mess with Texas!
OCALA, FL (February 22, 2008)—
There is hot and then there is Texas' Tracy Fenney. Fenney has broken the thermometer in Central Florida as she once again captured both the blue and red ribbons in Thursday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix to jump start another exciting weekend of show jumping at HITS Ocala.
Fenney and her mount Grace had the fastest double-clear round on course designer Leopoldo Palacios' track. The pair got the best of 36 starters in the first round and three combinations in the jump-off to secure $7,500 in first-place prize money for Hidden Lakes Farm. Fenney also collected $7,000 in prize money for MTM Farm thanks to a second-place finish aboard S&L Wlllie and a fifth-place finish aboard MTM Centano.
In last Sunday's $50,000 EMO Grand Prix, presented by Waldorf-Astoria Collection she also finished in first and second place. Fenney, who is a regular exhibitor at HITS Culpeper, is making her first trip back to HITS Ocala since 2003 when she won the first four Grand Prix classes. So far at the 2008 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, she has collected over $47,000 in prize money and seems to be on pace to duplicate, if not surpass, her 2003 season.
"That's an incredible amount of prize money," said Fenney, who brought almost 30 horses with her from Texas. "We take it when we can get it and are just going to keep plugging along. With seven Grand Prix classes remaining there are plenty of chances left to win even more prize money."
Fenney and Grace were first to go in the jump-off and set the Great American Time to Beat at 44.35 with a clear round. Her perfect round would prove to be the only clean trip of the jump-off, enabling her to take the victory gallop.
Second to challenge Palacios' jump-off route were Roberto Teran and his mount Distant Star 3. They had two rails down and collected the third-place check in the amount of $3,250 for Canada's Kings Ridge Stables.
Fenney returned to the jump-off with her second mount, S&L Willie. The pair had an unlucky rail down midway through the route to finish in second place. "Once I dropped the first rail I wanted to take my time and make sure I finished in second place," said Fenney. "Roberto had two rails down and I wanted to make sure I got that second-place check."
Fenney has said that after the circuit in Ocala, she plans to head to HITS Culpeper to compete in the spring and summer shows in Virginia. A good plan, since with the victories Fenney earned some valuable points for the USGPL standings as she continues to increase her chances of being on the list of the riders who will be invited to participate in the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper in late September. The top 30 riders in the Marshall & Sterling League National Standings (based on money won by the horse/rider combination) will qualify to participate in the Invitational. In addition, one Wild Card slot will be allotted. The rider may elect to ride any horse of their choice, but may ride only one horse in the Invitational.
Show jumping at HITS Ocala continues all weekend during the Ocala Winter Festival and will feature the $50,000 Duggan Equipment Grand Prix on Sunday, February 24.
Also on the agenda for the Ocala Winter Festival are several fun out-of-ring activities. On Friday and Saturday February 22 and 23, The Ranch Fitness Center and Spa presents Spa Daze. Both afternoons will feature chair massages and spa services compliments of The Ranch.
Also on Saturday, February 23, The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center will hold an open house from 6 pm-11pm. The Sanctuary is celebrating its Grand Opening with this special open house event for all HITS exhibitors. Complimentary food, drink and entertainment will be provided as The Sanctuary unveils its world-class equine sports medicine facility.
Finally, on Sunday, February 24, the HITS Mardi Gras Exhibitor Bash will follow the Grand Prix at the HITS Restaurant. The event will feature live music by The Saucecats, complimentary food and drink compliments of Four Winds Farm, Quiet Hill, Team Barber, DC Sales & Marketing, Huntington Ridge, Equine Medical Center of Ocala and The Custom Fox/Fox Meadow Farm.
HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com