go from the start. We could have started showing on Monday!” Silitch continued, “Coming to Culpeper always puts a smile on my face – it’s like coming home. The footing was perfect, the stabling is some of the best in the country, and the staff did a great job. The course designer got it just right on Sunday and [Rian] Beals has really taken the reins, and is always friendly and approachable.”

Randy Johnson, of Greener Pastures Equine in Clarksburg, Maryland, had a first and third place finish in the Junior/Amateur Jumper Classics on Sunday. Earlier in the week, he was reminiscing with Kristen Vale-Mosack, Show Office Manager, about their time showing here in the 1980s. “It was so nice to be in Culpeper this week, especially for those of us who feel like we grew up here!” he said.

In the Grand Prix Ring, riders jump-started the week with the $5,000 Open Welcome. Kicking the week off with a win was Melissa Runderhausen aboard CHARMEUR ASK in a time of 40.057. Finishing in second place would be Agustin Rosales aboard CAPELIUS S in a time of 41.865, followed by Shelly Zimmerli and her partner CHARDONAY HARAS DES BARRAGES in third with a time of 42.916. Taking home the white ribbon was Savannah Unger and FABIO TN, followed by Jennifer Brennan and MAC rounding out the top five.

Jumper riders joined us back in the Grand Prix Ring on Friday for the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Prix where Cian McDermott and NEWCASTLE would add a win to their record. Mcdermott would fly to a first place finish, crossing the timers in 34.026. Ashley Foster would jump to second and fifth place finishes aboard LUMINOUS and DALIANTE M, respectively. Foster finished with her two equine partners in times of 34.403 and 37.072. Sarah Hubbard and GENIUS would claim the third place award in a time of 34.463. Returning to the Winners Circle and claiming the fourth place award in a time of 35.087 would be Brennan and MAC.

On Sunday, Jessica Rich and CAVALIER CLOVER BOY took home top honors in the $2,500 Jr./A-O/Am. 1.20m Jumper Classic in a time of 29.371.

In the $5,000 NAL Summit Joint Performance Jr./A-O/Am. 1.30m Jumper Classic, Randy Johnson and JADE VAN DE START would finish at the top of the standings in a time of 28.824.

Claiming top honors in the $7,500 Jr./A-O/Am. 1.40m Jumper Classic was Zimmerli and CHARDONAY HARAS DES BARRAGES in a time of 32.990.

A successful week in the Grand Prix Ring ended with the $20,000 ULCERGARD Open Prix. Three riders would return to the Jump-Off all in hopes of securing top honors in the featured class at the Showday National. All riders completed the Jump-Off with four-fault scores, meaning that the standings would be determined by who was the fastest. Brennan and MAC would soar to a first place finish in a time of 41.938. Following Brennan, in second place was Foster and LUMINOUS in a time of 44.252. Brian Murphy would round out the top three in a time of 49.212 aboard MIMMO T.Z. Not returning to the jump off but round out the top five would be Gavin Moylan and DON FERNANTES Z in fourth and Hubbard and LATINO VAN DE LOOISE HEIDE in fifth.

In the Hunter Rings, riders joined us for HITS Championship qualifying classes the $1,500 Devoucoux and $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

Moylan and STRING OF PEARLS would be victorious in the $1,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix with scores of 87 and 84, for a two round total of 171. In second place, with a combined score of 169, was Riley Hogan and RONALDO scoring an 83 in Round One and 86 in Round Two. Foster and SUMMERLIN would be awarded third place with scores of 79 in Round One and 87 in Round Two, for an overall score of 166.

Junior and Amateur riders would join us for the $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Lydia Davidson and PARK AVENUE would secure first place with a score of 73 in the first round and an 86 in the second round for a combined score of 159. Jumping to a second place finish was Lilly Pollin and PURA VIDA, receiving scores of 74 and 80 in her two rounds for a combined score of 154. Rounding out the top three in the HITS Championship qualifier was Kathryn Piper Martin and ANDIAMO with an overall score of 148. Martin received scores of 70 in Round One and 78 in Round Two.

Taking home top honors in the Culpeper Equitation Classic was Lauren Miller. The Culpeper Equitation Classic is open to both Junior and Amateur riders and is held at both 3′ and 3’6″. It offers riders a unique opportunity to compete together in an interesting format, and as the featured class in the Grand Prix Ring on Saturday afternoon, it is a great opportunity for riders to gain experience showing in the spotlight. Miller received a score of 78 to secure top honors in the Culpeper Equitation Classic. Riley Hogan placed second with a score of 74 and Natalie Tezsla placed third with a score of 70.

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Final Week Wraps Up at HITS Ocala for 2018

Photo: David Raposa and Iliona.

“It’s not goodbye; it’s see you soon!” is what many people were saying this week during the Ocala Championship, as the final week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit came to a close. Week X proved to be one of the most exciting weeks yet, with high stakes classes for both hunters and jumpers, including the fifth annual Great American $1 Million Grand Prix.

The week kicked off with the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome and a victory by Michael Hutchinson and RONALDO DE LA POMME with a jump-off time of 35.850. In second was Taylor Land and FALCO V with a jump-off time of 37.973. Devin Ryan came in third aboard FLORIDA with a jump-off time of 38.342. Fourth place was Rachel Schnurr and PRINCE GARBO with a jump-off time of 38.528, while Tracy Magness rounded out the top five aboard INTENZ VAN HD with a jump-off time of 39.045.

On Thursday, the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix took place once again. This week, David Raposa took the top spot aboard ILIONA with a jump-off time of 40.620. Newcomer to the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium, Jamie Barge, took second aboard LUEBBO with a jump-off time of 41.498. Sharn Wordley was third with CASPER in a jump-off time of 41.530 and three time $1 Million Grand Prix winner, Andre Thieme, was fourth aboard ARETINO 13 with a jump-off time of 41.936. Week VII $50,000 HITS Grand Prix winner, Callan Solem, took fifth aboard DAVIDSON with a jump-off time of 42.887.

Friday afternoon, the $10,000 Open Prix took place, with $265,000 Longines Grand Prix winner (Week V), Rowan Willis, taking the win aboard SHARK with a jump-off time of 31.672. In second was Wordley aboard RYE VAL DE MAI with a jump-off time of 32.611, while Lisa Goldman was third aboard her well-known mount CENTURION B with a jump-off time of 34.859. Emanuel Andrade continued to impress, taking fourth aboard JOLI JUMPER with a jump-off time of 34.993 and fifth was Lillie Keenan and CHACCOLETTE with a jump-off time of 35.748.

Friday evening, the HITS Equitation Championships took place, giving young riders a chance to shine in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Madeline Schaefer was awarded first place aboard CORRENDO with a two-round score of 178. Brian Moggre was second aboard MTM GEM with a two-round score of 174. Only one point behind was Sophee Steckbeck and CURT Z with a two-round score of 173. Fourth was awarded to C. Blair Spencer aboard WASSINI with a two-round score of 169. Rounding out the top five was Danny Mahon and CHOPPER 5 with a two-round score of 161.5.

Saturday was an exciting day, with several jumper classics taking place, as well as the $25,000 USHJA International Derby. Starting the day off was the $10,000 KindredBio 1.30m Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur Jumper Classic. Kady Abrahamson took first place aboard BASCO H2 with a jump-off time of 35.372. Moggre was second aboard TOUR EIFFEL with a jump-off time of 36.431. In third was Quinn Larimer and LIMBOY VON WORRENBERG with a jump-off time of 37.020 and Nicole Loochtan was fourth aboard CAIMAN DES SEQUOIAS with a jump-off time of 43.423. Fifth was Darby Toben aboard D’ARTAGNAN with a jump-off time of 45.920.

In the $10,000 1.35 Classic, Hutchinson again took the win aboard RONALDO DE LA POMME with a jump-off time of 41.835. Second was Jennifer Ann Smith and LAISSEZ FAIRE 3E with a jump-off time of 46.715. Wordley, took another top five placing aboard RYE VAL DE MAI, placing third with a four-fault jump-off time of 40.853. Fourth was Ryan aboard FLORIDA with a four-fault jump-off time of 41.209 and Jennifer Brennan was fifth aboard MAC with a four-fault jump-off time of 42.724.

In the $25,000 U-Dump Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, Callie Smith and Tamara Morse battled it out in the jump-off as the only two clears from the first round. Smith came out on top with one time-fault in the jump-off in 48.575 aboard FLOYD W. Tamara Morse was second aboard RAVENNA ALDEHEID Z with a rail and one time fault in a time of 48.623. Third was Nicole Belissimo and HARLEY DAVID as the fastest of the four-faulters in round-one with a time of 70.268. Just a second behind her was Kady Abrahamson and CHARLINE 28 with a four-fault score in 71.358 and Bryn Sadler was fifth aboard CEZARRO with a four-fault time of 74.420.

Kate Taylor and CHACCA BLUE took the win in the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic with a jump-off time of 31.257. Grace Debney was second aboard BYOLGA with a jump-off time of 31.736. In third was Alyson Gurney and BLACK FRIDAY with a jump-off time of 33.550 and Sherri Jamison took fourth place with MAY’S NEWS in a jump-off time of 34.364. Fifth was Joy Slater aboard OILEAN UNO with a jump-off time of 34.648.

Saturday evening, the second $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby of the circuit took place in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Holly Shepherd was awarded first place after two beautiful rounds and a total score of 370. Shepherd rode her gelding KODACHROME, securing first place and $7,500 in prize money after masterfully maneuvering through both rounds. Samantha Schaefer was second aboard IN THE KNOW with a two-round score of 364. Third place was Hunt Tosh and FLAMINGO-K with a two score of 362.75. ATTENTION PLEASE and David Jennings were fourth with a two-round score of 355.5. Cassandra Kahle rounded out the top five aboard DIADORA with a two-round score of 354.5.

On Sunday, the Horseware Ireland Grand Circuit Champions and Tack Warehouse Second-Half Circuit Champions made their way into the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium for the Parade of Champions and recognition of their season-long achievements. Several Special awards were also presented, including the following:

Kindred Bio Leading Rider: Brian Moggre
Laura Pickett Grand Junior Hunter Champion: Rockette, Kaitlyn Williams
Farm Credit Tackroom Award: Sapphire Riding Academy, trainer Doug Boyd
Absorbine Groom’s Award: Robert Buniowski, groom for Grand Prix Rider Rowan Willis of Australia

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Beezie Madden Wins Fifth Annual Great American $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

Four-time USEF Equestrian of the Year, Beezie Madden, is a name that almost every horse person in the world has heard at least once. Madden has been competing at the Grand Prix level since 1985 and continues to add to her resume of Grand Prix wins every year. As of March 25th, 2018, she became a two-time HITS Million Dollar Grand Prix winner as well, with a victory in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix to close out the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.

This is Madden’s second $1 Million Grand Prix win with HITS, also winning in Saugerties, New York in 2015. “I’ve been lucky enough that this is my second win. It’s amazing what he offers; all of the venues and shows he offers. I don’t know how he does it all,” Madden said, referring to HITS Owner and CEO Tom Struzzieri.

Alan Wade of Tipperary, Ireland, designing his second HITS Million course, built a track that the riders felt was challenging, but allowed for them to ride to their horses’ strengths in both the first round and the jump-off, with spots to make up ground in turns or in long gallops. “The riders who were clean were obviously thrilled, but lots of riders with just one or two rails came out of the ring very happy with their performance.” said Wade, who was pleased with how the course challenged both the veteran and less experienced riders. “For the developing riders, the more they get to jump a course like this, the easier it will become for them.”

After a challenging round one, five riders would come back to jump off to find the winner of the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. First to jump-off was Lillie Keenan aboard SUPER SOX, Keenan smoothly rode through the course, going clear with a time of 44.479. As the first to go in the jump-off, and to be clean and efficient, she set the bar for the rest of the riders in the jump-off. Her score would eventually be good enough for second place.

Daniel Bluman was second to go aboard SANCHA LS. Being the only foreign rider in the jump-off field, the crowd cheered him on, but he unfortunately had a rail down early and would have two more down, completing the course with a twelve-fault score in 49.954. Keenan was still in the lead, but not for long. Third to go was Beezie Madden and COACH. A crowd favorite, the energy from in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium was at an all-time high as Madden skillfully jumped fence after fence clear, taking the sharpest turns possible. The crowd held their breath just before the last fence, as COACH soared, landing clear and with a time of 44.479, almost two seconds faster than Keenan.  Madden was now in the lead, but would one of the remaining two manage to top that time?

Jamie Barge entered the ring aboard LUEBBO, with high hopes that she would catch up to Madden.  Barge galloped the long stretches as fast as she could manage, and jumped clear, with a time of 48.461, putting her in third place.  As Barge cantered out of the ring, Charlie Jayne awaited his turn in the ring aboard TOU LA MOON. The pressure was on, as he was the final rider to jump-off. Jayne rode to his mare’s strength of quick, tight turns, trying to push the others out of the lead. Approaching the final fence, the crowd went wild, wondering if he would catch up to Madden. As he landed from the final fence and the scoreboard stopped, everyone looked at the time, 47.092, putting Jayne into third place. Madden had won it and the crowd applauded her as loudly as they could.

Daniel Bluman was second to go aboard SANCHA LS. Being the only foreign rider in the jump-off field, the crowd cheered him on, but he unfortunately had a rail down early and would have two more down, completing the course with a twelve-fault score in 49.954. Keenan was still in the lead, but not for long. Third to go was Beezie Madden and COACH. A crowd favorite, the energy from in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium was at an all-time high as Madden skillfully jumped fence after fence clear, taking the sharpest turns possible. The crowd held their breath just before the last fence, as COACH soared, landing clear and with a time of 44.479, almost two seconds faster than Keenan.  Madden was now in the lead, but would one of the remaining two manage to top that time?

Jamie Barge entered the ring aboard LUEBBO, with high hopes that she would catch up to Madden.  Barge galloped the long stretches as fast as she could manage, and jumped clear, with a time of 48.461, putting her in third place.  As Barge cantered out of the ring, Charlie Jayne awaited his turn in the ring aboard TOU LA MOON. The pressure was on, as he was the final rider to jump-off. Jayne rode to his mare’s stretch of quick, tight turns, trying to push the others out of the lead. Approaching the final fence, the crowd went wild, wondering if he would catch up to Madden. As he landed from the final fence and scoreboard stopped, everyone looked at the time, 47.092, putting Jayne into third place. Madden had won it and the crowd applauded her as loudly as they could.

Center stage was Madden having secured the first place position and earning a check for $350,000. When asked about her ride, she said, “I was really happy with how the horse went. I thought the course really suited him. I have high hopes for him.” speaking of the German-bred ten-year-old gelding, COACH, owned by Abigail Wexner. “Everything fell into place really nicely and I had a great support team behind me.”

Lillie Keenan had claimed the second place spot and a hefty prize money check for $200,000 aboard her well-known gelding SUPER SOX after two clear rounds and a jump-off time of 46.229. Keenan, at only twenty-two years old, has an impressive list of accomplishments, launching her career as a top Grand Prix rider at HITS when she was just sixteen years old in the $1 Million Grand Prix. “The most profound part of the experience is that HITS offers an opportunity to riders that are maybe either young riders or haven’t gotten to the point in their careers to have had the chance to jump at that level and also for that amount of prize money,” Keenan said when asked what she enjoys most about showing at HITS. “For me that made a huge difference, jumping a Million Dollar Grand Prix at just sixteen.”

Charlie Jayne was third aboard his mare TOU LA MOON with a fault-free jump off time of 47.092. Jayne, who also competed in the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix the week before at HITS Coachella, is familiar with the Ocala Horse Properties stadium and used that to his advantage. “I thought the course was excellent today. There were a lot of options,” Jayne said in thanks to course designer Alan Wade. Jayne has competed in all five Great American Millions at HITS Ocala. “I want to thank HITS, Great American, and the City of Ocala. I’ve come to this Million every year and the crowd keeps getting bigger and bigger. This is the biggest crowd I’ve jumped for this year so far and the energy was really great.”

Jamie Barge took the fourth place finish with LEUBBO, the thirteen year old gelding owned by Kylie Co., after a clear first round and a fault-free jump-off time of 48.461. Daniel Bluman rounded out the top five aboard his mare SANCHA LS with a twelve-fault jump-off time of 49.954.

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Week VIII Wraps Up at HITS Ocala

Aaron Vale and Exclusive. ESI Photography.

Feature classes during Week VIII of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit included several repeat winners and introduced some new riders to the victory circle as well. With two more weeks to finish the season, competition is heating up for riders qualifying for the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix and riders vying for the Horseware Ireland Grand Circuit Champion and Tack Shack of Ocala Second-Half Circuit Champion award.

Well-known Grand Prix rider Aaron Vale started off Week VIII with a bang, winning the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Welcome for the second week in a row, aboard EXCLUSIVE with a jump-off time of 28.572. Vale also took the fourth place title aboard STAKKO with a jump-off time of 30.720. Second place was earned by Brian Feigus and CARLA with a jump-off time of 28.959 while Dorothy Douglas took the third place spot aboard CHACCO LAIT with a jump-off time of 29.755. Rounding out the top five was Bryn Sadler aboard BULL RUN’S LIVING with a jump-off time of 30.956.

On Thursday, the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix took place once again. For the second week in a row, Venezuelan rider Emanuel Andrade took the first place award aboard U with a jump-off time of 37.268. He also took both the second and fourth place awards aboard ANASTASIA DU PARK and GRAN MAMUT and jump-off times of 37.459 and 37.741, respectively. Lisa Goldman earned both the third and fifth place awards aboard HINDSIGHT and SOVEREIGN and jump-off times of 37.636 and 38.628.

Friday brought even more success to Andrade, as he was both first and second place in the $10,000 Open Prix aboard BOY IV and JENNI’S CHANCE and jump-off times of 27.748 and 29.601, respectively. German rider Andre Thieme took the third place spot aboard FORAMI with a jump-off time of 30.691. Goldman continued to be successful, placing fourth aboard CENTURION B and a jump-off time of 30.881. Fifth place was earned by Mark Jungherr and CONTE COULEUR with a jump-off time of 32.461.

The $10,000 1.35m Classic took place on Saturday, with a very competitive round-two. Andrade continued his winning streak, taking first, third, and fifth places aboard QUILINA VD LAARSEHEIDE Z, CORTINA 168, and TUPAC VAN DE VROMBAUTSHOEVE Z and jump-off times of 36.715, 37.026, and 37.314. Goldman and CENTURION B were the second place finishers with a jump-off time of 36.908 while Dorothy Douglas came in fourth place aboard MTM QUESTRO with a jump-off time of 37.280.

Sunday afternoon, international riders gathered in the Grand Prix ring at HITS Post Time Farm for the $50,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix. The crowd gathered for what would end up being one of the most exciting Grand Prix so far this winter. Riders signified that they would donate 10% of their prize money to Marion County Therapeutic Riding Association, by riding with a blue ribbon tied around their arm, making their rides even more special.  It was a tricky round one, with eleven riders returning for the jump-off.

Taking the win, after an incredible jump-off ride, was Canadian rider Francois Lamontagne aboard his mare CHANEL DU CALVAIRE in a jump-off time of 36.983. Francois skillfully rode through the course, leaving out two strides before the final fence, securing the fastest fault-free time. Second place was earned by Kirk Webby and BRANDO DU ROUET with a jump-off time of 37.078. Following him, Vale was the third place rider aboard MAJOR with a jump-off time of 37.989. Candice King and CALISTO 26 took the fourth place spot with a jump-off time of 38.742. Last, but certainly not least, Andre Thieme rounded out the top five aboard CUPERTINO with a jump-off time of 39.101.

Week VIII was an important one for the Hunters as it was World Championship Hunter Rider week. Riders had the opportunity to show in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium for many classes this week.

On Saturday, the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, the Devoucoux Hunter Prix, and the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby took place. In the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, Jacquelyn Maggiore and CONTINA were awarded first place with a two-round total of 169. Only half of a point behind her, in second place was Emma Nichols and MOST OF ALL with a two-round total of 168.5. Karen Kogon and GALLANT MAJI T came in third place with a two-round total of 168 while fourth place was awarded to Lila Ouellette and KING OF HEARTS with a two-round total of 163. Allison Palmisciano came in fifth place aboard QUIBAJO and a two-round total of 161.

Morgan Ward and HUEHUETENANGO were the winners of the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix with a two-round total of 174. Close behind her, second place was awarded to Caroline Willard and BARON DE LEY with a two-round total of 169.5. Molly McAdow came in third place aboard CASTON with a two-round total of 165 while fourth place was Abigail Lefkowitz and CONTINENTAL with a two-round total of 163.5. Rounding out the top five was Harold Chopping and GOLD RUSH with a two-round total of 163.

In the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, Emilia Richard and FAIRYTALES came out on top with a two-round total of 162. Second place was awarded to Sophia Ayers and PRIMA BALLERINA with a two-round total of 156.5. Anneliese De Rosaire and GAP SPRINGS HEART’S DESIRE came in third with a two-round total of 156. In fourth place was Mae Mannis and DAYS OF OUR LIVES with a two-round total of 152. Fifth was awarded to Katherine Ellis and BLUE MOON with a two-round total of 151.

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HITS Culpeper Series Prize List Is Now Available

Join us for six weeks of USEF rated shows in the heart of Virginia’s Horse Country, as we celebrate our 21st year at HITS Commonwealth Park.

Full Prize List

Season highlights include:

  • $35,000 Open Jumper Division
  • Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur Jumper Classics at three heights each week: 1.20m, 1.30m, AND 1.40m with Prize Money of $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500
  • Devocoux and Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
    (Qualifiers for the HITS Championship in Suagerties, September 5-9)
  • Marshall & Sterling League Classes and Classics
    (Qualifiers for Marshall & Sterling League Finals in Saugerties, September 12-16)
  • USHJA Zone 3 L. M. “Sandy” Gerald Junior Equitation Championship
    (Winston National, August 15-19)

2018 HITS Culpeper Series

Commonwealth National  |  April 19-22
Showday National  |  July 6-8
Cavalier Classic  |  July 11-15
Winston National  |  August 15-19
Constitution Classic  |  August 22-26
Culpeper Finals  |  September 26-30

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Junior and Children’s Nation Cup Is a Success

Photo: Claudia Villamil aboard QUITE CLOSE VD SMIS.

For the first time, HITS Post Time Farm hosted a Nations Cup style event for both Junior and Children’s riders.  Mexico, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the USA were represented and classes for each were held throughout the week with the Nations Cup style event on Saturday. These talented young riders made the competition exciting to watch for both their fellow competitors and spectators.

Thursday marked the start of the Junior and Children’s Classes. In the $1,000 Welcome Classic-Junior, Claudia Villamil, riding for Puerto Rico, took home the first place award aboard QUITE CLOSE VD SMIS with a jump-off time of 30.90. In second place, Faith Davis (USA) followed with DA VINCI and a jump-off time of 38.09.  Third place went to Nicole Meyer Robredo (Mexico) aboard CHANEL with a four-fault first-round time of 64.16.

The Welcome Classic – Children’s also took place on Thursday.  Daniel Kerins, representing Ireland, came in first aboard ELWOOD with a jump-off time of 30.80. Less than one half of a second behind him was Natalie Pedley (Puerto Rico) and TRUE BLUE MATE, taking home the second place award. In third place was Francis Derwin (Ireland) and STAND BY ME with a jump-off time of 31.81, just one second behind Pedley.

On Friday, the day began in Ocala Horse Properties Stadium with the $5,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix – Junior. Carolina Villanueva Suarez (Mexico) rode to the first place finish aboard ZABEL D with no jumping faults and just two time faults in 90.60. Second place was awarded to Villamil and QUITE CLOSE VD SMIS with a four-fault score in a time of 77.04. Davis and DA VINCI came in third place with a four-fault round-one time of 81.63.

Following the Junior class was the City of Ocala Grand Prix – Children’s. Once again, Kerins came out on top, taking the first place award aboard ELWOOD with a jump-off time of 32.56. Rhys Williams (Ireland) and MALBAY DREAMER were awarded second place with a jump-off time of 34.15. Just behind him, third place went to Pedley aboard TRUE BLUE MATE with a jump-off time of 34.40.

Excitement was at an all time high on Saturday morning, as riders prepared for the Nations Cup style class, which would consist of two rounds and a possible jump-off.

The $5,000 FEI International Invitational Team Competition – Junior had two teams: the Aztecs, consisting of four riders representing Mexico and Chef D’Equipe Stanny van Paesschen, and the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of three riders, two American, and one Puerto Rican, and Chef D’Equipe Diann Langer. In round one, two riders from each team went clear, leaving the Aztecs with four faults and the Stars and Stripes with twelve faults. In round two, both Luciana Gonzalez Guerra aboard CHARLOTTA and Carlos Rodolfo Molina Gordilla aboard TREBON DE LA NUTRIA went clear for the Aztecs, which led them to a Gold Medal finish with a two-round total of eight faults. The Stars and Stripes were awarded the Silver Medal with a two-round score of twenty-eight faults.

The FEI International Invitational Team Competition – Children’s included three teams. The Americas, a team of three, consisted of two American riders, one Puerto Rican rider, and their Chef D’Equipe Diann Langer. Eire consisted of four Irish riders and Chef D’Equipe Michael Blake. The Stars and Stripes Children’s consisted of four American riders and Chef D’Equipe Diann Langer. The course was a challenge for some, but after round one, seven riders had jumped clear rounds, putting Team Americas in the lead.

In round two, all but three riders went clear, creating a three-way tie and jump-off. Natalie Pedley and TRUE BLUE MATE had an incredible jump-off time of 37.88, which gave Americas the Gold Medal. Eire was awarded the Silver Medal with Francis Derwin’s jump-off time of 39.14. Ansgar Holtgers Jr. earned an eight-fault jump-off time of 51.68, earning Team Stars and Stripes Children’s the Bronze Medal.

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HITS Ocala Holiday Premiere Recap

Aaron Vale aboard CASSEVEL. ESI Photography.

The 2017/2018 edition of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit got underway last week with the Ocala Holiday Premiere, the first show of the two-week HITS Ocala Holiday Series.  The weather was just about perfect and a great group of horses and riders turned out, all with an eye on the blue ribbon.

The jumpers kicked off on Friday with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix where Aaron Vale aboard STAKKO took home the blue ribbon. Vale also took home fourth place aboard CASSEVEL. In second place were Kirk Webby and BRANDO DU ROUET, followed by Jared Peterson and CATANO 29 in third place. Hayley Waters and GALOUS would round out the top five in the class.

On Saturday the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Classic took place, with Charlie Jayne taking home both the first and second place honors aboard AMICE Z and EVER BLUE, respectively. Third place was won by Vale aboard EXCLUSIVE, followed by Nicole Bellissimo and her partner HARLEY DAVID in fourth, and Kyle Dewar aboard CLEVER VAN DE HELLE in fifth place.

Vale returned to the ring for the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday and wrapped up the week with another win, as well as the second and fourth place awards, riding CASSEVEL, BONZINI S and STAKKO to their respective placings. Third place was Derek Petersen aboard DIAMANT’S LEGACY, and rounding out the top five was Hayley Waters aboard her partner GALOUS.

In the Hunter rings, the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix took place on Saturday where Shachine Belle and FUERST APOLLO LL took home the blue ribbon. In second place were Helen Goddard and MY WAY, followed by Melissa Deryn Foster aboard CARRILOU in third. This was the first qualifying class of the season for the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Finals which take place at the HITS Championships, September 5-9, 2018, and riders were eager to get a leg up on qualifying for the prestigious Final.

For more information or to submit your entries electronically, visit HitsShows.com.

St. Jacques and Swani Winners at USEF Jr. Hunter National Championship – East Coast

Taylor St. Jacques and Di Samorano (©ESI Photography)

Saugerties, N.Y. – The 2017 USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast came to a close on Tuesday, August 1, following two days of competition in Saugerties, N.Y. at HITS-on-the-Hudson. More than 178 of the country’s top juniors headed to the Championship to complete three phases in front of the judging panel made up of Ralph Caristo, Todd Karn, and Keri Kampsen over the Rian Beals-designed Classic Round course and Handy Hunter course, both of which counted for 40% of the overall score. The final 20% was earned in Tuesday’s Under Saddle phase, which was judged by Karen Healey, Jimmy Torano, and Andrea Wells. Taylor St. Jacques and Di Samorano posted the best overall score of the 3’6” competition to earn the 2017 Overall Grand Champion title. In the 3’3” Championship, Isha Swani and Park Place earned the Overall Grand Champion honors.

3’6” Championship

The 2017 3’6” Overall Grand Championship was a highly contested title, with just hundredths of a point separating the Champion and Reserve. St. Jacques, from Glen Allen, Virginia, rode her own beloved Di Samorano, a nine-year-old dark bay gelding, to earn the title with an overall score of 253.350. The pair won both the Classic Round, with scores of 85, 87, and 87, and the Handy Round, with scores of 85, 83, and 80. In the Under Saddle, scores of 84.5, 84, and 84.25 placed the pair in fourth. En route to claiming their overall National Title, St. Jacques and Di Samorano took home the USA National Junior Hunter Championship Perpetual Trophy donated by Christina Schlusemeyer for winning the 3’6” Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Championship.

“I think I was a little nervous going in, but once I got in the ring, I had a very, very strong first day. So after that I kind of just thought to myself, ‘Stay the same — it obviously is working,’” St. Jacques said.

The talented St. Jacques also earned the 3’6” Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Championship and USA National Junior Hunter Championship Perpetual Trophy, donated by Pam and Wayne Baker, aboard Diana Firestone’s Calou, who topped the Small division with an overall score of 249.400.

Alexandra Pielet and Emma Farber’s Giovanni earned the Reserve Overall Grand Champion Title with a score of 253.300: 86, 86, and 86 in the Classic Round; 83.5, 84, and 83 in the Handy Round; and 85, 80, and 84.5 in the Under Saddle. The pair was also Champion in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under section, winning the USA National Junior Hunter Championship Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Stewart, Jr.  Pielet on Catrine Golia’s Royal Expectation also claimed the Championship for the Small Junior Hunter, 15 and Under, section, with their overall score of 245.200 and took home the USA National Junior Hunter Championship Perpetual Trophy, donated by Geri and Whitney Roper.

“Alex went first yesterday in the Classic. I thought she had amazing rounds in the smalls and the larges, and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve got good competition now. I want to be Grand [Champion].’” St. Jacques said of competing alongside Pielet: “I did my small and I won that class, and then the large and I won that, as well. I thought it was great; she is one of my best friends. I thought it was a really proud moment for us to both win all of our classes yesterday. Today, the same sort of thing: we both did amazing and were champions of both of our sections. It was a really great feeling.”

Ramble On Farm’s Rockette, a stunning chestnut mare with a wide white blaze and shown by Kaitlyn Williams, was honored as the Best Overall Mare in the 3’6” sections. She received the War Dress Memorial Trophy, donated by Cleta S. Turbow and Pamela J. Rush, after receiving an overall score of 234.200.

3’3” Championship

Swani and Shadowfax Equestrian, LLC’s Park Place topped all three of the 3’3” Large Junior Hunter, 15-and-Under, classes on their way to Overall Grand Champion honors in the 3’3” section. The exceptionally graceful duo earned scores of 83.5, 83, and 84 in the Classic Round; 89, 87, and 87 in the Under Saddle; and 77, 76, and 77 in Handy Round to finish on an overall total of 244.800.

Hallie Grimes earned Reserve Overall Grand Champion in the 3’3” section with Can We Keep It, LLC’s Custom Made. The pair won all three sections of the 3’3” Small Junior Hunter, 15 and Under, with scores of 82, 81, and 83 in the Classic Round; 93, 86, 88 in the Under Saddle Round; and 78, 75, and 75 in the Handy Round to finish with an overall total of 243.000.

Taking home the 3’3” Large 16-17 title was Daybreak, owned and ridden by Leah Swope, with a score of 235.800. The Small 16-17 champion was Nino Nacho, owned by Redfield Farm and ridden by Abigail Russo, with a score of 238.900.

Visit usefnetwork.com for videos from the 2017 USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast.

From HITS Horse Shows/US Equestrian

HITS Culpeper Opening Day

Tracy Magness & IBENZ VAN HD | ESI Photography.

HITS Culpeper Showday National at Commonwealth Park, Virginia opened on Wednesday, July 5th to kick off two consecutive weeks of Horse Shows.

The venue greeted exhibitors with refreshed footing in the showing rings and schooling areas, and altogether revitalized grounds to compliment the experience that is unique to competing in the heart of Virginia Horse Country.

Showday National has drawn Exhibitors from afar such as Britt McCormick, head trainer at Elmstead Farm in Plano, Texas, who hadn’t been to Culpeper in several years. He noted, “The place looks great. The footing and rings are good, and everything is super.” McCormick has successfully trained horses for over 25 years, and he is a USEF licensed R judge, and USEF licensed R course designer.

The opening day Jumper ring highlight, the $5,000 1.40m Open Welcome, featured an inviting course designed by Sergio Lopez from Colombia, South America. Tracy Magness, the head trainer/rider at Lake View Farm in Hughesville, Maryland, collected the top honors atop IBENZ VAN HD. The pair was one of only two double clear rounds. Magness said that some of the lines posed tricky and technical questions, but not unfair. “I thought it was a good course, and the footing was nice.”

IBENZ VAN HD, also known as CANDY around the barn, is a nine-year-old mare owned by Mr. & Mrs. John Bartko.  Magness said she imported the mare in August of last year from Belgium. “I think it takes a year to really get to know a horse totally, but we kind of hit it off right away,” remarked Magness. “I’ve just been learning her, and what works best for her, but she is quite consistent and we’ve had some pretty good placings.” New York-based Debbie McCarthy Connor placed second on ZIM.

Since turning professional in 2001, Magness has won over 30 Grand Prix classes, represented the United States in Europe, and won over $600,000 in Grand Prix earnings alone. She is a 3-time leading Grand Prix Rider in HITS Ocala, and in 2009 she was the leading rider of the United States Grand Prix League.

Patty Foster and her sister Mary Lisa Leffler, of Rolling Acres Show Stables in Brookeville, Maryland, dominated the Green and Performance Hunter Divisions collecting wins with CLASSIC, CHARMING, INCOGNITO, and WHISPER WIND. But even more meaningful than blue ribbons, Foster was delighted to have her sister “back in the ring”. On March 1st, Leffler had broken her leg so badly that it placed her future riding ability in jeopardy. Foster noted, “The doctors put a rod in, and they said it’s amazing how good she looks.”

On Tuesday, Ken Krome arrived in Culpeper where rainstorms had soaked the grounds. “I saw the drain tiles flowing at the edge of the rings and everything looked great,” he noted. After he settled in, all of his horses were schooled in the new footing which deterred the water so well. “The horses were confident jumping, and they’ve all done well for us — everything has been made more comfortable for the horses.”

EGO, ridden by Krome for owner Chelsea Director, earned the tri-color Reserve Championship in the Green Hunter 3’ Division on Opening Day. Krome is quite fond of Ego. “He’s just a cool horse, who is very attentive and really loves what he does. He wants to do everything right,” praised Krome. “Ego is a special horse, and I just really appreciate a horse that wants to do what you want to do and he’s great to work with. He’s fun.”

Krome is the head Trainer/Rider at K2 Show Stables in Brookeville, Maryland. He is credentialed as an FEI-3 rated Course Designer and a USEF “R” rated Judge and Course Designer.

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