Ocala, Fla. – March 25, 2022 – The 2022 HITS Equitation Championship took center stage on Friday night at the HITS Ocala Stadium as part of the Ocala Championship Week. Working hard to qualify for this special event, 28 riders showcased their skills over two rounds of competition under the lights in the Stadium. At the end of the night, it was West Coast athlete Stella Wasserman whose top scores earned the winning title with Munich. Fellow Shadow Ridge rider Abigail Gordon placed second aboard Heartbeat Z, while third place went to Madison Ramsey riding Maguro.
Hunter Holloway and Liemba Leap to $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix Victory
On Friday afternoon, athletes gathered at the HITS Ocala Stadium for the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix as they prepared for Sunday’s highlight event, the Great American $500,000 Grand Prix. With seven horses qualifying for the jump-off, speed became the name of the game. Hunter Holloway galloped away with the victory aboard Liemba, ahead of West Coast athletes Mark Watring riding Limbossini RC and Elisa Broz with Tinkerbell, who rounded out the top three, respectively.
Hunter Holloway (USA) riding Pepita Con Spita (FEI/Andrew Ryback Photography)
Hunter Holloway (USA) knew she had a talented mount in the 10-year-old Westphalian mare Pepita Con Spita well before stepping her up to the World Cup level last month in October. But the 23-year-old professional was insistent upon waiting before she allowed her mare to make the next step in her career. In fact, it took six international grand prix victories in 2021 to convince her. The patience paid off, as it took just three World Cup starts for the pair to top the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas (USA) at the South Point Arena, just minutes from the iconic Las Vegas Strip.
Holloway led an all-American, all-female podium in Vegas, finishing ahead of 21-year-old Natalie Dean (USA), who earned a third World Cup placing in as many starts aboard her own Chance Ste Hermelle. Laura Hite (USA) finished third after jumping the first clear round of her World Cup career aboard her longtime partner, Calypso van de Zuuthoeve.
“She’s been a fantastic horse to bring along,” Holloway said. “Hopefully she’ll be a team horse for the future, so that’s something we’ll look forward toward.
“Building a relationship with her has been awesome. She’s a sensitive type of mare that gets better and better with each class in each year.”
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) designed the course for Saturday night’s feature event in the South Point Arena, a most unique venue on the North American League in that the competition arena is located within the South Point Hotel. Rails fell throughout his winding track, which featured technical tests at every turn, particularly through the final line. The final 1.60m vertical fell for Conor Swail (IRL) and Vital Chance de la Roque, who kicked off the 2021/2022 NAL season with wins at Vancouver (CAN) and Sacramento (USA).
Six other combinations advanced to the shortened track, but clear rounds were still hard to come by. Holloway was the first to produce a double-clear effort, and she set a stiff standard at 37.77 seconds. Only Natalie Dean could replicate a second clear round, but she settled for second, more than three seconds (40.83 seconds) behind the winner.
“That mare is super consistent going quick, and the faster she goes, the better she is,” Holloway said. “So, I was always going to go for it. That was my plan from the start with her, to give it my best go.”
From here, Holloway’s focus is forward, and she continues on with the NAL with the confidence that her mare is fully prepared for bigger tests ahead.
“[The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final] is something that we’re aiming for with that horse. She’s a perfect age for it, and she’s going to be really ready for it by then,” Holloway said. “We’re excited to keep going with her and see how things shake out.”
While Swail did not make the jump-off, his 11th place finish helped him regain his lead in the NAL standings with 43 points. Tiffany Foster (CAN) sits second with 42 points, while Dean moved into third with 41 points. The North American League continues in Fort Worth (USA) on 18 December 2021.
Mill Spring, NC – October 16, 2021 – Hunter Holloway (USA) and Pepita Con Spita claimed another sweet victory in the $137,000 Coca-Cola® Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) with a time of 38.387 seconds. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Lord Lucio, the 2011 Holsteiner gelding (Legolas x Cero) owned by Rodrigo Pessoa and Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC, stopped the timer at 38.832 seconds to earn second place. Third place honors were awarded to Lauren Balcomb (AUS) and Verdini D’Houtveld, the 2011 Zangersheide gelding (Verdi TN x Caretino 2) owned by Lauren Balcomb and Sharn Wordley, with a time of 39.696 seconds.
Holloway and Pepita Con Spita, the 2011 Westphalian mare (Con Spirit x Come On) owned by Hays Investment Corp., challenged five other horse and rider pairs in the jump-off phase of competition over the Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) designed course. Their show-stopping performance led them to the top spot on the podium one week after earning their first Grand Prix win together during the Tryon Fall Series. Last weekend, the duo claimed first place in the $73,000 JTWG, Inc. Grand Prix CSI 2*, her second consecutive of three Grand Prix titles in 2021 at TIEC.
“She just keeps on winning! What can I say? She’s an amazing mare. The team behind her is awesome; they come out and give it their all every time, and so does she,” said Holloway.
With only six out of 33 horse and rider pairs qualifying for the jump-off round, Holloway knew the pressure was on. “She’s pretty tried and true at this point, so I know I can give it my all.” Her goal in the jump-off phase of competition was to have a clean round with enough speed to set the tone for the other competitors. “She’s a quick horse naturally, so I wanted to put a little pressure on the other guys,” explained Holloway.
Holloway plans to give Pepita Con Spita a week off prior to the Washington International Horse Show at TIEC. She plans to continue her winning streak after her mare has a well-deserved week off. “Hopefully we will try and qualify for the world cup finals!”
Holloway reflected on her success so far in the Tryon Fall Series at TIEC. “We love it here; we just keep coming back. I couldn’t be happier!” She added, “Every time we come, we enjoy it and have a good time. The kids love it, the clients love it, and it suits everyone.”
Mill Spring, NC – October 10, 2021 – Hunter Holloway (USA) and Pepita con Spita claimed the first FEI Grand Prix win of the 2021 Tryon Fall Series at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in 43.951 seconds to win the $73,000 JTWG, Inc. Grand Prix CSI 2*. Fabio Da Costa (BRA) and Verdi O’Merveilles, the 2009 Selle Français gelding (Verdi TN x Quick Star) owned by Ferasin LTD, posted a time of 47.03 seconds to earn reserve. Securing the final podium spot, Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) navigated the short course in a time of 48.205 seconds with Gabrovo, the 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Grey Top x Graf Sponeck) owned by Susan Van Lammers.
The Guilherme Jorge (BRA) course design challenged 53 pairs over the first round, with six pairs dashing for cash over the jump-off test. Holloway and the 2011 Westphalian mare (Con Spirit 7 x Come On) owned by the Hays Investment Corp. were first to go in the second round, producing a slick performance that could not be topped.
With the victory, Holloway is the first rider to achieve two FEI Grand Prix wins aboard the same horse in 2021, having also dominated in the spring at TIEC. It was also Holloway’s second notable win in two days: she and Ruby Tuesday, the 2011 Oldenburg mare (Icarus “Any Given Sunday” x Manna “S&L SoBeIt) also owned by Hays Investment Corp., championed Friday’s $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Holloway remarked that while both courses were well suited to her mount, the key to her win was letting Pepita con Spita take her own run at the obstacles:
“She is quite a horse! She’s very special and loves to win,” Holloway emphasized. “As long as I’m up to the task, she always is. She loves to go fast, so I was just letting her go. [The course] was smooth,” Holloway offered of the track that kept all but three pairs from going double-clear. “There were definitely some difficult places, I thought, but it was all spread out, so the course flowed pretty well. It was well-suited for her, so I was excited about that.”
As the first to attack the jump-off, Holloway’s strategy was to put pressure on subsequent challengers with a clear, fast round, and Pepita con Spita delivered when offered the chance to kick things into high gear. “She’s always game to go fast, so I just let her rip! She’s super catty, smart, and brave, so she’s super dependable in the ring.”
Hunter Holloway and Dublin (Photo courtesy of Romeo Ghete)
Wellington, FL (February 11, 2019) – A challenging course laid out by Olympic and World Cup course designer Leopoldo Palacios asked a number of questions of Turf Tour competitors during this week’s Grand Prix. With 3 first round clears and only 2 double clear efforts in a field that included a variety of top international competitors, Hunter Holloway and Hays Investment Corp’s Dublin emerged victorious.
Holloway and Dublin were an early combination to tackle the course, finishing on a jump-off time of 38.151, which proved unbeatable. The only other double clear effort, Kim Farlinger and Kindle Hill Affiliates’ Maharees Rock, took a leisurely pace late in the day in the jump off to finish on 40.495. Third went to Chilean Olympian Samuel Perot aboard his own Bailarina, with 8 faults and a jump off time of 38.998. Palacios’ course included a number of bending lines, a triple bar, interesting roll backs, and options for distances and gallops to present each horse and rider with a challenge. Designed to act as a catalyst for the sport’s growth and development by providing such challenges to up and coming riders and horses, the Turf Tour’s avant-garde experience was on full display.
Mill Spring, NC – May 26, 2018 – The $70,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* hosted at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) during Tryon Spring 4 saw Hunter Holloway (USA) and Eastern Jam secure top honors after the pair flew around the short course in 45.06 seconds ahead of Santiago Lambre (MEX) and his own Cetano Van Aspergem Z, a 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Clinton x Ahorn Z), who finished in second with a time of 45.525 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) claimed third place aboard Rocksy Music, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (ARS Vivendi x Diamond Serpent) owned by Equinimity LLC, with a time of 44.876 second and a four-fault finish.
The field of twenty-two entries saw four pairs return to test the short course designed by Hector Loyola (PRI), and Holloway was last to go in the jump-off. Lambre had just finished the first clear round in the jump-off, but Holloway felt she could complete the fast track just a tiny bit quicker than Lambre.
“I knew I could shave off a little time on Santiago’s round and [Eastern Jam] is a really quick horse on his own, so he helped me out a lot. He was a great boy,” said Holloway of her jump-off strategy.
“This horse is amazing,” she said of the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lexicon x Monaco) owned by Hays Investment Corporation. “I got him about two years ago now and have just brought him along slowly. He’s really developed into an amazing Grand Prix horse. He just won the Grand Prix in Omaha, so to come back and win his second Grand Prix in a row is super. He just moved up to the FEI level mid-circuit in Wellington, so I’m really proud of him.”
Holloway complimented the course designer on a “lovely” course, saying, “I thought it had a good flow and it was fair. It was set really well and rode nicely,” she explained. “There was a question about how many strides to do in the five to the six – I did six to seven on mine, and on my other ride I did six to six, so I think it required knowing your horse there, but overall I thought it was a great track.”
Though her mount is still new to the international competition action, he took well to TIEC’s electric atmosphere and Holloway added that Eastern Jam actually enjoys the spotlight.
“In general, this horse is a winner. He likes to win and to be in the arena and have it be all about him – so he’s pretty straightforward,” she said. “We’ll keep developing him since he’s still fairly green. We’ll show the next two weeks here and then he’ll have a week or two off before we go to Spruce Meadows and see how he is there,” she concluded.
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Mill Spring, NC – June 4, 2017 – Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS and Donnalaris captured the win in the $20,000 Hollow Creek Under 25 Jumper Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to conclude a successful first week of competition to start the 2017 Tryon Summer Series. Holloway and Donnalaris secured the victory with a jump-off time of 28.2 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Clouwni took second place after stopping the timers in 29.497 seconds ahead of Brittni Raflowtiz of Palm City, FL and Hope Van’t Zorgvliet, who finished the jump-off track in 30.024 seconds.
Holloway had a busy afternoon with four rides in the class, besting seventeen combinations to rise to the top of the leaderboard with Donnalaris. Eight entries moved forward to contest the short course, while Holloway also guided I Love Lucy into the top five finishers of the class, earning two fantastic placings on the afternoon.
“It was nice because the course was the same one that we did last night in the grand prix, so I had a little bit of an advantage having jumped it already,” said Holloway. “It may have changed from last night just a little bit, but it was pretty similar. I was excited about it.”
Donnalaris, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Virginia Bartholomay, is a young, talented mount and Holloway is eager to continue working on their partnership together, as she is anticipating success with the striking grey mare. The duo topped a competitive class in the George H. Morris Arena and Holloway was pleased with the duo’s performance.
“She is owned by Virginia Bartholomay. Diane Carney helped find her and produce her, and I got the ride at the end of the Florida circuit,” explained Holloway. “We’ve just been growing as a pair and I’m very excited about what the future holds with her.
“She’s a pretty quick horse in general. She’s quick across the ground and over the jumps, so I think today I was able to be smooth everywhere and chew off some time. She’s an amazing horse and doesn’t really have any gaps or anything, so it was exciting to be able to go out there and give it our all,” she added.
Holloway is planning to continue competing Donnalaris in the national Under 25 Grand Prix classes before stepping up to the international FEI levels at some point in the future. She explained, “We’re going to see how all of this goes. We are going to keep going and do the Under 25 Grand Prix classes and hopefully get into some of the FEI classes with her.”
The $10,000 High Junior Amateur/Owner Jumper Classic was championed by Andrea Torres Guerreiro of Waterford, VA and Evermine, owned by Santa Catalina Farm, with a jump-off time of 27.131 seconds. Kaely Tomeu of Wellington, FL and Contenance 15, owned by Siboney Ranch, collected second place with a time of 29.612 seconds. Ali Boone of Lexington, KY and Like A Dream, owned by Sterling Equestrian, followed in third with a time of 29.893 seconds.
Alexandra Welles of Wellington, FL and her own XM earned top honors in the $5,000 Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Classic after completing the jump-off track in 27.21 seconds. Lily Hahn of Columbus, NC and her own Karenina secured second place with a time of 27.656 seconds. Rafael Contreras of Wellington, FL and his own Florence A rounded out the top three placings with a time of 28.053 seconds.
The $3,000 Low Junior/Amateur Owner Classic saw Victoria Zelch and Sniper, owned by Musical Woods, LLC, rise to the top of the class, as the pair completed their jump-off round in 33.006 seconds. Catie Boone of Lexington, KY and Akatschino, owned by Sterling Equestrian, finished in second place with a time of 29.521 seconds, adding four faults to their score. Ashley Pace of Aiken, SC and her own ZZ-Top VH Schaarbroek Z finished in third with a time of 31.882 seconds, also adding four faults to their final trip around the track.
Deborah Perkins of Wellington, FL and her own Chivu rode to victory in the $2,000 NAL/WIHS High Children/Adult Classic after completing the jump-off in 30.951 seconds. Maggie McCormack of Wellington, FL and Capall Zidane, owned by Marker’s Make LLC, finished in second place with a time of 32.066 seconds ahead of Stephanie King of St. Augustine, FL and her own Co-Starr, who rounded out the top three finishers with a time of 32.671 seconds.
The Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″/3’6″ Division saw Tracy Treace of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and her own King rise to collect champion honors ahead of Caroline Faith Kornegay of Raleigh, NC and her own Adoration, who followed in reserve.
The Children’s Hunter Horse 14 & Under was championed by Marshall Broadfoot of Charlotte, NC and As You Wish, owned by Haley Rogers, while Josie Evans of Covington, GA and Mandolin, owned by Lynn Laird, were presented with reserve champion.
Elizabeth Smith of Spartanburg, SC and her own Double Gold performed consistently throughout the week to take top divisional honors. Raine Whitman of Monroe, NY and her own Rollingwood’s Give ‘EM L took reserve champion.
The Platinum Performance 3’3″/3’6″ Performance Hunter Division saw Christina Kelly of Aiken, SC and her own BeforeAnythingElse ride to top divisional honors ahead of Caroline Willard of Oak Ridge, NC and Sky Pilot, owned by Alex Stevens, who were presented with reserve champion.
The USHJA Hunter 2’6/2’9/3’ Division was championed by Ashley Conkle of Wellford, SC and Hidden Lane, owned by Page Tredennick, take home the tri-color ribbon, while Deborah Perkins of Wellington, FL and her own Rise and Shine finished in reserve.
Jessica West of Charlotte, NC and her own Life In Color finished atop the Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division after a week of strong performances. Lindsey Rigney of Waxhaw, NC and her own Calypso took home reserve champion.
The Junior Hunter 3’3″ Division was championed by Beverly Davis of Harrisburg, NC and her own Alchemist, who took home the tri-color ribbon ahead of Caitlin Hooper of Canton, GA and her own Why Not, as the pair finished in reserve. Davis and Alchemist also took home top honors in the $1,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Hunter Classic 3’3″/3’6″ with a two round score of 159.
(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Hunter Holloway and Any Given Sunday.
Ocala, FL (March 30, 2017): The Ocala Winter Circuit came to a close last week in Week X at HITS Post Time Farm. The Ocala Winter Circuit will return next year in 2018 with the same schedule. Great American Insurance Group will again sponsor the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix for what will be the fifth consecutive year.
Hunter Holloway Captures Win in $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Ocala
The final week of the 2017 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit drew to an end last weekend as an eager crowd gathered to witness 28 riders and their elegant mounts compete for one of the most prestigious hunter victories, the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
Last week’s hunter event marked the second USHJA Hunter Derby at HITS Ocala this winter season. It was a big class that carries very prestigious honor, and the top placings were stacked with young, talented equestrians.
The top contenders were all competitive and accomplished jumper riders in the junior/amateur-owner divisions as well as several Grand Prix winners – but this day was all about the hunters, and these stellar performances did not disappoint the crowd.
Hunter Holloway of Topeka, Kansas walked away with the blue-ribbon victory aboard Any Given Sunday, owned by Hays Investment Corp. In the Week IV Hunter Derby, Holloway and Any Given Sunday received the second place prize, but this time, they were picked to sit at the top of the leaderboard.
Second place went to Personalized, owned by Further Lane Farm, and ridden by Brian Moggre. Moggre has shown tremendous success in the jumper ring, including a huge win in last year’s $250,000 Black Barn Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Final at the HITS Championship in Saugerties.
Moggre and his beautiful mount stepped up to the plate in Saturday’s derby to walk away with the red ribbon.
Cassandra Kahle, also a seasoned Grand Prix rider, took home third place piloting Baranus, owned by Redfield Farm. Kahle has won several Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS’ Shows and a tremendous amount of ribbons at HITS. The Canadian equestrian also took home fifth place in the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final last September in Saugerties.
Tracy Fenney rode MTM Outbid, owned by MTM Farm, to the fourth place spot. Fenney is also a winner of many Grand Prix at HITS Ocala and, like Kahle, took home a ribbon in the top five in the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix last year with third place. Fifth place in last week’s Derby went to Cassius, ridden by Caitlyn Shiels and owned by Don Stewart.
The enchanting stage was set for the field of top-caliber contenders with a lovely course designed by Tim Hott of Cumming, Iowa.
Unique to the derby format, in addition to the base score, two judging panels awarded an Option Bonus Score consisting of one additional point for every higher height option fence jumped. As 12 returned for the second round, judges awarded a Base Score, Option Bonus Score and a Handy Bonus Score, assessing the handiness of the round.
The top twelve returned for the second round of the two-round derby. Holloway and Any Given Sunday entered the second round sitting in third place. They opted for two height options, and earned a total that moved them ahead in the pack for the eventual win thanks to their total of 19 handy bonus points. They earned a high second-round total score of 204, combined with a first-round total score of 175 for a very high overall score of 379.
Moggre and Personalized came into the second round sitting in fourth place tie with the eventual sixth place, Robert Lee and Intrepid. After a first-round score of 172, the pair made a major comeback, opting for two height options to step into second place with their second-round total of 194 for an overall score of 366.
Cassandra Kahle was behind in the pack with a first-round score of 160, they made a major comeback in the second round, opting for all four height options to garner a second-round score of 200, boosting their overall total to 360 for third place.
Fenney’s fourth place ride aboard MTM Outbid was second place coming into the second round after a first-round total of 179. Combined with their second-round score of 167, that gave them an overall total of 346.
Caitlyn Shiels and her fifth place mount, Cassius, earned a first round score of 165 combined with their second-round score of 166; they finished the class with an overall score of 331 for the final spot in the top five.
Adelaide Toensing Tops the Field in HITS Equitation Championship
The lights of the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium gleamed down on competitors for the return of the HITS Equitation Championship. Adelaide Toensing took home the evening’s top honors in Ocala, Florida.
After ten weeks of qualifying opportunities throughout the HITS Ocala Winter Show Circuit, thirty-two juniors took their chance at the technical course, set at 3’6”, designed by Tim Hott of Cumming, Iowa. Competitors were judged by two sets of officials who evaluated their abilities as emerging horsemen and women. The course tested not only their competence in the ring, but also their efforts in the schooling area, as all riders turned in their cell phones and left their trainers in the stands.
A warm-up judge was solely assigned to evaluate how efficiently the riders utilized their time in the warm-up ring and their effectiveness in schooling their horses. Riders banded together as they walked the courses, warmed up and competed all on their own, forming a sense of camaraderie among opponents.
The course included gymnastics, trot fences, oxers, verticals and combinations in the first round, with the second round displaying a more technical, jumper-style course, including an open water element as an option fence.
As the top 12 returned to contend for the blue in the two-round championship, Toensing was feeling confident after sealing the second-highest score of the first round, an 84, to continue into the second round. Toensing earned an 85 in the second round, keeping their scores consistent throughout each challenge. The combined scores produced a winning total of 169.
Coming in behind Toensing for second place was Briley Koerner. She received a 78 in the first round, improving to an 88 in the second round, the highest of the second-round course, to produce a total of 166.
Third in the ribbons was Abigail Lefkowitz with a total score of 163.5 – comprised of her first-round score of 77.5 and improved second-round score of 86.
Todd Minikus Takes the Blue in $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix during Final Week at HITS Ocala
Competition continued during the final week of the Ocala Winter Circuit with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix
The order of go was stacked with talent, including Florida equestrian Todd Minikus, who would eventually win the class, young star Lillie Keenan, who rode in the FEI Nations Cup™ Ocala for Team USA, and Irishman Cian O’Connor, who placed third in last weekend’s AIG $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Coachella.
Thirty-three challengers turned out for their shot at the top prize, and nine went clear to advance to the jump-off course set by Werner Deeg of Germany.
Four jumped clear over the shortened course in a race for the win, where it all came down to speed and agility.
Minikus rode Valinski S, owned by Michael Dorman & Wyndmont, Inc., to the win, going sixth in the order in the jump-off. They stopped the clock in a cool, fault-free finish in 33.348, two seconds ahead of the eventual second placer.
Tracy Fenney, a force to be reckoned with in the Grand Prix at HITS Ocala, took home the red ribbon and second place prize aboard MTM Como No, owned by MTM Farm. They passed the timers in 35.637 for the ultimate second place spot on the leaderboard.
Venezuelan equestrian, Emanuel Andrade, is a speedy rider and has laid down numerous quick and competitive rounds in the Grand Prix. Andrade rode for Team Venezuela in the FEI Nations Cup™ Ocala and placed highly all weekend.
Andrade piloted Reus De La Nutria to a 35.983-second finish, just three-tenths of a second behind Fenney for the third place prize.
Fourth in the ribbons was Isabelle LaPierre of Canada and her own Cesha M. LaPierre and Cesha M have been consistent contenders in the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Ocala this season, including a win in the Week IV $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. Their clean time of 37.073 earned them their spot in the top five when the class was finished.
Rounding out the top five was Lillie Keenan riding Be Gentle, owned by Chansonette Farm, LLC. They powered through the course but an unfortunate rail would give them four faults as they crossed the finish. Their quick time of 35.365, however, would settle them with the fifth place prize.
(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Hunter Holloway and VDL Bravo S.
Ocala, FL (February 17, 2017): The FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping CSIO4* week kicked off on Thursday with two featured FEI classes, the $41,200 Thursday Prix and the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transport Welcome Stake. Riders and horses from around the globe all converged at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida to celebrate and compete in this very special week.
$41,200 Thursday Prix
Fifty-five horses and riders contested the course, designed by Marina Azevedo of Brazil. Hunter Holloway stole away with the win in Thursday’s class in an exhilarating eight-horse jump-off, where speed, power, agility and precision, all came into play.
“Thank you to my sponsors, and to the owners of VDL Bravo S, Virginia T. Bartholomay and Hays Investment Corp, for letting me ride this amazing horse,” said Holloway. “[VDL Bravo S] is an incredible horse; he always tries and has a big heart for what he does.”
First to return to test the abbreviated course was Mexico’s Eugenio Garza Perez piloting Bariano, owned by David and Monica Garza. They started the course out strong, but one unfortunate rail would ultimately put them in the fourth-place spot with a round in 37.61.
Following Perez was Canadian Isabelle Lapierre riding Cesha M. Lapierre and her powerful mare won the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix just last Sunday at HITS Ocala, and they returned to the Grand Prix Ring to once again claim a spot among the top contenders. They put in the first clear round of the jump-off in 40.75, which would eventually give them the third-place prize.
The victors, Hunter Holloway and Cassevel, owned by Hays Investment Corp, were next to enter the ring. Cassevel, a mighty ten-year-old grey gelding, was agile and quick under Holloway’s lead. The crowd cheered as they galloped to the finish, stopping the clock in 39.46, where the lead would remain.
Lisa Goldman, a veteran to the Grand Prix ribbons at HITS Ocala came in with Centurion B, and they would ultimately pick up four faults for sixth.
Two-time World Cup winner and Olympic silver-medalist, Ian Millar, entered next riding Dixson, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange. They laid down a brilliantly smooth round, nearly catching Holloway with their time of 39.78. They would settle for the red ribbon in second place when the class was finished.
Devin Ryan was the second-to-last to challenge the jump-off course riding Cooper. They laid down a lightning-fast round in 38.64, but a heart-breaking rail at the final fence would give them the final spot in the top five for fifth place.
$5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Welcome Stake
Devin Ryan took home the win in Thursday’s Johnson Horse Transportation Welcome with Eddie Blue, owned by LL Show Jumpers, LLC. Eighteen would produce clear rounds out of a field of 44 in a race against the clock. It was a speedy and challenging class, with the top exhibitors finishing within just tenths of a second, and seconds of each other.
Ryan’s fault-free time of 54.12 held up after testing the course second in the order. Second place would belong to Lisa Goldman and Sovereign, owned by Barbara Disko. They punched their ticket into the top five with a 54.45-second round.
Lauren Hough rode Joblesse, co-owned by Patrick de Roeck, to the third place prize. Their time of 55.04 with no penalties in sight sealed their spot after challenging the course fourteenth in the order of go.
The final contenders in the top five were Paris Sellon riding Quantis, owned by Willow Grace Farms. They nearly caught Hough’s time with their own round in 55.61, settling them in fourth.
Rounding out the top five was Andrew Bourns of Ireland. He rode Charming Girl, owned by Deirdre Bourns to the fifth-place finish in 57.57.
Hunter Holloway and Entourage Take Top Honors in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Mill Spring, NC – June 3, 2016 – Taylor Land of Atlanta, GA and Nepal collected a first place finish in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), completing the jump-off in 40.795 seconds for the win. Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, FL finished in second place aboard Quintus Fabius, crossing through the timers in 41.623 seconds, while Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, NM and Cezarro earned third with a time of 42.012 seconds. Competition at Tryon Spring 7 continues Saturday with the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and the class is set to start at 8:00 p.m.
Land and Nepal, a 2002 Argentine gelding (G.S. Raimundo x Rye Grass Finest RP H-31) owned by Jay Land, went early in the order, entering the ring as the third pair to test the track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). Land and Nepal led with a clean effort on the first round track, moving them forward to the jump-off round. Brittni Raflowitz, of Palm City, FL and Baloumina Du Ry, followed after Land, also securing a place in the jump-off and ultimately finishing in fourth.
“He’s fourteen and we’ve had him for nine years now. He’s like a family heirloom,” laughed Land. “He’s been passed around between me, my sister, and my dad, and he’s just been a great horse for us all around.”
The duo rode a crisp first round, which demanded technical attention and skill, as it included several tight turns and two forward combinations. According to Land, Nepal has made great strides since her family bought him as a young horse, and he has steadily made his way through the ranks with several members of the Land family.
“We started him when he was five and he hadn’t jumped any bigger than 1.20m at the time. I’ve done so much with him and he’s been such a great horse for me,” explained Land. “We’ve done NAJYRC and Spruce Meadows together and really anything we ask of him he’ll always do.”
This is the duo’s top finish to date at TIEC this season and Land was pleased with their rides in both rounds, noting that the gelding felt fresh and mentally prepared for the class even before they entered the ring.
“This is our first class this week, but we’ve been here for three weeks so he felt like he was ready to go,” she noted. “My plan was to try and be smooth and clear in the first round and I think we accomplished that.”
Land went first in the jump-off round and attacked the course with a forward and bold round in an effort to seal the win, knowing that only three riders followed her in the order. She explained, “Since I had to go first in the jump-off I knew there weren’t so many people behind me and I decided to go fast and really go for it. It was either going to be first or fourth for us, but it worked in our favor today.”
The duo will stay and compete next week at TIEC, before taking a small break ahead of the summer season. Land explained, “We’ll be here next week for the CSI 5* and then I think head home for a bit of a rest. I love showing here though because the atmosphere is just incredible. The bigger classes on Saturday always have a great crowd and I love the feel of the ring. It just feels really intense all of the time.”
Hunter Holloway and Entourage Take Top Honors in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Hunter Holloway of Topeka, KS continued her momentum from Tryon Spring 6 into this week’s competition, capturing top honors in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby hosted at TIEC aboard Entourage, owned by Hays Investment Corp., with a total score of 173. Blythe Marano of Franklin, TN and Fondant, owned by Virginia Ingram, finished in second with a total score of 172.5, while Daniel Bedoya of Magnolia, TX and Playbook, owned by Monica Hanks, collected third place, receiving a 170.5.
Holloway and Entourage received a score of 82 in the first round from the judges, before returning in the handy round to receive an impressive 91. Marano and Fondant sat atop the leaderboard after the first round, earning an 88 from the judges, but a score of 84.5 in the handy would ultimately drop them to second place.
“He’s seven and we got him a year ago. He moved up to the Junior Hunters towards the end of the season in Ocala and has been really awesome ever since. He just keeps stepping up,” commented Holloway. “He scored a 90 last week and a 91 today so I’m feeling pretty good about how he’s going right now.”
Holloway rode the handy round beautifully, piloting Entourage to a smooth and accurate round, showcasing his athleticism and attentiveness. She entered the round with a plan to take advantage of the numerous inside turns on course, which helped her to secure the win.
“There were a lot of inside turns that were options and I felt like I had ground to make up from the first round so I decided to go for them,” she said. “I wanted to take the chance and really go for it. He handled it very well. He was up for the task all the way around and I was really impressed.”
Entourage began his derby career this past spring with Holloway guiding from the irons and he’s displayed a sense of consistency and bravery that has impressed everyone at Equi-Venture Farm.
“He’s very easy and is a really straight forward horse. We’re hoping for a good summer season and success at indoors in the fall,” she smiled.
Competition at TIEC continues Saturday with the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3*. Gates open to the public at 6:00 p.m. and competition begins at 8:00 p.m. Parking and general admission are free! For more information on TIEC and to see a full list of weekly results, please visit www.tryon.com.