(C) ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Most of All.
Culpeper, VA (June 19, 2016): Hunter exhibitors brought their A-Game to the final weekend of shows at HITS Culpeper until they return in August. The $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix served as Virginia’s third qualifying opportunities for the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix and the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September.
$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina has been dominating the Grand Prix ring all season at HITS Commonwealth Park as well as top placings in the Hunter ring. This week, Chopping garnered first and second place in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix aboard Most of All, owned by Four Tall Oaks, Inc. and Caramo, owned by Caroline Russell Howe.
Chopping and Most of All went home with third place in last week’s class, and returned this week to earn scores of 86 and 86 for a winning total of 178.
“Most of All is a mare that we had in training just before we went to Florida,” said Chopping. “We’ve been very happy with her performance – she’s gone beautifully in the Classic the last few weeks.”
Chopping’s red-ribbon mount, Caramo, who placed eighth last week, rose up the ranking for second place this week with scores of 84 and 85 for a total of 169.
“Caramo has won several Devoucoux Hunter Prix as well as International Hunter Derbies in his career, he went out there and did his thing, and I was pleased with his scores,” said Chopping of his second place mount. “If I’m in the Top 20 qualified, I’m hoping to take both Most of All and Caramo to the finals at the HITS Championship in September.”
Third place went to Dreamliner, owned and ridden by Kama Godek of Fairfax Station, Virginia. They came in just two points behind Chopping with a first-round score of 85 and a second-round score of 82, for a total of 167.
Next in the ribbons was Opulent, ridden by Gavin Moylan and co-owned by Moylan’s wife, Alden. The Middleburg, Virginia equestrian and his mount captured the victory in Week II’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. This week, they earned a 75 in the first round, but laid down an impressive second round trip for a score of 84 and at total of 159 to move into fourth place.
The top five rounded out with Tess Lee of Potomac, Maryland and Tinka’s Lad, with scores of 83 and 75.5 for a total of 158.5.
$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Junior and amateur hunter riders lined up for a shot at the winning title in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, but the team to beat proved to be Victoria Clarke and Corleone, owned by Bethany Garrison.
Clarke, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, sealed the victory with a first-round score of 84 combined with a second-round score of 83, for the winning total of 167.
Second in the ribbons went to Kate Phillips of Montpelier, Virginia aboard Chino, owned by Derek Reed. Their scores of 75 in the first round and 68 in the second gave them a total of 143 for their efforts.
Sgt. Pepper took home third place with owner and rider Connie McRill of Woodbine, Maryland. McRill and her mount brought home second place in last week’s class. This week, they earned scores of 78 and 63, respectively, for a total of 141.
Coming in behind McRill was Katelyn Dugan of Baltimore, Maryland and Sir Winston. The final pair in the top five was Devan Graham, also of Chevy Chase, Maryland, piloting Dear Heart, owned by Andrea Woodner.