Crete, Ill. – May 14, 2018 – Week I of HITS Chicago sprang into action this week, kicking off the second year of competition at HITS Balmoral Park. After a successful first year, improvements have continued at the facility to make the 2018 season even more spectacular. If you missed the first week, don’t worry, you still have 12 more weeks of fantastic shows to attend at Balmoral Park now through September.
Kicking off the show on Wednesday, Paige Matthies and Climbus rode for the win in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome with a jump-off time of 30.868 seconds. She also took fourth with her mount Dirkie Z in a jump-off time of 31.996. After an outstanding circuit at HITS Ocala, with several Grand Prix victories, Lisa Goldman and Hindsight are back at it, taking second place with a jump-off time of 30.954. This was not the only thing Goldman had to celebrate – on Saturday, May 5, Goldman tied the knot with the ceremony and reception right at Balmoral Park.
Isabella Baxter came in third aboard Jahil with a jump-off time of 31.296. Rounding out the top five was Shannon Hicks riding Al Pachini in a jump-off time of 32.205.
On Thursday, Goldman and Hindsight came out on top in the $5,000 KindredBio Jumper Prix with a jump-off time of 31.562. Goldman took the win, just after getting married at Balmoral Park this past month. Goldman also rode to second place with Hit Me Van’t Zorgvliet in a jump-off time of 32.031. Hicks took two top placings, third aboard Al Pachini in a jump-off time of 32.412, and fifth aboard Clearwater 5 in a jump-off time of 33.511. Adeline Rohrbach took the fourth place spot with Valladam with a jump-off time of 33.011.
Saturday brought a crowd for the first Grand Prix of the season at HITS Balmoral Park. Goldman came out on top in the $35,000 HITS Grand Prix, this time aboard Sovereign with two speedy rides and a jump-off time of 38.286. Goldman also rode Hindsight to the third place finish in a jump-off time of 38.767. Matthies and Climbus took another top placing for the week, finishing second with a jump-off time of 38.680. Fourth place was Baxter aboard Caroquados T in a jump-off time of 39.645 and fifth went to Hicks and Al Pachini with a jump-off time of 41.224.
Wrapping up the week in the Grand Prix ring were two Jumper Classics on Sunday. Matthies took the top two positions in the $5,000 Summit Joint/SJHOF Jr/A-O/Am Jumper Classic aboard Climbus and Dirkie Z with jump-off times of 37.226 and 37.341, respectively. Bryn Sadler and Calvalou had a bit more trouble in the jump-off, but their performance was good enough for third place. Taking fourth place was Kyle Perkovich and Zacantos Z with one time fault in the first round and Baxter and Carquados T were the fastest of the four-faulters in round one and placed fifth.
In the $5,000 SmartPak Jumper Classic, Hannah Bilton and Elan took top honors with a jump-off time of 33.241. Goldman was second aboard NIKE with a jump-off time of 36.760. Third place was Sadler and Chicago Van Overis Z as the fastest of the four-faulters in the first round followed by Hicks and Walk The Line Z in fourth and Rohrbach and Valladam in fifth.
In the hunter rings, many jumped beautiful rounds and took top honors in classes including the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
After two rounds in the Devoucoux, Gabriel Rodrigues Honorio was awarded first place aboard Justified with a combined score of 165. Close behind, Baxter took second place with White Lightning and a combined score of 162. Matthies, after taking top placings in several Jumper classes, also proved to be an impressive Hunter rider, earning third place aboard Cantaletto with a combined score of 156. Fourth place was awarded to Molly Canfield and Class Act with a combined score of 151 and rounding out the top five, Molly McAdow and Caston finished with a combined score of 149.
Honorio came out on top again in the USHJA National Derby aboard Justified, this time with a combined score of 174. Goldman was second aboard Jupiter with a combined score of 161 and third place was awarded to Cassidy Spencer and Vegas de Gravelotte after a combined score of 151. McAdow and Caston earned another top five spot, placing fourth with a combined score of 139 and fifth was Gabriella Lewis aboard Sol Naciente, earning a combined score of 123.