DEREK PETERSON AND PROMISED LAND WIN $50,000 KING SHAVINGS GRAND PRIX AT HITS OCALA II
OCALA, FL (February 23, 2004)
Derek Peterson and Promised Land delivered the only double-clear of a field of thirty-eight horses to win the $50,000 King Shavings Grand Prix at HITS Ocala II. Tricia O'Connor and Furistos Treasure, owned by Cloverlea Farm Inc., were the only other pair to join Peterson in the jump-off. Their four-fault performance gave them second in the competition. Jonathon Millar and Sweet Dreams, owned by Scotia Farms, took third place. Aaron Vale rode Arriscraft Soliel, winner of Thursday's $25,000 Peterson & Smith Grand Prix, to fourth place.
Course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Caracas, Venezuela, built a 14-jump Round One course that included a triple at Fence No. 8, and a double at Fence No. 10. Time Allowed was set at 87 seconds. "This is the strongest field of Grand Prix riders and horses that I have seen in the past four years here in Ocala," said Palacios. So, I decided to build it not so big but very technical and only 2 clear in the first round proved that it was just that."
Derek Peterson certainly agreed with Palacios, quipping to him right after the jump-off: "Tricky, tricky course, very technical!" The tough course saw rails down at 16 of 17 obstacles during Round One. Tricia O'Connor was the first to earn a clear round aboard Furistos Treasure. The crowd had to wait until Peterson, who was 25th in the order, to be assured of a jump-off.
Palacios built a seven-obstacle jump-off course and set Time Allowed at 56 seconds. Tricia O'Connor and Promised Land were the first to enter the ring. Their time was fast with 45.88 seconds on the clock, but an unlucky rail at the double cost them their clear round. For Derek Peterson and Promised Land, a clear round within the time allowed would win them the competition. Peterson took it steady, guiding Promised Land clear in a time of 48.45 seconds for the win.
Derek Peterson is a deeply religious family man. Born in South Africa he rode there as a Junior and then hung it up to come to the States in 1988. He hired on as a member of the jump crew and used to say to the other guys on the crew, "I'll be out there riding one day, just watch." "They all laughed, but a couple of years later I got my first horse here in the States, said Peterson." Derek, who has lived for the past seven years in Archer, FL, is deacon of his church and his pastor was in the audience cheering (and praying, he admitted) for the jumps to stay up. And stay up they did in the jump-off.
Derek said "I had a revelation that this horse was going to take me to the 'Promised Land' and that's why I named him thathe is a gift of God." Promised Land is a 17.1 hand gelding that was German born from an unknown sire. This is the 4th year Derek has been showing this horse.
The next Grand Prix event at HITS Ocalathe $25,000 HITS Grand Prix will take place on Friday, February 27th. On Sunday, February 29th, spectators will enjoy world-class show jumping competition as riders compete for top honors in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. The Grand Prix will coincide with Family Day presented by Cox Communications. Children and their parents will be invited to participate in a day filled with pony rides, face painting, clowns, and much more.
For more information on the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please visit www.hitsshows.com.
$50,000 King Shavings Grand
Prix - Sunday, February 22, 2004 HITS Ocala II - Ocala, FL Leopoldo Palacios, Caracas,
Leopoldo Palacios, Caracas, Venezuela
WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY,
2004 REMAINING SHOW DATES ARE:
Champions of the Week Presentations are held on Sundays prior to the 1:00pm Grand Prix.
POST TIME FARM: 13710 U.S.
Hwy 27; Ocala, Florida 34482; Tel: 352-620-2275.
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