on! Jennifer Alfano and Rock Star roar in the
OCALA, FL (March 16, 2008)
Jennifer Alfano rode Rock Star to victory in front of a boisterous crowd on Saturday evening in the $10,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby Classic at HITS Ocala.
Alfano, from Buffalo, New York, had the ride for owner Bright Star 158, LLC and collected $3,000 in first-place prize money. Alfano had a fabulous night, finishing the evening with three horses in the money. She was fifth aboard Violets are Blue and eighth aboard Sting. "All of my horses went really well," said Alfano. "I knew Rock Star wouldn't be spooked by any of the jumps and not pay attention to the lights."
"The crowd was excellent," added Alfano. "A lot of people surrounded the ring. It was nice for the hunters to get some attention."
The field of 48 combinations in the first round was trimmed to a final round of 12 exhibitors who were asked to come back and compete for a final test. The first round was a regular classic course and the second round was a handy hunter course that included a trot jump, roll-backs and option jumps, all under the lights in HITS' fabulous Main Hunter ring. During the second round, judges were able to award bonus points for brilliance and handiness.
Alfano and her mount achieved the top score in both the first and second rounds to secure the victory. "The hunter ring in Ocala is always a lot of fun to show in," said Alfano. "That ring is beautiful. But it's even better under the lights. Course Designer Rian Beals did a great job with it and had a lot of fun building the course. It was great to have options built into the course."
Also excelling in the $10,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby Classic were Mary Lisa Leffler and her mount Sam Adams, who finished in second place and Mickie Sage and her ride Prestige who ended the evening in third place.
Show jumping at HITS Ocala concludes on Sunday, March 16 with the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group. The event can be seen online at www.Galopandotv.com
Also on the agenda for Sunday is the presentation of the Antares Sellier France Overall Circuit Awards and Ocala Style Magazine will present the Ocala Style of Riding Award. Finally, the Stallion Services Department of the Equine Medical Center of Ocala , Florida will offer the Leading Mare Award to the mare that finishes the highest in the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group . The award consists of a free embryo transfer, which will be performed by Dr. Corey Miller, head of reproduction at the Ocala-based veterinary hospital.
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