The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit continued into the third week, welcoming riders to the Winner’s Circle at HITS Post Time Farm to accept honors in featured Hunter and Jumper competition. Along with the $100,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, Week III featured the $7,500 M&S Children’s and Adult High Jumper Classic in the Stadium on Saturday afternoon, as well as the Diamond Mills and Platinum Performance Hunter Prix in the Main Hunter Ring.
Leading off the week with a one-two finish in the $5,000 Open Welcome was Aaron Vale and PRESCOTT for Thinkslikeahorse. Vale crossed the timers in 41.744 to secure the win.
2nd Place: Vale & CAMIRO BLUE PS [41.882]
3rd Place: Madelyn Cardelli & BAAL BERITH [4-Faults, 42.801]
Harold Chopping (CAN) added his name to the list of featured winners, taking the blue ribbon in the $10,000 HITS Open Prix on Thursday aboard FAST FORWARD for Rein Family, LLC in a time of 38.792.
2nd Place: Tracy Magness & CHOPIN DU CHATEAU HOLLOGNE Z [38.947]
3rd Place: Kylie Jo Perkins & ESCADA VS [41.299]
Five returned for the jump-off in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Friday afternoon. Following up her win in last Sunday’s Grand Prix to claim the blue ribbon was Tracy Fenney and MTM APPLE, for MTM Farm. Fenney returned second in the jump-off and posted a time of 38.625 to take the lead and claiming her third Grand Prix victory this season at HITS Ocala.
2nd Place: Hayley Waters & TOUT BLEU DE VAINS [42.101]
3rd Place: Rowan Willis & EKITA EINDEKEN Z [49.318]
Moving up in the standings to take home first place in the $10,000 Jumper Classic on Saturday was Waters aboard VITEL SOURDIN, owned by Southern Cross Equestrian, LLC, as they crossed the timers in 36.078.
2nd Place: Chopping & GERDERIEKA II VI [40.224]
3rd Place: Chopping & QUADRANT 3 [40.299]
Jumper Classic Winners
$1,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic – Low: Eleanor Pieters & INXS
$1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic – Medium: Sophia Ayers & SUCANO
$2,500 Pyranha NAL Jr/A-O/Am 1.25m Jumper Classic: Cardelli & CHASINTA
$5,000 Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic: Madison Kondracki & STAKKO
$7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/Am 1.45m Jumper Classic: Cardelli & BAAL BERITH
Week III of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit featured the $7,500 M&S Children’s and Adult High Jumper Classic in the Stadium, providing up and coming riders a chance in the spotlight. A field of 41 riders competed for the top prize in the classic, but none could beat Pippa Spingler’s time of 35.010 aboard Vick Russell’s QUONTINE DE LA ROQUE.
2nd Place: Mira Korber & PATENT PENDING 3E [35.567]
3rd Place: Charlotte Powers & ESCOT 6 [36.240]
Vale started and finished the week on a high note, completely dominating featured competition at HITS Post Time Farm! He added another one-two finish to his record, this time in Sunday’s $100,000 HITS Grand Prix, making this his fourth Grand Prix win of the season at HITS Ocala.
Vale was piloting two of the five horses that jumped clear in the first round and had a plan for each horse in the jump-off. that definitely paid off. He captured the lead aboard his first mount in the jump-off, CHACCMAN for Thinkslikeahorse in a time of 40.196.
“My first horse [CHACCMAN] isn’t very rideable,” Vale laughed. “He kind of runs off with me so I figured I would let him do that and lucky for me the jumps came up where he could clear them, so that was awesome.” Continuing to go over his jump-off round aboard CHACCMAN, Vale explained that it felt a little dicey, especially across the middle section of the jump-off, but sure enough he cleared the fences and took the lead.
The excitement didn’t end there, however as Vale quickly jumped onto his second mount, PRESCOTT, also owned by Thinkslikeahorse, and entered the ring for another go at the jump-off. At this point he was up against himself, as the last to go and already holding the lead in what had been a very competitive jump-off. What else would Vale do than try to make it a one-two finish?
Vale clocked in under the 40-second mark with a time of 39.825 to take the lead. “He’s a younger horse, but he steers a lot better than the other one,” said Vale about PRESCOTT, a coming 9 year old Holsteiner gelding.
“I jumped number one on a good angle and he [PRESCOTT] was very quick away from it. I felt like he was going to be quick enough for the win at that point. The angle to the third fence – the vertical – I decided to put an extra stride in there since he’s a little green,” Vale continued. “I knew he would turn better to the last few fences so I thought if I left the jumps up after that he would take the lead and he did.”
2nd Place: Vale & CHACCMAN [40.196]
3rd Place: Andre Thieme & CONACCO [40.737]
Several featured hunter classes and classics are spotlighted each week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, including with the Platinum Performance and Diamond Mills Hunter Prix, as well as upcoming $25,000 USHJA National and International Hunter Derbies, $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies and the Zone IV Handy Hunter Challenge. The Ocala Premier highlighted a $10,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix and $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, both which count toward the HITS Championship.
Top honors in the $10,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix went to Jennifer Alfano and NOLAN, owned by Kathy Chiaf & Sharon O’Neill.
2nd Place: Caroline Willard Briles & NECOFINO
3rd Place: David Wilbur & CHARISMO
Gentry Beresford and CARLUCA, owned by Donald Stewart, took the blue ribbon in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.
2nd Place: Alexa Bayko & GARSINO
3rd Place: MacKenna Moss & QUAXX 2
Hunter Classic Winners
$1,000 A-O Hunter Classic – 3’6″: Jessie Goodwin & QUIDAM ADERO
$1,000 Eastern Hay A-O Hunter Classic – 3’3″: Wendy Wood & FOCUS
$1,000 Antares Junior Hunter Classic – 3’6″: Christopher Coberley & ACTENDER PS
$1,000 Junior Hunter Classic – 3’3″: Hayden Weinstein & BON JOVI
$1,000 Perfect Products Pony Hunter Classic: Sophia Sisco & GOOD BOY
$500 M&S NAL/WIHS SmartPak Adult Hunter Classic: Mary Beth McGee & NERO VAN DE HELLE
$500 M&S NAL/WIHS Child Hunter Classic: Kate Egan & CHICO
M&S Bit O’ Straw Hunter Classic: Sophia Sisco & CLEVER