• USEF Network Just added to this weekend's live schedule: #Dressage from the Del Mar National Horse Show 4/21/2015 8:59:48 PM
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  • USEF Do you have questions for U.S. Eventing Team Coach David O'Connor? Send them in using #USEFTalk and get them answered tomorrow evening. Retweeted by USEFNetwork 4/20/2015 9:12:43 PM
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Jenny Karazissis Wins Week V Devoucoux Hunter Prix Qualifier

RELEASE: March 1, 2014

Jenny Karazissis and Splendid jump to the top of the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal (Flying Horse Photography)
Jenny Karazissis and Splendid jump to the top of the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal (Flying Horse Photography)
Thermal, Calif.
- Jenny Karazissis of Calabasas, California is a regular contender in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, and has clearly lost no ground this year as she jumped Splendid to a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix for owner Julia Landmann this weekend at HITS Thermal. With top scores of 85.75 and 88, Karazissis bested a field of 35 to win under the lights in the desert.

“This is a relatively new ride for me and I was very impressed with how well he handled this level of competition,” said Karazissis of the six-year-old gelding that she found for Landmann in Florida this January. “Julia bought him right before the circuit without trying him herself, and that gamble has paid off with this success today.”

Tucker Williams of Houston, Texas designed the courses for the hunter prix at HITS Thermal and made great use of the expansive Hunter Stadium. “We used every inch of the ring and spread the fences out to let them really gallop. The riders really showed up to compete today, which created a very exciting atmosphere,” said Williams who owns and operates CCI Jumps in Texas. Highlighting the course, Williams built a 12 stride bending line across the middle of the ring that gave many riders a chance to shine.

Karazissis admitted that, despite being young, her mount handled the challenges presented by Williams perfectly. “He was great in this class and also did the High Performance Hunters this week. He stays so level-headed, he’s smart, scopey and very big-strided,” she said.

Just a quarter-point behind Karazissis, Abbygale Funk of St. George, Kansas rode to scores of 89 and 84.5 with Carole Looke’s Rock On to take second place. Buddy Brown of Tiburon, California capped the top three with an 85 and 86 in the irons of Cosineval for Leah Rappaport. Alexis Taylor Silvernale of Medina, Washington was fourth with David Taylor’s Carnado after scores of 84 and 86.5, while Tommi Clark of Burbank, California rounded out the top five on Stephen Borders’ Exemplar after posting an 83 and 87. Only 3.5 points separated second through fifth, making for a competitive second round where the lead changed hands several times.

As qualifying continues for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, hunter riders are also gearing up for the return of the $50,000 East Meets West Hunter Prix Challenge, which will take place March 14-15. When the innovative class takes the stage, the top hunter riders at HITS Thermal will be pitted against the top hunter riders from HITS Ocala in Florida via simulcast.