Caroline Sykes Captures the $1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix
OCALA, FL (February 20, 2012) – Kate Conover and Redfield Farm’s Peron captured the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix on Sunday. Conover, a professional rider for Emil Spadone, finished in third place last September at the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. As one of the most talented riders in the sport today, Conover is once again on the path towards America’s richest hunter class.
Excitement was in the air as 61 entries navigated a first round course designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, Florida. The second round featured the 12 top professionals of the day, eager to secure the blue ribbon with the best overall two-round score.
Conover had the lead score in both rounds, posting a pair of 88 points for a 176 total and the win. Second place was awarded to Martien Van der Hoeven of The Woodlands, Texas aboard Augusta Pines’ Black Label and third place went to Claire Kellner of Lutz, Florida aboard Mary McNeel’s Gamaliel.
OCALA, FL (February 20, 2012) – Venezuelan rider Andres Rodriguez had an unbelievable week at HITS Ocala. On Thursday, he won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and came back three days later to take first again in Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Both wins came aboard Caballito, owned by ARAO Enterprises LLC. Rodriguez seems to have his sights locked on making it to this year’s Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix.
Rodriguez, now of Wellington, Florida, was one of 37 competitors to navigate the course designed by International Course Designer Martin Otto of Munster, Germany.
Reigning Pfizer Million champion Andre Thieme of Plau am See, Germany and his own Quonschbob were first to show and posted a beautiful round leaving all the fences intact. Unfortunately, they suffered one time fault to the crowd’s disappointment, which kept them from advancing to the jump-off.
OCALA, FL (February 17, 2012) – Andres Rodriguez and Caballito, owned by ARAO Enterprises LLC, won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health on Thursday at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala to kick off a weekend of action-packed show jumping. High-Performance riders were out in full force yesterday as International Course Designer Martin Otto of Munster, Germany made his debut designing courses in the Grand Prix field at HITS Ocala.
Rodriguez, originally of Venezuela and now residing in Wellington, Florida, was one of 16 to make it to the jump-off from the original 39 horse-and-rider combinations.
“The course was friendly,” he said. “Everyone wants to see a jump off with people going as fast as they can and I’m glad there was a jump off that the crowd could get into, because that’s what makes this sport exciting”.
OCALA, FL (February 16, 2012) – Last week’s HITS Ocala Winter Classic was another exciting serving of show jumping competition at Post Time Farm as hunter and Grand Prix riders alike made big strides towards the 2012 HITS Championship Weekend.
Grand Prix action paves the way on the road to the Pfizer Million
Germany’s own Andre Thieme returned to HITS Ocala in style during week II, riding to victory aboard his own Cesar in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. The reigning Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix Champion is now well on his way to banking the necessary qualifying classes and is $7,500 closer to earning a spot on the Pfizer Million Rider Rankings to find himself at HITS-on-the-Hudson this fall.
OCALA, FL (February 14, 2012) – Not only did Daniel Geitner enter the hunter ring at HITS Ocala this weekend with the biggest horse, he left with the biggest prize. He and Robin Hughes’ Living Color took one giant stride towards September’s Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final with a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Post Time Farm.
Living Color – standing at 18 hands tall – carried Geitner to a high-score of 87 in the first round and duplicated that score in the second round for an overall score of 174. Aside from beating out 57 competitors on Sunday, Geitner also piloted Living Color to a High-Performance Hunter Championship this week at HITS Ocala.
“This course was really nice. Sometimes it’s hard for him [Living Color] to navigate the smaller rings, but he handled it well,” said Geitner, who hails from Aiken, South Carolina. “He is handy for a big horse, has a great temperament and Robin [Hughes] takes it slow with him, so he is ready for just about anything.”
Ocala, FL – February 8, 2012 – The first week of SBS Farms’ six-week stay at HITS Ocala was filled with nothing but success as professional rider and trainer Jennifer Alfano guided Sting to his comeback. The talented team executed the $5,000 Devoucoux 3’3″ Hunter Prix with consistency and precision, riding to the coveted championship spot. Alfano also rode numerous mounts to the top awards in the hunter divisions, while student Grace Weidner exhibited Castell in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, leaving the ring with high scores across the board.
It seems as though Sting, after taking some time to recuperate, is finally hitting his stride in the new 2012 year. Alfano and Sting took control of the $5,000 Devoucoux 3’3″ Hunter Prix, taking the course with a smooth ease. “He was really good, the courses were nice and he jumped great,” Alfano described. “It was so nice to have Sting back after having him out for a while. He was really smooth going around, everything matched, he’s such a fun horse and I am so happy to have him back.”
OCALA, FL (February 7, 2012) – As the Ocala Premier celebrated its first full week of rated show jumping at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida, hunter riders were treated with another gorgeous day to showcase the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, New York, one of the nation’s top hunter riders, enjoyed a successful day after she captured the blue ribbon in Sunday’s main hunter event aboard Helen Lenahan’s Sting.
Doug Russell of Ocala, Florida designed a first round course for 35 competitors and welcomed the top 12 scores to return for a second round to determine the overall winner. Alfano and Sting posted the best first round score of 87 to lead the way and followed it with a second round high-score of 89 to earn her the decisive victory.
Alfano is no stranger to the winner’s circle, and throughout her illustrious career has won many top place finishes at nearly every major horse show and year-end finals in the country.
OCALA, FL (February 1, 2012) – Charlene Graham of Fairport, New York proved this week that consistency pays off as she and her own Capricette collected three top-five finishes to clinch the Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Jumper Championship at HITS Ocala. After four legs of competition and a Bonus award, $20,500 in prize money was awarded to Children’s/Adult jumpers.
Graham sat in second place overall after the first two legs held during the first pre-circuit week of competition, then rode to fourth place in the Friday’s third leg and second place in Sunday’s final leg to secure the overall championship. She edged Wendy Libert of Hughesville, Maryland and Mr. & Mrs. John Bartko’s Papillion Peanut by just one point for the win with 112 total points.
“This was the first time I’ve seriously competed in the jumper ring,” said Graham. “I got this horse back in July and it’s been so much fun competing with her – she’s been fantastic. The entire series was a blast. I really enjoyed the format and the amount of prize money offered was great.”
OCALA, FL (January 23, 2012) – The weather was beautiful in Ocala, Florida on Sunday as 26 competitors embarked on the first $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, of the winter season. It also served as the first qualifying class for the 2012 installment of the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. Derek Petersen of Archer, Florida and his own Via Dolorosa captured the blue ribbon to highlight the end of the first unrated week of competition at HITS Post Time Farm.
“It was a great win,” said Petersen. “Today’s terrific score was a result of a very nice and friendly Grand Prix course, which was just perfect for warming up the season.”
Course designer Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida designed a course which saw seven clear efforts in the first round. Sharn Wordley of Ocala, Florida was third to go aboard Filip Amram’s Cedrick and conquered the course fault free. At the end of the first round, five pairsjoined Wordley and Petersen in the jump-off.
Ocala, FL – January 19, 2012 – HITS Ocala competitors beat the winter blues and settled in at Post Time Farm yesterday for two pre-weeks of showing, followed by seven weeks of rated competition. Coupled with special events and awards, as well as serious prize money, HITS Ocala competitors are in the right place to get a lead on qualifying for the historic offerings at HITS’ 2012 Championship Weekend, scheduled for September 7-9 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
New for 2012 HITS Ocala is operating at full steam ahead in 2012 with an all-new week of A-rated competition, bringing the circuit to nine weeks of non-stop hunter/jumper action. The added week fills what used to be the off-week between the pre-circuit shows and the rated circuit. The pre-circuit, unrated weeks run through January 29 and the rated circuit runs February 1 – March 18, with the first week being A-rated, and Weeks II-VII AA-rated.
“I’m super excited to see new and familiar faces, watch great show jumping and show off my newly expanded store at HITS [Ocala],” said Ardie Hastey of Blueberry Hill out of Montreal, Canada. “I opened up my business last year at HITS Ocala, so it’s great to be back and to have an expanded presence.”