Brooke Kemper and CLASSIFIED. ESI Photography.
The HITS Culpeper Summer Series at HITS Commonwealth Park has come and gone for 2018. It was a beautiful week to close out the season in the Heart of Virginia’s Horse Country with great weather, blue ribbons and the Horseware Ireland Grand Circuit Champion awards claimed at the Culpeper Finals.
The featured classes in the Grand Prix Ring kicked off with the $5,000 Open Welcome where Tracy Magness would start her week with a win aboard INTENZ VAN HD. Magness and “Candy” crossed the timers in 35.043, over a full second faster than the second place recipient.
Magness’ victory put an exclamation mark on her season at HITS Culpeper, marking her eighth blue ribbon in a featured Open Jumper class, and securing the Horseware Ireland Grand Circuit Championship in the Open 1.40m Jumpers. Jumping to second place would be Jennifer Brennan aboard MAC, finishing in a four-fault time of 34.024. Third place would be awarded to Cian McDermott, taking the reins aboard NEWCASTLE in a four-fault time of 35.565. Danny Mahon would take home the fourth place award aboard CHOPPER 5, followed by Randy Johnson in fifth aboard his own CAMPARO.
A field of 21 would take to the course Friday afternoon in the $10,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Prix. Top honors would be awarded to Marylisa Leffler aboard LUMINOUS, soaring to the finish in 31.147. Second place would be awarded to Magness and INTENZ VAN HD in a time of 31.276, followed by Johnson and JADE VAN DE START with a time of 32.872 to claim the yellow ribbon. Jason Berry would capture the fourth place ribbon aboard QUANTOS in a time of 33.598. Rounding out the top five in the Prix would be Tamara Morse and RAVENNA ADELHEID Z in a time of 34.135.
Top honors in the $2,000 Marshall & Sterling Children’s and Adult Jumper Classic was Wendy Libert and PAPILLION PEANUT.
Bari Michelle Friedman and CAPITOL II would take home top honors in the $2,500 Pyranha Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur 1.20m Jumper Classic.
Taking home top honors in the $5,000 Summit Joint Performance Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur 1.30m Jumper Classic was Ginny Gale and EVENSONG. Gale and EVENSONG also captured the Horseware Ireland Grand Circuit Championship in the Jr/A-O/Am 1.30m.
Tamara Morse and RAVENNA ADELHEID Z would soar to a blue ribbon finish in the $7,500 Junior/Amateur-Owner/Amateur 1.40m Jumper Classic. This dynamic duo would also take home the Horseware Ireland Reserve Grand Championship in the Jr/A-O/Am 1.30m Jumpers and Champion in the Jr/A-O/Am 1.40m Jumpers.
The excitement of the featured jumper classes at the HITS Culpeper Finals would continue on Sunday with the $20,000 HITS Open Prix. Taking home top honors, by over a full four seconds, would be Brooke Kemper and CLASSIFIED. Soaring through the timers in a fault-free time of 34.442 would secure the win in the final Open Prix of the HITS Culpeper Summer Series. Riding home with the second place ribbon would be Ashley Foster and DALIANTE M in a time of 39.612. Marylisa Leffler and LUMINOUS would take home the third place ribbon for their jump-off rider, finishing with a four-fault time of 38.340. Taking home the fourth place ribbon would be Magness and INTENZ VAN HD, followed by Laura Gaither and GARDA in fifth.
In the Hunter Rings, riders competed for blue ribbons and points toward the Hunter Prix Finals at the 2019 HITS Championships, in Saugerties, New York. The Devoucoux serves as the qualifying class for the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Finals and similarly the Platinum Performance serves as the qualifying class for the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Finals.
First up in the Main Hunter Ring on Saturday afternoon were those competing in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix. Taking home the blue ribbon and lion’s share of the $1,500 purse was Sara Taylor aboard CARLOTTA. Taylor rode to scores of 88 and 86 for a total of 174 between her two rounds. Riding to second place was Megan Bennett aboard MARGO with scores of 82 and 83 for a two round total of 165. Taking home the third place ribbon was Katie McAfee for her ride aboard CAPPUCCINO with scores of 68 and 70 for a two round total of 138.
Junior and Amateur riders took the stage next for the $1,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Taking home top honors would be Carley Gray aboard her own UNIQUE CAR. Chelsea Director and her own URBAN would follow to be awarded the second place ribbon.
The Constitution Classic also featured the Culpeper Equitation Classic where Junior and Amateur riders have the option to compete at either the 3′ or 3’6″ fence height.
Taking home top honors was Madison Smyth whose trip was described by the judge as “smooth as silk.” As first to go in the class, she put the pressure on the following riders. In second place was Jacqui Needle, followed by Lauren Miller to take home third place.
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