HITS Ocala Week V Wrap-Up
RELEASE: March 18, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the HITS Media Team
Photo by ESI Photography (Emma Kennedy, the owner and rider of Summer Hill, captured Sunday's $5,000 Pony Commotion. )
The Ocala Winter Finals wrapped up another exciting week of show jumping that included two of the four remaining qualifying grand prix classes this winter for the Pfizer Million at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, FL.
Maryland’s Tracy Magness captured the win in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard Mr. and Mrs. John Barko’s Tarco Van Ter Moude for their second grand prix victory this season, while in Sunday’s $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, international high-performance rider Sharn Wordley, took home his first grand prix victory of the season aboard Swept Away Farm’s Andiamo Pyon.Pony Commotion Returns to HITS Ocala
The Grand Prix field has seen spectacular showmanship from all different levels of competition throughout the winter circuit, with Sunday being no exception as the $5,000 Pony Commotion started the day with 31 competitors eager to have their moment in the spotlight. Emma Kennedy, the owner and rider of Summer Hill, was awarded the blue ribbon, while second and third place went to Kriss Eisaman on Thief of Hearts, owned by Kaley Kawi, and Kristen Mohr on Rockport, owned by Hannah Holik, respectively.USHJA International Hunter Derby
Jennifer Alfano scored a “threepeat” as she won the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse
/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby for the third year in a row at HITS Ocala. The win was the second victory in a row on SBS Farm, Inc.’s, Jersey Boy.
“I really enjoy doing the derbies, and this one was another great event,” said Alfano, who placed first, second and fourth in the class. “Jersey Boy has a lot of experience in the Derbies, and this was his first one of the year—he did really well.”
The night class held in the Hunter Stadium drew a large crowd who cheered on their favorite horses and riders from the 52 competitors featured. Catena Leading Rider
Callan Solem and Allison are still at the top of the Catena Leading Rider Standings with a total of 80 points, as the duo has had outstanding performances throughout the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.
And while Solem’s lead seems to be secure, with two more grand prix classes left at HITS Ocala, Magness, the 2009 Catena Leading Rider, is within mathematical striking distance with 63 points in second place. The Catena Leading Rider will be awarded a beautiful diamond-faced Catena watch on Sunday, prior to the Grand Finale.Pfizer Million Eligible Rider Rankings
Taking home the victory on Sunday at the $300,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, CA, was Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood, who now leads the Pfizer Million Eligible Rider Rankings with a total of $104,000 earned in prize money. While Henselwood enjoys safety in the top spot for now, there are three of Ocala’s high-performance riders currently in the Top 10, including Solem and Allison in sixth place, Tracy Fenney and MTM Timon in eighth place, and Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude in 10th place. East Coast riders have a chance to finish the HITS Ocala winter circuit strong, with two more Pfizer Million qualifying grand prix classes left, including Sunday’s big-ticket $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group. Riders from around the country are working to sharpen their strategy on how to make the cut for this historic class and are already looking ahead to Culpeper and Saugerties to secure the eight grand prix classes needed to become eligible and to win enough prize money to remain in the Top 40.Purina Mills Kid’s Day
Families, exhibitors, and spectators were treated to a full day filled with fun activities as the Purina Mills Kid’s Day accompanied the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Sharn Wordley wasn’t the only winner on Sunday, as children and their families won a beautiful day at HITS Ocala with carnival activities, special acts, and a petting zoo in what proved to be a fun day for everyone. Following the Grand Prix, Purina Mill’s sponsored a special exhibitor party at the VIP Tent to celebrate another successful week at HITS Ocala.Celebrate Saugerties
The Celebrate Saugerties Exhibitor Party saw a great turnout as exhibitors enjoyed music and a delicious buffet of food, provided by Felix’s Restaurant of Ocala, to celebrate the upcoming HITS Saugerties Circuit that will host nine weeks of competition from May through September, ending with the much-anticipated Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, September 12.
Felix’s will also sponsor the VIP Luncheon this Sunday at the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group.What’s Next
Easter arrives early at HITS Ocala as the Steadfast Egg Hunt will take place on Thursday, March 18, with decorated eggs being placed throughout the show grounds. Each egg will feature a number that corresponds with a special prize, provided by Arenus, with the winner receiving the Arenus VIP Table at the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, this Sunday.
In celebration of the final week of the circuit, exhibitors will have the chance to enjoy the popular Team Barber Exhibitor Party on Friday, at the HITS Restaurant. This classic annual barbeque and country music extravaganza will be open for everyone to enjoy, from 6–8 p.m.
The winner of the WTRS National Anthem Contest will sing the National Anthem prior to the start of the grand prix on Sunday, as WTRS will be on-site to broadcast the activities live during the day.
The Ocala Winter Celebration will feature an exciting array of classes to celebrate it’s final week, including the $5,000 Adult Hunter Classic, Ronnie Mutch Equitation Classic, $15,000 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, $25,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Team Barber Child/Adult Jumper Classic.
The $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, will take place on Thursday, and the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, will highlight the final day of competition at HITS Ocala this winter. The Parade of Champions and the presentations for the Ocala Style of Riding and Catena Leading Rider Awards will also grace the field on Sunday for the conclusion of the Ocala Winter Celebration.
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, please visit our website at www.HitsShows.com
. In addition, more information and a complete schedule of classes and events is available on the website.