OCALA, FL (February 29, 2008)—
If it's not one Tracy it's the other. That's been the story of the 2008 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit so far. On Thursday afternoon, the book added another chapter when Tracy Magness and her trusty mount Tarco Van Ter Moude won the blue ribbon in the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Ocala.
"I am going to change my name to Tracy Silitch," joked Grand Prix rider Ian Silitch. The victory is the second for Magness at HITS Ocala in 2008 while fellow exhibitor Tracy Fenney has three wins under her belt.
Magness and her mount Tarco Van Ter Moude had the fastest double-clear round on builder Jack Robson's track. The pair got the best of 30 starters in the first round and seven combinations in the jump-off to secure $7,500 in first-place prize money for her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Bartko.
"It was a perfect course for a Thursday Grand Prix," said Magness. "Jack had seven pairs go clear and a couple with time faults in the first round and that's a nice number."
"The footing in the Grand Prix ring is doing very well," she added. "Plus, the ring is just beautiful. There are all new jumps in the Grand Prix ring and it's an amazing ring to show in."
First to challenge Robson's jump-off route were Tommy Feigel and his mount Contendress. Feigel had one rail down and finished in seventh place for owner Erin Stewart. Next to go in the jump-off were Mary Lisa Leffler and her mount Gerona 92. The pair went clear and set the Great American Time to Beat at 38.207. That time would be good enough for third place as Leffler collected $3,250 for Rolling Acres Farm.
Willie Tynan was next in the order and had one rail down aboard Lorenz 51 to finish in seventh place. Fourth to attempt the jump-off route were Mike McCormick and his mount MTM Remington. The pair went clear and stopped the clocks in 36.668 to secure second place for MTM Farm.
Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude went fifth in the jump-off order and took over the lead stopping the clocks in 35.417 to capture the blue ribbon. "It's nice to go near the end of the class," said Magness. "I got to watch Mike go so I knew what to do. It was a pretty smooth jump-off. We had some good pick-up and he galloped well."
Michelle Spadone and Mellisimo were next in the order and laid down the third consecutive clear round of the jump-off. The pair stopped the clocks in 38.611 to secure fourth place for Morgan Hill Partners.
Sitting in the enviable last-to-go spot were Derek Petersen and his mount Heavenbound. The pair had Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude's time beat but had an unlucky rail down midway through the trip and had to settle for fifth place.
With the victory, Magness earned some valuable points for the USGPL standings. This means that she increased her chances of being on the list of the 30 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 his or her choice, but may ride only one horse in the Invitational.
Show jumping at HITS Ocala continues all weekend at HITS Ocala and will feature the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix on Sunday, March 2.
This weekend features several fun out-of-ring activities. Friday night highlights the Central Equine Relay Exhibitor Party under the lights in the Grand Prix ring. Teams of three riders will compete in a Nation's Cup-style class.
Sunday the Talking Phone Book's Kids Day will take place. This special
family day includes a bounce house, slide, clowns, face painting, musicians,
arts and crafts, science discovery centers, trick horses and a special
exhibition by the Williston Jr. Rodeo League and Williston Jr. Drill
Team which will perform prior to the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix.
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