HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Review
RELEASE: April 1, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the HITS Media Team
Photo by ESI Photography (Jennifer Alfano and Fantabulous on course in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby at HITS Ocala. )
The 2010 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit was certainly a successful tour for HITS Ocala Veteran Callan Solem.
The accomplished equestrian found victory in the Grand Prix ring several times during the eight-week horse show circuit at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, FL, including a win in the $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, on Allison, owned by Quiet Winter Farm/BJ Maghan.
For her efforts, Solem captured the 2010 Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider Award and received a beautiful diamond-faced watch courtesy of Catena. Solem’s mount, Allison, was presented with the Leading Mare Award, from the Stallion Services Department of the Equine Medical Center of Ocala, and will receive a free embryo transfer performed by Dr. Corey Miller, head of reproduction at the Ocala-based veterinary hospital.
Solem is now focused on qualifying for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix that will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson, in Saugerties, NY, on September 12. Currently, Solem and her 18-year-old mare, Allison, are sitting in the eighth spot of the Pfizer Million Eligible Rider Rankings and, with a summer schedule that includes stops at both HITS Culpeper and HITS Saugerties, she is looking to cement herself a place at the historic event.
With back-to-back wins during the final week of show jumping at HITS Ocala, Tracy Fenney now sits at number three in the Pfizer Million Eligible Rider Rankings on MTM Timon, with $70,750 in prize money. The Texas native used the $30,000 payout from her first-place finish in the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, to climb the ladder in the chase for the Pfizer Million. Maryland's Tracy Magness also moved up in the Rankings, thanks to a top finish in Sunday's big-money class. She is now tied for sixth place with California's Helen McNaught, with $43,000 in prize money aboard Tarco Van Ter Moude. Currently leading the way in the Pfizer Million Rider Rankings is decorated Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood on Bradon Construction's Bottom Line. Dazzling Derby! $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby is a "HIT"
An impressive mix of professionals and amateurs took part in the all new $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derbies, which proved to be one of the most exciting new events offered this winter at HITS Ocala.
Highlighting the list of winners in the popular two-round derby was Jennifer Alfano, riding Michelle Shaulinski's Fantabulous. Alfano, who is regarded as one of the top hunter riders in the country, also won the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse
/USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Dietrich Insurance, aboard SBS Farm's Jersey Boy.
Other top riders who had victories in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby include David Connors riding Nadia, and Kristen Bumpus, who scored the blue ribbon twice riding Inspired. All three hunter riders plan to show at HITS-on-the-Hudson throughout the spring and summer, and are sure to continue showing in this popular event for Marshall & Sterling League Points in order to qualify for this year’s National Finals.
The all-new Devoucoux Hunter Derby was a featured event at both the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, and the HITS Desert Circuit, and represents the 13th division to count for points in the Marshall & Sterling League. In addition to the $10,000 Derby classes held at HITS winter shows in Thermal and Ocala, qualifying classes for the Devoucoux Hunter Derby Finals will be offered at the HITS Culpeper and HITS Saugerties shows this spring and summer. HITS has also invited a select number of horse shows in the Northeast to add the Devoucoux Hunter Derby to their show schedules, which will help facilitate the growth of the class and provide further qualifying opportunities for the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. The Devoucoux Derby Finals will be offered at the 2010 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals on September 16-19, in Saugerties, NY. A HITS Parade
Super Sunday at HITS Post Time Farm featured the presentation of the Antarès Grand Circuit Champion Awards, held during the ever-popular Parade of Champions, in the Grand Prix ring before the start of the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group.
Solem was also the star of the parade that honored the circuit's best of the best. Riding Virginia McNeil's six-year-old Dutch Warmblood High Consul, the pair was not only awarded the Low Hunter Circuit Championship, but also the Pre-Green Hunter Reserve Circuit Championship making Solem one of the stars of both the hunter and jumper rings during the 2010 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.
"High Consul is a lovely young horse, and he came along really well this year," Solem said. "I think he has a really bright future, and I enjoy riding him. He is definitely on his way!"
Also highlighting the festivities was Hunt Tosh, who won three different Circuit Championships on three different horses. Trade Winds, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler, won the Friar Tuck Perpetual Trophy given to the Circuit Champion in the Green Conformation Hunter. Tosh was also Circuit Champion in the First-Year Green Hunters on another horse owned by the Wheelers, Good Humor. The Regular Working Hunter Circuit Championship was the grand finale of Tosh’s wins, when he was named Circuit Champion and Reserve Circuit Champion aboard Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler's Lone Star and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Oare's Rosalynn, respectively.
Another shining star during the parade was Chase Boggio. The up-and-coming rider had an outstanding season placing in every Hunter Derby he entered and was awarded The Ocala Style of Riding Award. Boggio was selected out of hundreds of riders as the person most deserving of the award by the jumper judges at the Ocala Winter Circuit, the horseshow personnel in positions of knowledge, including the show management, back gate personnel, stewards, announcers and others over the course of the entire circuit.
This special award was given to Boggio for showing the best American style of riding and possessing the respectful, dignified, courteous and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman on the 2010 Ocala Winter Circuit.
For a complete list of circuit award winners, visit www.hitsshows.com/ocala/flcircuitawards_2010.html
. A Time for Fun
This year's HITS Ocala Winter Circuit was filled with good fun both inside and out of the gates of HITS Post Time Farm. Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club provided plenty of excitement away from the show grounds when they held the HITS Ocala Golf Tournament, and were also gracious hosts of the Golden Ocala Art Reception. Other off-site entertainment included a sponsor reception at Arthur's Restaurant, Welcome Parties at the Sanctuary Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Center, and the Pfizer High-Performance Rider Reception at Ipanema.
The show grounds also provided a perfect venue for exhibitors looking for ways to have some fun. Headlined by the popular Purina Mills Kids Day, some of the other events included The HITS Ocala Star Search, Team Barber Exhibitor Party, World of the Horse with a special on-site radio broadcast by WTRS, and the HITS 5K Run. All Eyes Turn East for the Next Stops on the Road to the Pfizer Million
Now that the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit has come to a close, riders from around the country are working to sharpen their strategy on how to make the cut for the Pfizer Million, 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.
Riders will have 19 opportunities to qualify over the course of the spring and summer at HITS Culpeper and HITS-on-the-Hudson. There will be five qualifying Grand Prix classes held during HITS Culpeper, each worth $40,000 in prize money from April through August. Then in Saugerties riders will have a total of 14 qualifying Grand Prix classes held from May through September 5, including the big ticket $125,000 Grand Prix, which will take place on Sunday during Weeks III and VI. Prize Lists for Culpeper and Saugerties are now available at www.HitsShows.com
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 www.HitsShows.com
. For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, please visit the website.