Ocala, Fla. – Feb. 13, 2018 – The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit has wrapped up for Week IV at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida, with much success in both the hunter and jumper rings. With extremely competitive riders and horses, Week IV proved to be a thrilling one.
The Ocala Horse Properties Stadium started off strong on Wednesday with Aaron Vale taking home the blue ribbon in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome aboard Bonzini S with a jump-off time of 43.174 seconds. Vale also took the second place award aboard Exclusive with a jump-off time of 43.711 seconds. Third place was awarded to Linda Radigan aboard Balveneur Z with a jump-off time of 46.152 seconds. Matthias Hollberg was just over a second behind, coming in fourth place aboard Mystic Blue HH. Rounding out the top five was Bhaskhar Dasgupta with Zinesse, with a four-fault jump-off time of 43.649 seconds.
On Thursday, Candian rider Francois Lamontagne won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, aboard Chanel du Calvaire with a jump-off time of 38.164 seconds. Rowan Willis was less than a second behind, taking both second and third place aboard Blue Movie, with a jump-off time of 38.536 seconds, and Shark, with a jump-off time of 40.743 seconds, respectively. Fourth place was awarded to Week III’s winner, Emanuel Andrade aboard Gran Mamut with a jump-off time of 41.776 seconds and rounding out the top five was Mattias Tromp aboard Crack Elle Chavannaise with a four-fault jump-off time of 38.477 seconds.
In the $10,000 Open Prix on Friday, David Jennings took the win aboard Tyson with a jump-off time of 34.858 seconds. A jump-off time of 36.730 seconds put Tracy Magness and Intenz Van HD into second place, followed by Dorothy Douglas in third and fourth place aboard Chacco Lait and MTM iCarly with a jump-off time of 37.882 seconds and a four-fault jump-off time of 35.006 seconds, respectively. In 5th, Andrade and Clouwni again proved to be top contenders with a four-fault jump-off time of 38.705 seconds.
In the $10,000 1.35m Classic on Saturday, Andrade again dominated the ring, taking home first place honors aboard Nokia de Brekka flying to a jump-off time of 37.238 seconds. Second place was earned by Devin Ryan and Florida with a jump-off time of 38.330 seconds. Close behind him was Jennifer Brennan aboard Mac with a jump-off time of 39.134 seconds. Harold Chopping took the fourth place award aboard Fantom with a jump-off time of 39.377 seconds. To finish out the top five, Alexis Trosch and Cortex Z had a jump-off time of 39.665 seconds.
On Sunday, some of the best grand prix riders in the country gathered in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium, once again, for the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. Spectators cheered as only three riders had a clear first round and went on to the jump-off. Christian Heineking took the first place prize aboard NKH Selena, with a jump-off time of 47.680 seconds.
Aaron Vale proudly accepted second place honors aboard Major. Their fault-free jump-off time of 48.887 seconds was only a a second slower than Heineking. Tracey Fenney received third place aboard MTM Reve de Paradis. Fourth place was awarded to Derek Petersen and Diamant’s Legacy with a four-fault first round time of 73.669 seconds. Once again, Emanuel Andrade was in the top five, taking fifth place aboard Ricore Courcelle with a four-fault first round time of 74.099 seconds.
In the hunter ring Saturday morning, the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix took place, with Katie Eppinger aboard KEC Felix taking the first place award with a combined score of 170. Following close behind and coming in second place was Jacquelyn Maggiore and Contina with a combined score of 168. Third place honors were awarded to Maddie Tosh aboard Gotham with a combined score of 166. Coming in fourth place was Emma Witham and Cartier with a combined score of 163. Last, but certainly not least, Kendall Meijer took the fifth place award with Honey Creek and a combined score of 161.
The crowd gathered Saturday afternoon, as the $25,000 USHJA International Derby riders began to warm up their horses. Many riders put in beautiful trips, but Keri Kampsen came out on top, taking the first place award aboard Take Two with a combined score of 373.
Not far behind, Cassandra Kahle and Diadora came in second place with a combined score of 370.25. Third place was awarded to Dorothy Douglas aboard MTM One Time with a combined score of 362. Samantha Schaefer and In The Know would take fourth place honors with a combined score of 346. Rounding out the top five, Caitlyn Shiels and Cassius would take the fifth place award with a combined score of 333.5.
Following this class, was the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. Taking first place was Lauren Reid aboard Upworthy with a combined score of 164 and two beautiful trips. Caroline Mirts and Entourage came in second with a combined score of 160. Third place was awarded to Claire Campbell and Leon with a combined score of 149. Fourth place was earned by Izzy Beisel aboard Boutonniere with a combined score of 148. Beisel also took fifth place honors aboard Beachin’ with a combined 147.
HITS Ocala Winter Festival Week V begins Tuesday, Feb. 13 and highlights the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ of the United States of America on Sunday, Feb. 18, beginning at 1 p.m.