(c) ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Caramo.
Sophie Transou Tops $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix on Wonder Street
Ocala, Florida (February 21, 2015): Hunters took over the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium on Saturday for the $5,000 Devoucoux Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. In the Devoucoux Hunter Prix, with is open to Juniors, Amateurs and Professionals, Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina, riding Caroline Russell Howe’s Caramo had the high score of 87 in round one and an 86 in round two. He finished with a two point lead over second place winner Alliawishus, owned by Kimberly Mittauer and ridden by Megan Wexler of Ocala.
Chopping and Caramo have had multiple placings in the Devoucoux Prix this season, but this is the first time they’ve come out on top. Chopping was happy for both his horse and his owner to bring home the blue ribbon this week, saying, “He’s such a wonderful horse. You can always count on him to do his best. This week, I was able to put it all together for the win.” Chopping has shown in and placed in the Devoucoux Prix for five of the six weeks of the Ocala Circuit, so he can start setting his sights on the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final in Saugerties this September.
Third-place winner Cavelli, owned by Debbie McIntyre and ridden by Russell Frey of Batavia, Illinois, had the second highest score in Round 1 with an 86, but an 81.5 in Round 2 dropped them from second to third. Sandrimo, owned by the Meadowood Farm LLC and ridden by Lauren Schweppe of Ocala, moved up from fifth place in week four to finish in fourth with scores of 86 and 81.5, for a total of 167.5.
The courses were designed by Jack Robson of Coronado, California. The top 12 riders were invited back for a second round and scores were added together to determine a winner. The 12-obstacle course included long approaches, rollbacks and bending lines set to utilize the entire stadium and offer the opportunity for the hunters to show their ability to jump from the gallop.
Sophie Transou and Wonder Street Win the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Juniors and amateurs had the opportunity to jump the same course used in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix, set at 3’. Forty horses jumped the first round course in the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix with scores ranging from 75 to 87 returning for the second round. Sophie Transou, from Tallahassee, Florida, riding her own Wonder Street, returned for the second round in third place with a first round score of 85, but her consistency in getting a second round 85 for a total of 170 earned her top honors.
Transou, who trains with Ronnie Anderson, described her rounds, saying, “I was really happy with my ride. I was a little nervous about the rollbacks. I’ve been practicing them in my lessons but since I don’t do the junior hunters I never have to do anything like that handy in a class. I’ve only had this horse since the summer and this is the first weekend that it went really well. My goal was just to be consistent.”
Alex Trolli, from Clarence, New York, riding Hey Sailor, had the high score of 87 in Round 1 and another excellent score of 82 in Round 2 for a total of 169 — just one point less than the winner for second place. Kimberley Maloomian, from Needham, Massachusetts, a past winner of the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final and of the $1,500 Platinum Performance in the Ocala January Festival, rode her mother’s Urlala and placed third with identical scores of 83 and 83. Fourth place went to Sidney Jefferson from Alliston, Ontario, riding her own Socialite, with scores of 80 and 85. Rounding out the top five was Kristine D’Andrea of Orange, Connecticut, riding her horse Zoe, with scores of 84 and 80.