Tucson, AZ - Brandie Holloway piloted Hays Investment Corp's Argentina to blue on Sunday morning in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, to close out the Arizona Winter Festival in Tucson, Arizona.
Holloway is an Arizona regular and one of the most consistent High-Performance riders on the circuit. She has placed in every Grand Prix offered this year at HITS Arizona, including a victory in the $25,000 EMO Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, during the Tucson Winter Classic.
On Sunday, Canadian Course Designer Chris Brandt set a 12-effort first round course with a time allowed of 82 seconds. Holloway was one of four pairs to advance to the jump-off, as dropped rails and time faults weeded down the competition.
Michelle Parker and Tula Pinnella's Reina were third in the order and the first pair to post a clear round. Five more riders attempted to do the same, but it wasn't until Parker returned to the ring aboard her second mount, Clever, that another clear round was produced, forcing a jump-off. Five rounds later, Holloway went clear aboard Argentina and made it three for the jump-off. The final two riders of the first round, Parker riding her third mount, Cross Creek Farms, Inc.'s Socrates De Midos, and Bjorn Ikast riding Omar Shariff, followed Holloway's lead with clean rounds.
Brandt's jump-off featured seven fences with one combination and a time allowed of 49 seconds. Parker was up first aboard Reina and set the pace by posting a clear round in 40.662 seconds. Parker immediately returned to the ring aboard Clever only to beat the time she had just set not moments before by more than second.
"It's never easy when Brandie and Bjorn follow you in the jump-off," admitted Parker. "Going first and second, I was really competing against myself for the best time. In my first ride aboard Reina I wanted to be clean and competitive. Clever is a very fast horse and I was just a little bit too conservative on him this time. By not going flat out, I played it a little too safe."
Holloway was next and made the dash for the cash in a quick and clean 37.741 to set the new Great American Time to Beat, capturing the lead and the first-place check for $7,500.
Parker was back, this time aboard Socrates De Midos and looking to recapture the lead; however, a dropped rail at the second fence lead Parker to voluntarily withdraw from the round. In the end, Parker finished third, fourth and fifth on the day and collected a total of $6,750 in prize money.
Ikast held the last to go spot in the jump-off but with a time of 38.416 was not able to take the lead away from Holloway and had to settle for second place.
"Sunday's course was very nice," Parker said. "I thought it was great that the Management at the horse show moved up the class to beat the wild weather that we've been having out here. It was beautiful and sunny during the Grand Prix, which made for a great class. Hopefully this weekend the weather will continue to cooperate."
Holloway has competed in four of the eight Grand Prix classes needed to qualify for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix which will take place on September 12 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. Currently, Thermal's John Anderson and Terrific sit at the top of the Pfizer Million Rider Rankings.
The next chance for Holloway and the other high-performance riders in Arizona to take aim at qualifying for the Pfizer Million takes place on Sunday, March 14 with the $25,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.
In order to qualify for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, a rider must compete in eight or more HITS Grand Prix classes. The top 40 riders, based on money won by horse/rider combination, will be eligible to ride for the Pfizer Million. For more detailed information on the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, please visit our website at HitsShows.com.
HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS will take the industry to new heights when it hosts the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties on September 12.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com.
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health
PLACING HORSE OWNER RIDER PRIZE MONEY RD 1 FAULTS JO FAULTS JO TIME
1 ARGENTINA HAYS INVESTMENT CORP. BRANDIE HOLLOWAY $7,500 0 0 37.741
2 OMAR SHARIFF BJORN IKAST BJORN IKAST $5,500 0 0 38.416
3 CLEVER MICHELLE PARKER MICHELLE PARKER $3,250 0 0 39.332
4 REINA TULA PINNELLA MICHELLE PARKER $2,000 0 0 40.662
5 SOCRATES DE MIDOS CROSS CREEK FARMS, INC MICHELLE PARKER $1,500 0 VW
6 RAMBO CORDULA & JOE ATKINSON JJ ATKINSON $1,250 4
7 BRAVE HEART BJORN IKAST BJORN IKAST $1,000 4
8 MONTE CRISTO BJORN IKAST BJORN IKAST $750 4
9 ACHILLIES ASHLEY DORRANCE BAIKER CEINWEN MUMA $750 4
10 FLYING LADY TARA ARDALAN TARA ARDALAN $500 4
11 ALLEY OOP HAYS INVESTMENT CORP. BRANDIE HOLLOWAY $500 8
12 WALDINA MANUEL GUEVARA FRANCISCO MARTINEZ $500 16
PHOTO CREDITS: Brandie Holloway and Hays Investment Corp.'s Argentina on course in Sunday's $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Arizona. © Brent Ericsen Photography.
Holloway and Argentina in the winners' circle with a large group of supporters after taking first place in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. © Brent Ericsen Photography.