Category Archives: HITS

Sharn Wordley and Mick Jagger Win $50k Voltaire Design Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley set an unbeatable target with Mick Jagger on Sunday during the $50,000 Voltaire Design Grand Prix at HITS Ocala. He was the first to return during the jump-off, and with a quick and clear effort that left the remaining riders trying to chase him, he took home the winning title. The only other fault-free effort belonged to Australia’s Scott Keach and Wild Thing for second place. Keach also placed third aboard his second mount, Noble De La Chapelle.

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Comissario and Morgan Ward Cash In to Win $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix

Morgan Ward once again returned to the winner’s circle on Saturday, this time aboard Comissario after garnering the top score during the $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix. Turning in impressive scores of 85 and 86, the pair jumped to victory just ahead of Alexa Bayko, who claimed two of the top three spots with All of Me and MTM Dixon, respectively.

“Comissario is my solid citizen that I’ve had for a few years, and we’ve accomplished a lot of big wins,” said Ward. “He is my main man – the spoiled rotten king of the barn! I don’t ever ride him with a bridle at home. He would jump around this derby with no bridle if it were allowed. He’s the sweetest horse in the world!”

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Dorothy Douglas and MTM Caepten Sail to $25k SmartPak Grand Prix Victory at HITS Ocala

Ocala, Fla. – January 20, 2023 – Perfect weather and a brand-new arena greeted riders for the first week of the 2023 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit at Post Time Farm. Riders gathered at the redesigned Grand Prix Ring featuring Wordley Martin footing for the first major class of the week on Friday during the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. Again, Dorothy Douglas proved to be the best of the best, topping a 12-horse jump-off aboard the speedy MTM Caepten while also placing third with MTM Cedrick after Vicente Guillen piloted Cornut GP to second place.

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Taylor Morrison Sweeps Green 3’9” Hunters Tricolors

The HITS Ocala 2023 Winter Series is underway, and Taylor Morrison started off the week strong in the Green 3’9” Hunters at Post Time Farm. The talented young professional took home both of the division’s tricolor awards, piloting Greatness VDK to the championship title and showing Ambition to the reserve championship.

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Callan Solem and Horion De Libersart Capture $25k Masters Golf Cars Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

Callan Solem and Horion De Libersart. ESI Photography.

Ocala, Fla. – Dec. 18, 2022 – Callan Solem will have two more reasons to smile this holiday season after capturing two of the top three spots during Sunday’s $25,000 Masters Golf Cars Grand Prix at HITS Ocala. Solem piloted Horion De Libersart to victory during the four-horse jump-off and placed third aboard her first mount in the tiebreaker, Essenar Crixus.

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Comissario Commands $2,500 HITS Holiday Hunter Prix with Morgan Ward

It was a very merry Saturday for Morgan Ward during the HITS Ocala Holiday Classic as she and her veteran partner Comissario dominated the $2,500 HITS Holiday Prix. The 17-year-old Warmblood gelding only competes during special events, and he once again shined in the show ring, earning scores of 92 and 95 to garner the winning title. The duo was also honored with this week’s Healthy Horse Award, sponsored by Omega Alpha.

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Tracy Fenney and MTM Caepten Dash for the Cash in $25k Ocala/Marion County VCB Grand Prix

Tracy Fenney and MTM Caepten. Photo by: ESI Photography.

Ocala, Fla. – Dec. 4, 2022 – Sunday marked the conclusion of the first week of the HITS Holiday Series, with Tracy Fenney capturing her second big victory of the week with MTM Caepten. After winning Friday’s $10,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, the pair was revved up and ready to go. They bested the seven-horse jump-off during the $25,000 Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau Grand Prix by over a full second to take home the lion’s share of the prize money.

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Morgan Ward and Party Time Celebrate $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix

The HITS Ocala Holiday Series is in full swing at HITS Post Time Farm, with hunters highlighting the action on Saturday during the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix. Morgan Ward was ready to celebrate after leading the two-round event from start to finish aboard Party Time. Saturday marked Party Time’s hunter prix debut with Ward, and with the new year underway for USEF, she was thrilled to kick off the season with a victory.

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Melissa Strawser and Darwin De Mars Master $20,000 HITS Open Prix at Culpeper Finals

Melissa Strawser and Darwin De Mars. Photo by: Alison Hartwell.

Culpeper, Va. – October 2, 2022 – On Sunday, Melissa Strawser celebrated her one-year anniversary with Darwin De Mars in winning style, earning the victory in the $20,000 HITS Open Prix at the Culpeper Finals. Their partnership began at the same competition last year, and together they have become a dominating force – besting Sunday’s three-horse jump-off after also winning Friday’s $10,000 Open Prix to close out the season at HITS Culpeper.

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North Shore Nabs $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Win with Isabella Bertozzi

Hunter competition took center stage on Saturday during the HITS Culpeper Finals at Commonwealth Park. Once again, Isabella Bertozzi claimed the winning title in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, this time aboard her veteran partner North Shore. Although it was Bertozzi’s first Hunt & Go Derby, she stayed smooth under pressure to lead the class from start to finish with her talented mount.

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Jordan Coyle and Centriko Volo Conquer $100,000 HITS Grand Prix at Saugerties

Jordan Coyle and Centriko Volo. Photo by: ESI Photography.

Saugerties, N.Y. – September 4, 2022 – Returning from his home country of Ireland, Jordan Coyle brought a bit of luck back to the United States with him this week, jumping to victory in the $100,000 HITS Grand Prix during HITS-on-the-Hudson VII with Centriko Volo. Coyle proved that his horses are in top form ahead of the HITS Championship’s $405,300 Grand Prix CSI5*, which will be held Sunday, September 11, by besting the seven-horse jump-off to claim the winning title.

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Hannah Isop and Believe Bring Home $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix

The final event ahead of the $200,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final was held on Saturday during HITS-on-the-Hudson VII ahead of the HITS Championship. Riders gathered at the Outside Course to vie for the win during the $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix, presented by Patti Howard of Compass Real Estate. At the end of the day, it was Hannah Isop and Believe who led the class from start to finish with two impressive scores of 88 to earn the victory.

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Evan Coluccio and Christian D’Or Make Dominating Debut in $20k HITS Open Prix in Culpeper

Evan Coluccio and Christian D’Or. Photo by: Alison Hartwell.

Culpeper, Va. – August 21, 2022 – Sometimes, a new partnership comes together right from the start, and on Sunday that proved to be the case for Evan Coluccio with his new mount Christian D’Or. The 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Sea Sporthorses LLC arrived at Coluccio’s farm just 10 days ago, and the $20,000 HITS Open Prix marked their competition debut. They showed their new partnership is a winning one by besting a five-horse jump-off to take home the top prize, kicking off an exciting future together.

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Isabella Bertozzi and Cousteau Best $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Perfect weather greeted riders during the Winston National at HITS Culpeper as they gathered at the Main Hunter Ring to contest the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Junior rider Isabella Bertozzi laid down a flawless handy round aboard Cousteau, jumping up from third place after the first round to capture the winning title and lead the lap of honor during Saturday’s highlight event.

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Daniel Kelly and Galena Gallop to $10,000 HITS Open Welcome Victory

It was a race to the finish in Friday’s $10,000 HITS Open Welcome at HITS Culpeper. Daniel Kelly of Purcellville, Virginia galloped home with the victory aboard Galena as the fastest of three double clears during the day’s highlight event. He was able to edge ahead of Jackson Schurtz and Imago Z by just 1/10th of a second, while Juliana Thorbecke and King’s Treasure Evo placed third with a conservative clear round.

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Daniel Coyle and Legacy Dominate Great American $500k Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

Daniel Coyle and Legacy.

Ocala, Fla. – March 27, 2022 – Crowds filled the stands at the HITS Ocala Stadium on Sunday afternoon to watch the world’s top athletes compete in the Great American $500,000 Grand Prix, featuring the biggest show jumping purse in the United States. The day concluded with a thrilling 10-horse jump-off featuring athletes from representing six countries. In the end, it was Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Legacy who out raced the other riders, claiming the biggest check in the country. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen earned the second-place prize, while Rowan Willis (AUS) and Billy Guilder placed third.

“I did my first ever five-star Nations Cup here many years ago, so I always have a good feeling about [HITS Ocala],” expressed Coyle. “Today I showed that. It’s an amazing big arena, with nice jumps, prize money and people come. It’s as good as [anywhere in the world]. My other horses weren’t going to plan [in Wellington] so I decided not to use Legacy. Jordan [Coyle] said there’s a very good class in Ocala, so I decided, ‘Perfect; I’ll go there,’ and luckily I won!”

Course designer Marina Azevedo (BRA) built a large and technical track that used the expansive HITS Stadium to challenge horse and rider combinations from start to finish. Rails fell throughout the course, including through a yellow and white oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination with a bending ling to a triple bar and a delicate vertical. Athletes finished over the final line that featured two of the biggest oxers of the course before they galloped to the tall vertical towards the gate.

“It was a very good group,” noted Azevedo. “I was expecting eight clear, but the footing was so good and the horses were jumping so well. This ring is very nice because it’s very level, so we don’t have to go up and down, which is very good for everybody.”

The field of 46 starters was whittled down to just 10 to return for the tiebreaker. The jump-off featured two tight rollbacks, a vertical-oxer double from the original triple combination and a long gallop to the final oxer. Jordan Coyle (IRL) was the second to return and set the Great American time to beat with Ariso, after leaving all the rails intact and breaking the beam in 39.998 seconds.

Jordan’s brother Daniel was next in the ring with Legacy, and after watching his brother’s round he knew exactly what he needed to do to win. Leaving out a stride in the first line and taking a tight roll back to the next vertical, he then headed home, slicing the Great American vertical before racing to the final oxer on the course. He never touched a rail and crossed the finish line in a speedy 38.526 seconds to go straight to the top of the leaderboard.

“I would say I had a big advantage today,” said Daniel. “I was third in the jump off, but already Jordan had as good a round as you probably could have, so that put pressure on me to go as fast as I could. Thankfully that paid off because if he hadn’t done that, I maybe wouldn’t have put as much pressure on myself!”

Vanderveen produced the next clear round with Bull Run’s Risen, attempting to catch Daniel’s time with a very direct approach to the Great American vertical, but she was less than a second shy of top spot, stopping the clock at 39.148 seconds for the second-place position.

“I didn’t get to see [Daniel] go, but I did see his time,” said Vanderveen. “The jump off was really nice with the amount of open running, which works for the big horse that I have, and also a nice left turn and right turn. It’s great to have it on both sides, so I tried to use it to my advantage, and it worked out.”

Willis stepped into the HITS Stadium with Billy Guilder and also had his eye on the top of the leaderboard. He made a smooth and tight rollback after the second fence and galloped quickly to the oxer after the double combination, but his time was not quite good enough to catch the leaders. He left all the rails in their cups, but his time of 39.520 would rank third, just ahead of Jordan. The remaining riders were unable to top the four leaders, and it was Daniel who returned to the ring to lead the lap of honor.

“Going behind [Daniel and Kristen], there wasn’t much left to do, just pray and hope,” admitted Willis. “I managed to beat one Coyle brother, but not the other! I was really happy with my horse. He tried his heart out and went as fast as he possibly could today. It was a great course, always a good competition here, great jumping, and I am looking forward to the next one.”

Daniel and Legacy, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare owned by Ariel Grange, are already looking ahead for 2022, aiming to represent Ireland at the 2022 World Equestrian Games.

“Legacy has been an amazing horse for me and has done all of the divisions,” he noted. “I did European Championships last year with a top ten finish. I’ve only jumped three, maybe four, bigger classes this year. I haven’t been saving her, but I’m trying not to use everything in the start of the year. I’m hoping that she goes to the World Equestrian Games and hopefully she does something there.”

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Stella Wasserman and Munich Steal the Spotlight to Win HITS Equitation Championship

© HITS LLC.

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.

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Andre Thieme Captures Great American $1 Million Grand Prix Win

It was a perfect day at HITS Ocala for the seventh Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, where riders from near and far took their shot at the coveted title and the winner’s share of $350,000. The sun was shining as previous Million Winners, first time Million riders, Grand Prix and Olympic Veterans, and newcomers were welcomed under the HITS arch into the Grand Prix Stadium for the richest class in the world so far in 2020 and 2021. Not only was this the seventh Great American Million, but it was also the 22nd $1 Million Grand Prix hosted by HITS.

The course designed by Mr. Bernardo Cabral of Lisbon, Portugal challenged riders to be accurate and earn their shot at the top honors. “This class was a varied group of riders. Some have been in Ocala all circuit, and some came from other parts of the state. It was a big field, so I thought it was a hard class to put together,” said Cabral. “I didn’t make it overly big but it was technical and I thought asked a lot of questions to the riders, but also left an easy way out for the horses if there was a mistake by the pilot.” The first round course consisted of fourteen fences and included several delicate verticals throughout the track, often with wide oxers right before or after, making riders plan their adjustments quickly. The triple bar to the triple combination was a unique effort early in the course, and the last line of a wide oxer away from the ingate to the final vertical foiled many a rider’s plan of making it to the jump-off. Eight riders jumped clean to move on to the jump-off course which featured several new elements as well as parts from the first round course.

Andre Thieme is officially the most decorated HITS Million Winner as Sunday marked his fourth HITS Million title, this time taking home the blue ribbon aboard his own CHAKARIA. “I think everybody can tell by now that this class [HITS $1 Million Grand Prix] means something to me! It’s my goal every year and while I’m not giving away other classes, I definitely don’t put as much effort toward some of the other classes,” said Thieme. “I try to really produce my horses for this class every single time. I try to be sure that everything on the day of this class goes perfect because this is the class that I really want to win each year.”

Thieme’s first HITS Million win came aboard ARAGON ROUET in the 2011 Saugerties Million, followed by his first win in the Great American Million aboard CONTANGA 3 in 2014, and the third being back in Saugerties with CONTHENDRIX in 2017. “Now that I’ve won this class four times, it’s just unbelievable to me,” Thieme exclaimed. “I would have never thought that it is possible, but I have a superstar horse for the first time in my life and it’s just so much easier with that kind of a horse.”

Thieme has been riding CHAKARIA for the past year-and-a-half and said that it didn’t take him long to realize how amazing the chestnut mare is. “I couldn’t believe my luck that for the first time in my life, I was a little bit quicker than someone else buying the horse. She is fast, sound, a fighter, careful, and scopey – I don’t know how to start and how to end; she’s just an amazing horse.”

As Thieme continued talking about the day, he discussed the course, saying, “When I first walked it, I thought that it was probably going to be a little bit too small. I was expecting something bigger for the number of horses entered, to not have 15 clear rounds. Bernardo [Cabral] explained it to me and I realized that the course was a touch trickier than I thought.” Going 41st in the order, Thieme was the fifth to go clean in the first round, giving him an advantage of returning later in the in the jump-off.  Several early riders had rails or other mistakes, so Thieme knew a clear round was most important, but a fast time would put the pressure on the final three. Thieme jumped clear in 34.393 to claim the lead. “It worked for my horse because she is really careful,” said Thieme. “I have to thank Tom and HITS once more because without him we wouldn’t have a class like this and I and many of the other riders really appreciate it.”

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.