HITS Ocala Week IV Wrap-Up
RELEASE: March 11, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the HITS Media Team
Photo by ESI Photography (Jennifer Alfano and Fantabulous in Sunday's $10,000 Devoucoux Derby at HITS Ocala. )
HITS Ocala celebrated another action-packed week of AA-rated competition featuring the best in show jumping, as the Ocala Tournament wrapped up on Sunday, March 7.
Members from the Marion County Chamber of Commerce enjoyed an outing at HITS Post Time Farm on Thursday and had the opportunity to experience first-hand the excitement and energy that makes Marion County and Ocala, FL, an internationally recognized location for horse lovers from around the world to meet and compete.
Aaron Vale reminded everyone this week why he’s still one of the best competitors in the country when he captured Thursday’s $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard Paparazzi. He then made it to the jump-off in Sunday’s $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, where he took fifth. Paparazzi looks to be the horse that may lead Vale to qualify for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, which takes place September 12, 2010, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, NY.
After being out of action for two weeks with a broken finger, New Jersey’s Callan Solem returned, with a cast on her hand, to continue her domination of the Grand Prix Division at HITS Ocala. Solem and Allison took second in Thursday’s $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and then won Sunday’s $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.
Solem and Allison have amassed an impressive $42,500 in grand prix prize money, as the duo has placed in every grand prix that they have competed in so far this season. Solem has seven of the eight grand prix classes needed to qualify for the Pfizer Million and has a substantial lead with 80 points in the Catena Leading Rider Standings. The top-ranked Grand Prix rider on the 2010 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will receive a beautiful Catena diamond-faced watch at the conclusion of the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, on Sunday, March 21.Devoucoux Hunter Derby
On Sunday, Jennifer Alfano joined the likes of Kristen Bumpus and David Connors by winning the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby, which featured a field of 52 riders with a fresh mix of professionals and amateurs taking part in one of the most exciting new events offered this winter at HITS Ocala. Alfano rode Michelle Shaulinski's Fantabulous and scored 176 points for the win.
In second place was Solem, who came right from the Grand Prix ring to the hunter ring and put up an impressive 173 points aboard Barbara Scott’s Cinderella. Youngster Chase Boggio, who has been a consistent performer, placing in every Devoucoux Derby offered this season in Ocala, finished in third place behind Solem aboard his mount Massimo.Saturday Night Fever
Saturday nights at HITS Ocala have become the place to be. This week, HITS exhibitors flocked to watch the $5,000 Children’s Hunter Classic under the lights. Ringside, the fans enjoyed some delicious food from Cody’s Original Roadhouse while watching the competition, catching all the excitement.
Corinne Milbury on Curtain Bluff, owned by Lauren Sherman, was the winner of the Classic, which featured 25 competitors. Jenna Santi on Carlotta, owned by Robin Hughes and Meadowood Farm, was second, while Millpond Showtime, owned and shown by Day Harmening, ended up in third place.Pfizer Million Rider Rankings
The road to the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix is really starting to heat up as the HITS Winter Circuits draw closer to their finish. HITS Thermal’s John Anderson has been terrific on Terrific and, with more than $40,000 in prize money, currently enjoys the number one spot in the preliminary Pfizer Million Rider Rankings. HITS Ocala super-stars Tracy Magness, Tracy Fenney and David Jennings are fourth, fifth and sixth in the current Rider Rankings. Ocala high-performance riders will have four more opportunities to qualify for the Pfizer Million before the season comes to a close on Sunday, March 21, with the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group. After that it will be on to the HITS Spring and Summer Shows in Culpeper and Saugerties, which will offer 19 more qualifying grand prix classes for the Pfizer Million.HITS Ocala 5k Race
Just before sunset on Wednesday, March 3, HITS Ocala Exhibitors were lined up for the HITS Ocala 5K Race, which had a course that took the runners on a full tour of the show grounds. Kenny Krome, who was judging hunters last week, took first place, and after all runners came through the finish-line they all enjoyed refreshments in the HITS Restaurant.Looking Forward to an Action Packed Week V
Show jumping at HITS Post Time Farm continued this week with the Ocala Winter Finals from March 9–14, featuring a full lineup of exciting classes and two more qualifying grand prix classes for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, including Thursday's $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and Sunday's $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. It also will be an exciting week for hunters, with the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse
/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Hunter Derby held under the lights on Saturday night, and the return of the $5,000 Pony Commotion on Sunday. In addition, this is everyone’s favorite weekend at HITS Ocala as it features the anticipated return of the Purina Mills Kids Day.
On Friday night HITS Ocala will hold a special "Celebrate Saugerties" Exhibitor Party in the HITS Restaurant from 6-8 p.m. featuring live entertainment and the fabulous food courtesy of Felix’s Restaurant. All are welcome, so bring your appetite and dancing shoes.
Sunday’s Spectacular line-up includes the much-awaited Purina Mills Kids Day, which kicks off at 11 a.m. in the Spectator Parking Area behind the Grand Prix Arena. Special acts slated for the family-fun celebration include a bounce house, live music by the Brion Kenyon Band, mini-donkey and horse petting area, book signings by author Sharon Miner who is also holding a "Ponies and Puppies" Young Artist Contest to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and Bonnie Books’ author, Barbara Van Tuyl, will be signing copies of the newly released Bonnie books, "The Sweet Running Filly," and "A Horse Called Bonnie." There will be special kid-friendly exhibitions, as well as Purina Mills’ Sponsored Dressage Rider, Stacey Parvey Larson, from Hidden Acres Dressage, who will perform a freestyle dressage exhibition set to music prior to the Grand Prix action. The Humane Society of Marion County will be holding its final Pet Adoption Day at the show, and HITS Ocala’s Official Radio Station, WTRS 102.3 FM will be broadcasting on-site. The Purina Mills’ "After Party" closes out the weekend and will take place in the VIP tent at around 5 p.m. and will feature live entertainment, food and a cash bar. All are welcome, so make sure to see a Purina Mills representative for more information.
Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille will be providing the VIP luncheon this Sunday, so if you haven't gotten your table yet, make sure to order now.
In order to qualify for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, a rider must compete in eight or more HITS Grand Prix classes. The top 40 riders, based on money won by horse/rider combination, will be eligible to ride for the Pfizer Million. For more detailed information on the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, and a complete schedule of classes and events at HITS events, please visit our website at www.HitsShows.com