©ESI Photography. Tracy Fenney and MTM Centano on their way to a win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix.
OCALA, FL (March 8, 2014) – Boasting the richest prize in show jumping, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix is only two weeks away and riders are now looking to punch their ticket for the showdown in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas made herself a top contender for the March 24 title with her fifth grand prix win of the circuit on Friday in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. She piloted MTM Centano, owned by MTM Farm and trained by Michael McCormick, by zipping through the timers to best the field by more than 2.5 seconds.
The course, designed by Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario in the expansive Ocala Horse Properties Stadium, challenged 31 contenders with open gallops, a liverpool, big oxers and a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination. The triple and the clock, with a time allowed of 87 seconds in the first round, proved to be the most troublesome.
Twelve returned to jump off and four went on to double-clear rounds. First to return, having qualified both of her mounts for the jump-off, was Callan Solem of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania and VDL Wizard for Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC. With a time of 49.56 seconds and four faults, she finished in sixth. Her second mount Cortender finished in seventh place.
Next to returned was three-time grand prix winner at HITS Ocala this circuit, Lisa Goldman and the strapping chestnut Centurion B for Mary Goldman, both of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. They set the Great American Time to Beat at a fast 48.26 seconds and no faults. This time would hold first place for several more trips, until Fenney and MTM Centano showed up. With a time of 45.19 seconds and no faults, they took a commanding lead. Goldman and Centurion B held on for second place.
“The brisk wind today had Centano wound up and he was a handful,” said Fenney. “Usually he is like a carousel or merry-go-round horse to ride. It was his agility and ability to jump from any distance or angle that saved us a couple of seconds on this course.”
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina rode Basje for owner Kendra Bullington and took third place with a clean round in a time of 50.86 seconds. Melissa Rudershausen of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania was fourth, jumping clean in a time of 51.60 seconds. Conthendrix with Andre Thieme of Plau Am See, Germany in the irons was the fastest of the four-faulters, with a time of 48.33 seconds for fifth.
Grand prix action returns on Sunday as the HITS Ocala Winter Finals continues with the $50,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, as excitement builds for the first-ever Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. The Great American Million will debut as the second jewel in the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping Monday, March 24 in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.
SmartPak powers healthy horses and happy riders. The patented SmartPak Supplement Feeding System makes it easy for riders across the country to take the best care of their horses. Founded in 1999, with the purpose of simplifying the administration of nutritional supplements and medications to horses, the system has been adopted by thousands of barns and horse owners across the country, who value knowing that their supplements will be fed correctly. For more information, visit SmartPak.com.
Building on 60 years of experience as Pfizer Animal Health, Zoetis delivers quality medicines and vaccines, complemented by diagnostics products and genetics tests and supported by a range of services. They work every day to better understand and address the real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals in ways they find truly relevant. Zoetis produces a comprehensive range of safe and effective products, including equine vaccines, dewormers and sedative analgesics, to help professionals and individual horse owners keep their animals healthy. Both veterinarians and horse owners know and trust the Zoetis will help their horses live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.
$2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome
Hometown hero and back-to-back winner of two grand prix this circuit, professional rider and trainer Aaron Vale, in the irons of Gems Bond, owned by Thinkslikeahorse of Williston, Florida, continued his winning ways by defeating a strong field of thirty-four competitors on Wednesday. Vale jumped to his second victory in the $2,500 Brook Ledge Open this circuit, moving them into second place in the Brook Ledge Leading Rider Standings.
Vale was one of 16 to return for the jump-off over a 1.40m course designed by Foster, and posted the fastest clear round of the day. “I watched several go in the jump-off and the last two I looked like they were awfully fast,” said Vale. “That told me I had to find a different track to save time if I wanted to win.” Making the inside turn from fence one to two, Vale found that different track and laid down a super-fast time, winning by exactly 1.5 seconds, with a time of 41.86.
Second place went to Amanda Flint and VDL Zedaldine for owners The Coverboy Group, with a time of 43.36 seconds. Third were Christina Kelly and Zulieka for owner Faith Stewart with no faults and a time of 43.42 seconds. Lisa Goldman landed in fourth with Zacantos Z, jumping clean in a time of 44.21 seconds. Sunday’s victor Jordan Coyne and High Hickstead for owner Tracy Magness capped the top five with no faults and a time of 44.80 seconds.
Brook Ledge Horse Transportation will continue to present a weekly jumper class throughout the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Aside from the winner’s purse, Brook Ledge Open Welcome riders also compete for the Brook Ledge Rider Bonus, which includes a $1,500 shipping credit for the rider who accumulates the most points in those classes throughout the HITS Ocala circuit.
About Brook Ledge Horse Transportation
Brook Ledge, Inc. offers a comprehensive over-the-road horse transportation fleet with the premier equipment in the industry operated by the finest drivers. Brook Ledge has trips weekly from the northeast to FL and KY and back, as well as weekly trips to CA. From full van loads to one or two horses looking for a ride, Brook Ledge can handle your shipping needs. Every trip is expedited and ships when the customer needs to ship. This family-owned and operated business has been proudly serving horsemen for over 50 years. For more information, visit BrookLedge.com.