OCALA, FL (March 9, 2012) – Michael Hughes was all smiles at the conclusion of Thursday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Ocala. The sixteen-year-old from Allendale, New Jersey posted the only double clear round of the day to win his first-ever Grand Prix aboard Drumnacross Farm Ltd.’s Mac Arthur.
“My dad [Eammon Hughes] and I picked this horse to be my first Grand Prix horse because of his speed and scope,” said Hughes. The decision paid off this week as Hughes cashed a $7,500 first-place check.
Course Designer Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario challenged 30 horses and riders to 13 obstacles in Thursday’s class, which included a triple combination at fence six, a double at fence nine and a sizable final effort at fence 13.
“I designed the course to make it challenging, but not so big,” said Foster. “It was long, so the horses got a little tired.”
OCALA, FL (March 7, 2012) – Emma Sullivan of Lafayette, Louisiana rode to victory under the lights on Saturday in the $15,000 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper classic at HITS Ocala. She and Thinkslikeahorse’s Elder were the winning pair out of 65 who showed over International Course Designer Jack Robson’s first and second round tracks.
“I was so excited when I won – it was unbelievable! I really love this horse and he has been so much fun to ride,” said Sullivan. “It was a really difficult course and I saw some really fast rounds, so I knew the last turn to fence four had to be tight enough to win. You always risk a rail, but luckily we did it. I’d really like to thank my trainer, Aaron Vale, for everything and letting me ride this great horse, and my parents for being there.”
Robson, of Coronado, California presented 12 obstacles in the first round and repeated six in the jump-off with plenty of challenges in between.
OCALA, FL (February 24, 2012) – Tracy Fenney banked her eighth Grand Prix of the qualifying season with a win in yesterday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard MTM Farm’s MTM Centano to become eligible for her third appearance in the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. No stranger to Pfizer Million glory, Fenney appeared in HITS-on-the-Hudson’s big ticket class in both 2010 and 2011 with two top twenty finishes to show for it.
Fenney, of Flower Mound, Texas leads the way in the 2012 Pfizer Million Rider Rankings with $43,500 in prize money and has her sights firmly set on September’s offering. She stole first place in the preliminary Rider Rankings from former Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood with two second place finishes in last week’s Grand Prix.
Yesterday’s win was Fenney’s third during the HITS Winter Circuit in Ocala and MTM Centano’s huge stride ate up Course Designer Ken Krome’s tracks. He presented technicality over size to both horse and rider with a water obstacle at fence number four as well as a double and triple combination in the second half of the course.
CULPEPER, VIRGNIA (October 3, 2011) – After posting a top-twenty finish in the 2011 Pfizer Million, Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas wasted no time in preparing for next year’s $1 Million Grand Prix. On Sunday, she and MTM Farm’s MTM Centano rode to victory in the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper to clinch the first qualifying opportunity for 2012’s richest day in show jumping.
HITS wrapped up a successful 2011 circuit at the Culpeper Finals last week as Olaf Petersen of Paehl, Germany set the course for the final Grand Prix of the year. Thirty-one pairs took to his first round, which offered 13 jumping efforts, including a triple combination at fence five and double combination at fence eight. The time allowed of 78 seconds proved to be trouble for several riders as ten picked up time faults, keeping two clear rounds from advancing to the jump-off.
“I knew this was going to be one of the more competitive Grand Prix I have jumped all year since Olaf was the designer – he always makes it a challenging course and it was,” said Fenney. “He left little room for error and I thought he made it smart.”
Twelve advanced to the jump-off, which saw three go double clear. It was Fenney, however, who posted a time of 40.081 seconds – well within the 48 seconds time allowed – to capture the win.
OCALA, FL (March 4, 2011) — Texas native Tracy Fenney made her return to the HITS Ocala Grand Prix winner’s circle after capturing her first victory of the season aboard MTM Farm’s MTM Centano in Thursday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. As the legendary competitor rose to the top of the class, Germaine Edelmann, a relative newcomer at the Grand Prix level, made an impact of her own with a nail-biting, second-place finish.
Thirty-two starters challenged the course set by Course Designer Danny Foster of Canada, as seven returned for the jump-off.
“The fences were wider than usual,” explained Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas. “The course required you to come in to the combinations quiet, but you had to push hard to come out of the in-and-out and the triple.”
Fenney has had one of the most impressive careers in the history of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, including a victory in last year’s $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group. She and MTM Farm’s MTM Timon were one of the illustrious pairs to compete in the 2010 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and finished in the top 20. This year, she’s earned numerous ribbons throughout the Circuit and also captured a win in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix two weeks ago.