Shachine Belle and INXS Turn a 2013 Goal Into Reality With a Win in Sunday's $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala
RELEASE: January 28, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Hits Press Release
Shachine Belle and INXS clinch their first $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala as they set their sights on the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final in Saugerties this September. Until now, INXS showed in the amateur-owner hunters with his owner Robin Swinderman (©ESI Photography)
- For best friends Robin Swinderman and Shachine Belle, their 2013 goal is off to a picture perfect start. After competing her horse INXS in the amateur- owner hunters for the past several years, Swinderman of Morriston, Florida has set her sights on INXS showing in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final during HITS Championship Weekend in Saugerties, New York. With trainer Belle in the irons, they started their qualifying efforts today with a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter prix at HITS Ocala.
“They have been doing the amateurs together and she [Swinderman] wanted to see him [INXS] do something different,” said Belle, who hails from Farmington, Connecticut.
Today’s Devoucoux Hunter Prix took place on the new Outside Course at HITS Ocala, modeled after the dynamic ring that was home to last year’s Diamond Mills and HITS Hunter Prix Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson. “We are both very excited – today was awesome. Riding in the new ring was great – jumping the bank made the course fun and the footing was perfect. I think that is a great addition to the show,” added Belle.
Belle and INXS, affectionately called Aiden around the barn, rode to the second highest score of the first round with an 82 and then took control in the second round with an 85 for a 167 total and the win.
“He is always perfect and today was no different,” said Belle of the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding. “Our biggest goal is to get to Saugerties this year and we are off to a great start.”
Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, New York and Sharon O’Neil’s Rose Hill were one point behind Belle and INXS after the first round and posted an 83 in the second for a total of 164 and the red ribbon. Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas transitioned to the hunter ring today after winning Thursday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and piloted Cammy Turgon’s Scoop to third with a final score of 161.
Belle isn’t the only one making a debut on the road to qualifying for the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final. It seems that $150,000 for first place is attracting many new faces, including several in today’s top five.
Brook Saltzman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois rode her own Ariano to fourth, while Hunter Holloway capped the top five with Hays Investment Corp.’s Cascina for their second Devocoux Hunter Prix top five in two weeks.
Devoucoux, the makers of fine French saddles, will continue to present weekly hunter prix, which represent the only way for hunter riders to punch their ticket to the prestigious Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final during HITS Championship Weekend in Saugerties in September.
$1,500 HITS Hunter Prix
After riding into the top ten in last week’s $1,500 Hunter Prix, Alexa Riccio of Cheshire, Connecticut made a marked improvement with her own Alejandro and boasted the top score of the day, an 85, to take the win in yesterdays’ weekly qualifier for the HITS $250,000 Hunter Prix Final. The popular new class for junior and amateur hunter riders will again join the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final to highlight hunter competition during HITS Championship Weekend.
For Corinne Milbury of Boston, Massachusetts consistent rides delivered another second-place finish to her and her own Kavalier. Carly Corbacho of Wellesley, Massachusetts and her own Blue Highway were third.
After winning last week’s HITS Hunter Prix, Kimberly Maloomian of Needham, Massachusetts piloted Terry S. Maloomian’s Urlala to another top placing in fourth. Rounding out the top five was Lauren Raponi of Toronto, Ontario aboard her own Orlando.
HITS Hunter Prix Final hopefuls will have another opportunity to gain qualifying leverage next Saturday when the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix returns to the Outside Course at HITS Ocala.