Ocala, FL- Riders at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida, had another opportunity to garner a distinguished hunter victory in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Many riders are preparing for the biggest hunter week of the season, the Ocala Masters, February 23-28, which features the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the World Championship Hunter Rider Week and the return of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Zone 4 Handy Hunter Classics.
$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
Thirty-eight took to the ring to show off their talent and contend for the glory in Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, a qualifying opportunity for the prestigious $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September 2016.
Hot off a $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix win in Week III and a second-place finish in Week IV, Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina, swooped in yet again to capture the first-place title, as well as a third-place finish.
Gietner and Sky Pilot, owned by Allison Mills, earned the highest score of the first round, an impressive 92, which combined with their second-round score of 86, totaled 178 for the win. Geitner’s other mount, Damocles, owned by Janet Petersen, earned a first-round score of 88 and second-round score of 85, which awarded them third-place for their efforts with a total of 173.
In between Geitner’s two finishes was second-place Notorious, owned and ridden by Devon MacLeod. The equestrian from East Kingston, New Hampshire, piloted Notorious to earn scores of 90 and 84, respectively, for a total of 174. Fourth-place went to Liz Hudspeth of Milton, Georgia, and her own Fairfax, and Tricia O’Connor of Williston, Florida, and Inferno, owned by Marita Zuraitis finished in fifth.
$1,500 Platinum Performance
Only one horse and rider could claim the top spot in HITS Ocala V’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, a qualifying opportunity for the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final at the HITS Championship in September 2016. Out of the field of thirty-six, the team to beat was Emily Noble of Concord, Massachusetts, and Claudio, owned by Volo Farm, Inc.
Last but certainly not least in the order, Noble and Claudio earned a first-round score of 81, improving to an 83 for a total of 164 to garner the win. Second-place was awarded to Extraordinary, owned and ridden by Sydney DeGrazia of Rochester, New York. They put in consistent rounds in the two-round classic, but came in just behind Noble with a first-round score of 80 and second-round score of 82 for a total of 162.
Jess Lusty, of York, Maine, aboard her own Anucci, earned the third-place title with an 80.5 in the first-round combined with a second-round score of 76 to total 156.5. In fourth-place was Paramount, owned and ridden by Amy Lloyd Thompson of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. New York, New York, equestrian Jillian Rosenwasser navigated Summer Vay-K, owned by Donna Rosenwasser, to finish out the top five.
The Ocala Masters, Week VI’s hunter extravaganza, will feature a Platinum Performance Hunter Prix with an increased $5,000 prize purse. The World Championship Hunter Rider Week will also allow for feature hunter classes and classics to be held in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com.