Teenager Daniel Bluman Wins $100,000 United States Grand Prix League Invitational Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper; Event Winds Down With Many Big Winners

RELEASE: October 1, 2009

Rising star Daniel Bluman added another impressive line to his resume when he bested a star-studded field aboard Fatalis Fatum to secure the top prize in the $100,000 United States Grand Prix League (USGPL) Invitational Grand Prix at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, VA.

Bluman and his impressive mount have now won three grand prix events in a row, including a victory in the $100,000 class at The Hampton Classic. "I am very proud of my horse," said Bluman. "He is proud to do his job. When I was horse shopping with Pablo Barrios he told me that this was the horse for me, and he was right!"

Bluman outlasted 30 pairs in the first round and an additional nine on the jump-off course set by international course designer Olaf Petersen, Sr. "He is a fantastic young rider on a well-established mount," said Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood, who finished second. "They are going to be a force to be reckoned with for a long time."

First to show in the jump-off was Kate Levy aboard Juan Carlos Garcia's Lirving Du Volsin. They had one fence down and finished in seventh place. Next to challenge the seven-obstacle jump-off track was Robin Sweely and Acorn Hill Farm's Discovery. When their round was over, they also had four faults and finished the class in eighth place.

International show jumping star Ramiro Quintana showed next aboard Kathryn Quirk's Q's Charm. They would make it all the way home clear in 33.769 to set the Great American Time to Beat. At the end of the afternoon, they captured third place.

One of HITS Ocala's most prominent stars showed next when Kyle King and Rocky Mountain Warmblood's RMW San Friese took the stage. They were clear coming home just off Quintana's pace in 34.849 to grab fourth place. "It's a new ride for me and that was about as good as we could have done today," said King. "My goal today was to go double clear. It's only my sixth grand prix on him. I will show him in [Ocala] Florida next and look to get qualified for the $1 Million USGPL Grand Prix in Saugerties next year."

Another popular HITS Ocala Grand Prix rider would go next when David Jennings rode his horse, Marcus Aurelius. They had eight faults and finished the big-ticket event in ninth place.

Then all eyes shifted to Henselwood when she entered the ring aboard a brand-new horse, Bradon Construction's Bottom Line. With two consecutive USGPL Grand Prix wins in her pocket, she was one of the favorites to win the class and the Olympian didn't disappoint the crowd when she was fast and clear in 33.241 to take the lead. Henselwood quickly reliquished her lead to Bluman and had to settle for a second-place finish this time around, but was still happy with the performance of her new horse.

"I am very pleased," said Henselwood. "It looks like Bottom Line is going to be a promising ride for the future."

Up next was 19-year-old Bluman aboard Fatalis Fatum. They became the new leader after an exciting trip that stopped the clocks in 32.147 and earned them the blue ribbon and the first-place check for $30,000.

After Bluman and Fatalis Fatum took the lead, it was Bill Lowry and Winsor Farm Sales' Rio Corde turn to challenge the course. The pair had an early rail down and finished in sixth place. The final ride of the class belonged to USGPL Leader Tracy Magness and Mr. and Mrs. John Bartko's Tarco Van Ter Moude. The crowd favorite, who amassed an incredible fortune in grand prix money and earned the 2009 USGPL Leading Rider title, was fast and clean coming to the last jump before experiencing heartbreak at the final fence to finish in fifth place.

For the year, Magness has won more than $200,000 aboard the Bartko's horse. Aside from all of her wins at HITS, Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude also won the $100,000 class in Upperville. This is Magness' fourth year riding Tarco Van Ter Moude and she likes to think that the 13-year-old is in his prime. "He continues to amaze me," said Magness.

Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude were also the leading pair at HITS Ocala in 2009, making it a banner year for the high-performance star. Look for the combination to show at the upcoming HITS Ocala Winter Circuit where they will look to qualify early for the $1 Million USGPL Grand Prix that will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson on September 12, 2010 in Saugerties, NY.

The Invitational took place after the presentation of the Grand Circuit Champion Awards for 60 divisions in the majestic grand prix ring at HITS Commonwealth Park. The SHALANNO Style of Riding Award Perpetual Trophy was also presented to the Junior Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation as modeled by Olympic medalists Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld and George Morris. This year's winner was Annastelle Cohen.

Cohen of Wellington, FL,is under the guidance of trainer Geoff Case. She competed at HITS Culpeper for six weeks this season and won countless ribbons in the jumper rings. The teenager also competed for several weeks this summer at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, NY, where she also was very successful.

"Annastelle is an extremely gifted young rider," said Case. "She shows as a 12-year-old and has four horses that compete in the jumper rings. She is very focused and is a true horse person. The sky is the limit for her."

Also excelling during the USGPL Finals was Laura Linback. The Illinois native rode Woodrun's Cartush 15 to the crown in the $15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low Classic. Linback, who won the blue ribbon in the $100,000 class at HITS Ocala in 2009, got the best of 23 starters to capture another impressive win.

Later that day, Kristen Glover of Hillsboro, VA, and The Boy Wonder would capture the blue in the $25,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic. In the high class, Linback continued to rake in the prize money when she finished eighth to give owners Woodrun a total of more than $5,000 on the afternoon.

Linback of Mundelin, IL, will now take a short break from showing before heading south to HITS Post Time Farm, in Ocala, FL, where she will look for a repeat performance in the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group. Aside from looking for another big win, Linback plans to show in all 14 grand prix events during the circuit in hopes of qualifying for the $1 Million USGPL Grand Prix.

"My horse loves Ocala so it should be a great opportunity for us to get qualified for the million," said Linback. "I plan on showing him a lot next year at HITS Ocala, HITS Culpeper and HITS Saugerties so we are ready for the big class."

On Friday, Sulu Rose-Reed had the perfect tune up for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix when she rode The Galloping Field's Leondor to the blue in the $25,000 Devoucoux Wild Card Grand Prix.

Reed and Leondor bested a field of 34 starters in the first round and a group of nine that moved onto Petersen's track on her way to scoring $7,500 in first-place prize money.

The Devoucoux Wild Card Grand Prix offered riders who were not already in the field of 30 qualified riders one final chance to qualify for the big-ticket class. When the class was complete, it was up-and-coming rider Sloane Coles who earned a spot in the prestigious class. Coles snagged the white ribbon aboard her horse Louisiana and showed first in Sunday's $100,000 USGPL Grand Prix.

Other top finishers in Friday's feature class were Tracy Fenney, who rode MTM Centano to a second-place finish, and taking third-place was Tracy Magness and her trusty grand prix mount, Tarco Van Ter Moude.

The USGPL Finals also provided some out of ring excitement when it hosted the launch party for the newly formed non-profit High Performance Equestrian Foundation on Friday, September 25, in the Grand Prix Pavilion at HITS Commonwealth Park.

The High Performance Equestrian Foundation (HPEF) has been created to cultivate and provide financial support for the capable, under-funded equestrians who aspire to compete at the highest levels of equestrian sport. The focus for the foundation will be on those competing at the grand prix level for the first couple of years, until funds grow substantially enough to include aspiring riders not yet competing at the highest level.

"It was a great turnout," said HITS' Account Executive for Corporate Sponsorship Lisa Engel. "Everyone there had a great time, and it was a great showing for the new foundation."

Show jumping at HITS Culpeper has concluded for another season at HITS Commonwealth Park and will resume in 2010 with six weeks of world-class equestrian competition beginning with the Commonwealth National on Wednesday April 21.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit