Ocala, FL - The second half of the four-legged, annual $20,500 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Championship wrapped up on Sunday with Isaac Leffkowitz on Alpha Pappa Tango being crowned the overall champion, edging out Mallory Vale and Mi Phone.
"It's always fun to watch the final round of this class," said Kristen Vale-Mosack, HITS Office Manager. "I was rooting for Mallory, of course and she just had that unfortunate rail. But Isaac rode really well. He had a really nice turn back to the last line in the jump-off, and even though he wasn't fast enough for the win in the class, it was enough to give him the win overall!"
Leffkowitz finished third in the fourth leg, but his consistency throughout the competition placing third, fourth and seventh in the first three legs, earned him enough points to be crowned the champion.
Taking second in the overall championship was Vale from Morriston, Florida on Mi Phone. Vale was in the lead coming into the final leg, with Isaac in hot pursuit at second, but an unlucky rail down on the second fence in the first round caused Mallory to finish the leg in 11th place. "Mi Phone was so good these two weeks!" said Vale. "He's only six years old and this is really the first time I've shown him over 1.10-1.15 meter fences. I am really proud of him!"
Taking third in the overall championship was Mackenzie Ryan from Long Wood, Florida on Primata.
Hayley Waters showed her dominance on several horses throughout the competition, with back-to-back wins for the third and fourth leg, ultimately taking fourth and fifth place in the overall on Jordy and Rocky.
"The Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Championship is one of the biggest, ultra-competitive events we do all season," said Lisa Engel, HITS Account Executive, Corporate Sponsorship and Marketing. "It attracts over 40 competitors each week; it’s one you don’t want to miss!"
The six week AA-rated circuit at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida begins Tuesday, February 9 with the Ocala Winter Classic. The highlight of the first week will be the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby, a $25,000 HITS Grand Prix on Thursday, and the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health on Sunday. All Grand Prix events at HITS Ocala are Qualifiers for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, which will take place on September 12 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. Also, during the first rated week there will be an invite-only sponsor reception at the Hilton Ocala’s Arthur’s on Thursday, February 11, as well as a special VIP catered lunch by Pi on Broadway on Sunday, February 14.
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.
Photo Credits: Holly Bachor of HITS presents Issaac Leffkowitz and Alpha Pappa Tango the top award in the $20,500 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Championship at HITS Ocala. © ESI Photography
Hayley Waters and Rocky on course in the fourth leg of the $5,000 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Championship. © ESI Photography