Ocala, Florida – Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON, captured the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix held Sunday, February 18, in Ocala, Florida.

As the first rider to attempt the track set by course designer Ken Krome, Underhill proved a clear round was possible and secured her place in the jump-off. Only three other members of the 36-horse starting field managed to join her, setting the stage for an exciting tie-breaker. Once again, Underhill was in the position of pathfinder and, once again, she and Magdaline laid down a clear round in a time of 42.90 seconds. Fellow Canadian Hugh Graham was the only other rider to post a double-clear performance but his time of 43.55 seconds riding Polyfax was not fast enough to catch Underhill.

“In the jump-off, I just thought I would be smooth and efficient without putting too much at risk,” explained Underhill of the winning strategy that netted her $15,000 in prize money. “Initially, I was concerned because it was her first time competing in the new Grand Prix ring at Ocala and sometimes she can be a little spooky in a new environment, but she just went around like an equitation horse. She was solid and confident, and her jump was crisp and round. I was really thrilled!”

In their first three weeks competing on the HITS Ocala show jumping circuit, Underhill and Magdaline have enjoyed incredible success. They won the $15,000 Friday Mini Prix during the opening week, then placed second in Sunday’s $25,000 Grand Prix the following week.

“Maggie feels great!” said Underhill enthusiastically about the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Darryl B. Williams and Associates Inc. “She feels like she has stepped up a notch in terms of her confidence. When she believes in herself, she is such a winner. She is loving her job and enjoying herself and, in turn, she is giving a better effort. She had a fabulous season last year, and it feels like she is starting back right where she left off.”

Between her own mounts and those of her clients, Underhill is overseeing the training and showing of 20 horses in Ocala. In addition to Magdaline’s success, Underhill also won a Seven and Eight-Year-Old Young Horse class riding Rhiannon, a Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Beth Underhill Stables.

One of Canada’s most successful show jumping competitors, Underhill is based in Schomberg, ON, where she operates Beth Underhill Stables.