Ocala, FL - The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit kicked off in the Sunshine State with the $2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome on Wednesday, January 20, and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Thursday, January 21.
$2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome:
Lisa Goldman from Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, riding her own Morocco, topped the leader board of the Brook Ledge Open Welcome in the January Classic at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida. Goldman also placed third with her mount Rocs to Riches and sixth with her newest mount, Hindsight. Matthias Tromp of North Salem, New York, placed second on KM Whatever RV owned by Beyaert Farm, Inc.
Course Designer Manuel Esparza from Mexico City, Mexico, set an inviting course of 14 jumping efforts on a forward track for the first round test set at 1.40 meters. The immediate jump-off included some tight rollback turns—12 of 27 were clear in the first round with five producing double clears.
First to successfully negotiate the first round was owner and rider Billie Derouet of Bromont, Quebec, aboard Bonaparte VP Wisbec. She was also clear in the jump-off in a time of 41.415 to take the lead. Next to tackle the jump-off was Goldman and Morocco. The American bred gelding, by Roc USA, sped around the course making all the inside turns look easy in a blazing time of 34.576 to set the Great American Time to Beat.
Two more jumped off without a double clear until Matthias Tromp on KM Whatever RV got close to the lead with a double clear in a time of 36.126, moving into the second place spot.
Goldman returned on Rocs to Riches, also by Roc USA, to produce a double clear in 36.470 for third-place. Aaron Vale, of Williston, Florida, and Quidam’s Good Luck owned by Troy Glaus, followed immediately for the final double clear in a time of 36.489 to take fourth place. Derouet’s double clear time ended up fifth.
Goldman is no stranger to the winner’s circle at HITS Ocala; she and Morocco had multiple Grand Prix wins in 2015.
“Everything feels great this year! I always love Manuels’ courses,” said Goldman. “The place looks beautiful and the footing is improved throughout the grounds. Three ribbons in the top six, in the first class—I’m pretty happy with that!”
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1. Morocco Lisa Goldman Lisa Goldman $750 - - 34.576
2 KM Whatever RV Beyaert Farms, Inc. Mattias Tromp $450 - - 36.126
3 Rocs to Riches Lisa Goldman Lisa Goldman $300 - - 36.470
4 Quidam's Good Luck Troy Glaus Aaron Vale $250 - - 36.489
5 Boneparte VP Wisbec Billie Derouet Billie Derouet $225 - - 41.415
6 Hindsight Lisa Goldman Lisa Goldman $200 - 4 36.529
7 No Autograph's Please Dakota Schramer Dakota Schramer $175 - 4 36.754
8 KM Corfina KM Farms David Jennings $150 - 4 38.171
9 CoverBoy The Coverboy Group Amanda Flint - - 4 42.669
$25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix:
Christoph Schroeder from Andersonville, Tennessee, riding Catungee, co-owned with Derek Petersen, emerged victorious in an exciting six horse jump-off in the $25000 Smartpak Grand Prix during Week I of HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Lisa Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, and Mary Goldman’s Centurion B, earned second-place followed by Amanda Flint from Long Valley, New Jersey, and her own VDL Wittinger in third.
Spectators were treated to a thrilling class in Ocala Horse Properties Stadium on Thursday afternoon as 25 competitors tackled Mexico City, Mexico native Manuel Esparza’s 1.5 meter course of 15 jumping efforts.
First to go in the class was Lisa Goldman on her own Rocs to Riches. The chestnut had no trouble with the time allowed and started the class off with a clear round. Two rounds later, Flint, on the first of three mounts for the day, VDL Wittinger, jumped clean within the time allowed to ensure a jump-off.
Six more tried and failed to clear the first round course before Goldman returned on her second horse, Centurion B, and just a few trips later, Flint and her own Superbad went clean as well. Now in a head-to-head battle, Goldman and Flint each had two qualified for the jump-off.
An additional six more attempted with no avail until Schroeder and Catungee. The big-strided grey joined the elite field of those eligible for the jump-off. The class continued until the final rider, Dakota Schramer from Holmes Beach, Florida, navigated No Autographs Please to join the group of six to advance to the second round.
The field was set for the jump-off with Goldman returning first with Rocs to Riches. They sped through the course in 44.815 seconds, but with two rails for eight faults. Next up was Flint on VDL Wittinger, who jumped clean to take the lead in 48.201. The nail-bitting back and forth continued as Goldman entered once again but on Centurion B; they took over the lead with a clean round in 45.090.
Now it was Flint’s turn to attempt again with Superbad, but a rail for four faults in a time of 56.289 put them in third-place. The blue-ribbon, Schroeder came in next to wow the crowd by turning inside the gazebo in a tight rollback to the combination, saving ground to take over the lead in 44.060. The final rider, Dakota Schramer, fresh off a win in the Welcome Stake at the HITS Holiday Series. They came in with a plan, unfortunately, her horse was a bit surprised coming off the first turn and refused, dropping her to sixth place, and sealing the deal for Schroeder and Catungee.
“I’ve brought him along since he was six and this is our first Grand Prix win together; last year we were second seven times,” said an ecstatic Schroeder. “When Derek and I walked the course, the inside turn was right there and it was the only way for us to beat the time without running. [Catungee] always wants to win but we’ve never really put the pedal down, we are saving that for the Million—that’s the plan anyway.”
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize R.1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Catungee Christoph Shroeder Christoph Schroeder $7,500 - - 44.060
2 Centurion B Mary Goldman Lisa Goldman $5,500 - - 45.090
3 VDL Wittinger Amanda Flint Amanda Flint $3,250 - - 48.301
4 Superbad Amanda Flint Amanda Flint $2,000 - 4 56.289
5 Rocs to Riches Lisa Goldman Lisa Goldman $1,500 - 8 44.815
6 No Autograph's Please Dakota Schramer Dakota Schramer $1,250 - 12 73.559
7 Cracky Z Christi Israel Christi Israel $1,000 3 - -
8 Bonaparte VP Wisbec Billie Derouet Billie Derouet $750 3 - -
9 Morocco Lisa Goldman Lisa Goldman $750 4 - -
10 Qurint Chuck & Dana Waters Hayley Waters $500 4 - -
11 Bonzini S Thinkslikeahorse Aaron Vale $500 4 - -
12 Lucky Strike Hays Investment Corp. Brandie Holloway $500 4 - -
About HITS, Inc.
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.
While hosting the richest weekend in show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson, HITS also formed the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. This includes the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by MortgageCall, in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5*, presented by Wells Fargo, in Saugerties, New York.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS! Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail media_info@HitsShows.com