The Road to the Pfizer Million and the Devoucoux Derby are Hits
RELEASE: January 28, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the HITS Media Team
Show jumping will never be the same. The first Pfizer Million Grand Prix qualifier and the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby made a big impact on the show jumping circuit, in what will be a mainstay throughout this year's HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.
The winner of the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health and first prospective Pfizer Million qualifier was Callan Solem on Allison. With 32 horse and rider teams eager to win, it was a competitive field. "She [Allison] invented me," said Solem, a grand prix veteran, who has been riding Allison for 12 years. "She loves doing this, she's a true professional."
This is the first time that 18-year-old Allison has shown since last July, even overcoming sickness in December. Allison didn't skip a beat as she jumped a clean round to earn a spot in the jump-off along with 12 others.
The anticipation grew in the jump-off as spectators filled every spot on the berms and stands, soaking in the beautiful sunny weather while cheering for the biggest kick-off event of the season. Callan and Allison jumped clean in 34.264 seconds for the blue, narrowly defeating second-place winner Derek Peterson on Eli who jumped clean in 34.833 seconds.
"The course was friendly," said Solem. "I don't think she's fit enough yet for the big grand prix's later in the season, but this was a great indicator on how she's feeling. She does whatever feels right for her." Devoucoux Derby Delivers
It was a big day for Kristen VanDerveen, who competed in both the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby, bringing home the blue in the latter on Bull Run's Kaleo, to become the inaugural champion. She took sixth and seventh place in the grand prix on Bull Run's La Bamba and Bull Run's Alpha & Omega, respectively.
"I'm very proud of him, he handled it well," said VanDerveen. "This was his first hunter derby, so I didn't know how he was going to react to the coop and brush combinations."
Hailing from St. Charles, IL, VanDerveen's win today is a warm-up for future hunter derbies on the horizon. Taking second place was Charlene Graham on Only You, with Amanda Steege taking third on Majestic.
Another $5,000 Devoucoux Derby will take place this coming week at the Ocala January Festival as it now calls HITS home. Then, during the rated weeks of the circuit, the Devoucoux Derby will double in prize money to $10,000.
Show jumping continues this week with the Ocala January Festival. After a week off, competition returns with six consecutive weeks of AA-rated horse shows on Tuesday, February 9, beginning with the Ocala Winter Classic.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com