Ocala - February 14, 2011 - Kelley Farmer rode Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare's Czech to victory in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix on Sunday. The win marked the second victory for Farmer in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix, who won the class aboard Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare's Capone at HITS Ocala Pre-Circuit I.
"It was a beautiful course," commented Betty Oare, owner of Czech. Oare herself competed on Sunday aboard Capone, the horse that she won the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix with at the second week of the HITS Ocala Pre-Circuit. "The course today rode very nicely and had some great elements to it. I'm very happy for Kelley [Farmer]. She's riding some of our horses for us and wants to qualify for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final."
The weather on Sunday was gorgeous as 52 riders consisting of juniors, amateurs and professionals took to the hunt on a course designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, Florida, that included natural elements found in the hunt field, as well as a jump outside of the ring.
A class with an overwhelming response, spectators followed in delight as an enormous depth of talent made it the premier hunter event of the week. Farmer and Czech were impressive in the first round and earned a score of 87, which was the highest of the first round.
"I'm very happy," said Farmer. "It's so exciting to be showing such great horses, and these classes have been so much fun to do."
Top professional riders Cathy Inch and Kristen Bumpus also had an outstanding first round, as well as standout junior Hasbrouck Donovan, to set the stage for a competitive second round. Inch and Katriina Ruotsalo's Rainier had a first round score of 85. Bumpus returned on both Kendra Gierkink's Limerick and Hannah Curran's Inspired, with scores of 81.5 and 83, respectively. Donovan and Walk the Line, owned by Don Stewart and Megan Edrick, had a first round score of 84.
As the top score competitors returned for their second round, the excitement began to grow. Bumpus and Limerick returned for the second round and scored an 86 for a total of 167.5 points.
Three trips later, Inch and Rainier moved up in the order and scored an 84 for a total of 169 points, which put them in the lead, but in the end they ultimately placed third.
"Rainier is a special horse," commented owner Katriina Ruotsalo. "He knows his job and can really cover for you so well if you make a mistake. It doesn't matter if he's doing the Hunter Prix, the Low Hunters or the Equitation; he's so well rounded and always makes me proud!"
Farmer showed next and again secured the top score of the round with an 88, for a total of 175 points that would go unbeaten.
Bumpus returned on Inspired next and scored an 84, for a total of 167 points. She would finish up the day with the fourth and fifth place ribbons.
Donovan and Walk the Line moved down in the order and were the last to show. They had a second round score of 86 for a total of 170 points, that placed the team in second.
"It's been a wonderful season so far," commented Inch. "Each week that we've done this class, we've given it our all and it's been great. They've done a great job at making this an inviting event for the horses."
Farmer now has two of the five Devoucoux classes needed to become eligible for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, and with this win she has added some valuable points in her quest to qualify for this historic class.
The Devoucoux Hunter Prix has quickly become one of the most anticipated events each week at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. This week, the prize money doubles as the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix takes the stage on Sunday, February 20, at the Ocala Winter Festival. The $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix and $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, both presented by Pfizer Animal Health, will also highlight the competition, as riders in each discipline look to qualify for their year-end finale events, the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. All Grand Prix and Devoucoux Hunter Prix events this season are qualifiers for the 2011 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 3'3" Hunter Prix Final, respectively, which will take place September 10-11 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
Devoucoux, makers of fine French saddles, is proud to be the title sponsor of each and every qualifying Hunter Prix leading up to this year's phenomenal Diamond Mills $500,000 3'3" Hunter Prix Final. The Devoucoux Hunter Prix will be a featured event at all HITS horse shows this season as riders from around the country set out to qualify for the historic Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final, which will take place September 10-11 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
For more information on the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, or to request a prize list, please visit HitsShows.com or call 845.246.8833.
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 took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. HITS will once again offer the most innovative weekend in show jumping history in 2011 when it hosts the second annual Pfizer Million and the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 3'3" Hunter Prix Final, September 10 -11, at HITS-on-the-Hudson 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 or follow us on Twitter!
$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
PLACING HORSE OWNER RIDER PRIZE MONEY
1 Czech Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare Kelley Farmer $1,500
2 Walk the Line Don Stewart and Megan Edrick Hasbrouck Donovan $1,000
3 Rainier Katriina Ruotsalo Cathy Inch $700
4 Limerick Kendra Gierkink Kristen Bumpus $500
5 Inspired Hannah Curran Kristen Bumpus $400
6 Why Not Jack Green Hills Farm Sara Green $350
7 Kenya Shoal Creek Stables Patty Stovel $300
8 Bases Loaded Madison Free Kelley Farmer $250
Photos: Kelley Farmer and Czech on course in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. © ESI Photography.
HITS' Lucie McKinney and owner Betty Oare presented the awards to Kelley Farmer and Czech in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. © ESI Photography.