Stars and Seasoned Veterans Win Big at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit
Ocala, FL - February 16, 2011 -
The sun continues to shine in Ocala after a successful first AA-rated week of show jumping at HITS Post Time Farm. High-Performance and talented hunter riders once again pleased the crowd with awe-inspiring performances in the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health and $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.
Young star Taylor McMurtry won her first Grand Prix ever aboard her own Just An Illusion last Sunday in the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. With this win, McMurtry proves she is back on the road to becoming one of the qualified pairs to compete in the 2011 installment of the Pfizer Million.
"I graduated from high school last year and I planned to take a year off to focus on showing," said McMurtry, who is a working student for High-Performance rider Aaron Vale. "To show again in the [Pfizer] Million would be such a great achievement. That was a really special class for us last year to be a part of with all of those great riders in it. To compete alongside them was something I'll never forget. I've already accomplished one of my goals for this year, by winning my first Grand Prix! My next goal is to qualify for the Pfizer Million again!"
McMurtry now has two of the eight Grand Prix needed to become eligible, and $15,000 in prize money on her leading horse. For a look at the current Pfizer Million Rider Rankings, please click here.
$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
The announcement of the Diamond Mills $500,000 3'3" Hunter Prix Final, that will coincide with this year's Pfizer Million, has captured the imagination of hunter riders who never dreamed of competing for a purse of that magnitude. That excitement can be felt throughout the show grounds at HITS Post Time Farm as nearly everyone has that class on their radar.
After a win in the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at the Ocala January Classic I, seasoned veteran Kelley Farmer returned for the rated circuit and outshined 52 competitors in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix to claim the victory on Sunday, aboard Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare's Czech. Farmer has competed in two of the five required Devoucoux Hunter Prix classes in order to qualify for the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final andcurrently sits in the top three of the current Rider Rankings with 116 points on her leading mount Czech.
Cathy Inch of Ontario, Canada and Katriina Ruotsalo's Rainier has earned a total of 135 points thanks to two second-place finishes and one seventh-place finish in three graceful outings at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. This duo currently enjoys the number two spot in the Rider Rankings for the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final, behind California's Hope Glynn.
Canada's Billie Derouet captured the win in the $7,500 U-Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic on Sunday aboard her own Sweet Dreams. Standout junior Michael Hughes secured the second and third place ribbons aboard Shockwave, owned by Drumnacross Farm, LTD; and Amanda Gunthel's Caleo Z.
Hughes managed to find his way to the winner's circle on Sunday when he captured the win in the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Medium Classic aboard Wullisina, owned by Drumnacross Farm, LTD. Derek Petersen's students rounded out the top three in that class when Jared Petersen aboard Derek Petersen's Acts placed second and Jordan Coyne aboard her own Corino placed third.
The Marshall & Sterling League proudly welcomed the well established and competitive Junior/Amateur Jumper Low division to their list of Final divisions this year. This exciting addition is a great opportunity for junior and amateur riders to reach the same year-end goals that are available for child and adult riders in select Marshall & Sterling divisions. Seventeen juniors started last Sunday off in the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Junior Jumper Low Classic as youngster Haley Waters picked up the first and second place prizes aboard Chuck and Dana Waters' Rocky and Latina, respectively. Catherine Wachtell finished third aboard her own VDL Las Vegas.
The $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Amateur Jumper Low Classic followed after the juniors on Sunday as Courtney Frederick and Soulstice, owned by Equestrian Investments, LLC, outshined 25 competitors. Joy Slater had two impressive trips and placed second and third aboard Fat Chance Farm's Pisano and Silvester, respectively.
Catena Leading Rider
Tracy Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude lead the way in the Catena Leading Rider Standings after several ribbons and a win in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health at the Ocala January Festival. Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude also won the Catena Leading Rider Award at the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Second in the standings is Andres Rodriguez and Davinci, the winners of the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health at the Ocala January Classic. Silvio Mazzoni and Remonta Habano sit in third thanks to their win in last Thursday's $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. With 10 more Grand Prix events left in the season, there's still plenty of time for High-Performance riders to climb the ranks of the Catena Leading Rider Standings.
For more information on the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, or to request a prize list, please visit HitsShows.com or call 845.246.8833