Sulu Rose-Reed and Leondor Win the $40,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper
RELEASE: August 29, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By HITS
What a difference a week makes. Just ask Sulu Rose-Reed who captured the top prize in the $40,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix aboard Leondor on Sunday, August 26, as the duo got the best of 21 other pairs to conclude the Winston National horse show at HITS Culpeper.
With the win, Rose-Reed not only collected $12,000 in prize money for The Galloping Field, but she also catapults into the top 30 of the United States Grand Prix League (USGPL) Standings. The win gives her $15,200 as she moved all the way up from 57th in the standings to 30th. The top 30 horse-and-rider combinations based on prize money won will be invited back to HITS Culpeper for the USGPL Finals in late September, where they will duel it out for the top prize in the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix.
"I'm glad to crack the top 30," said Rose-Reed. "Every year I worry about having enough points to qualify and hopefully with another strong showing in next Sunday's grand prix I will secure a spot."
Leondor is eight and has been owned by The Galloping Field for the last three years. The $40,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix was the first grand prix victory of his career. "He's not the biggest horse in the world. He is only 16 hands," said Gail Thompson, owner of The Galloping Field. "But he has a real big heart, and yesterday he was a superstar."
According to Thompson, she was not planning on entering Leondor in the grand prix. But after an impressive showing in Thursday's $15,000 Footing Authority Mini Prix, presented by Brook Ledge, at HITS Culpeper, she decided to give him a chance to compete for the top prize in Sunday's $40,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix. Leandor was third in Thursday's class, but the top three spots were separated by only fractions of a second.
First to go in the jump-off was Marilyn Little and her mount Unikara. The duo made it all the way home clean in 45.315 seconds to set the Great American Time to Beat. Next to go in the jump-off was Rose-Reed and Leondor. They shaved over two seconds off of the time set by Little and Unikara to set the new pace at 43.198.
The third and final trip of the jump-off belonged to Willie Tynan and Aragon II. After the duo dropped a rail midway through course designer Jerry Dougherty's jump-off route, they retired and settled for a third-place finish for Apex Equestrian Center.
Show jumping at HITS Culpeper concludes on Sunday, September 2, with the $40,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix. The featured class offers yet another chance to get into the field for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix.
The first Culpeper Horse and Colt Show was held at Monte Vista Park in 1897 and it continued for the next 54 years. In the 1980s, show jumping returned to Culpeper in a grand fashion with the opening of Commonwealth Park, one of the finest horse-sport facilities in the country. Some of the richest show jumping events in America have been held at Commonwealth Park, including the $200,000 U.S. Cup, the grand finale for the United States Grand Prix League in 1986. HITS purchased Commonwealth Park in 1997 and began restoring the grounds to its former glory. In 1998, HITS reintroduced the United States Grand Prix League, and has presented the USGPL Finals at Commonwealth Park ever since. Approximately $1 million in total prize money is offered at the six HITS Culpeper events.