Ocala, FL - Kendal Meijer and her 14-year-old horse Casanova were the winning combination on Saturday night in the two-round, $5,000 Adult Hunter Classic at HITS Ocala. “He [Casanova] did a great job today!” exclaimed Meijer, 18, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. “It was a great Hunter Classic – there were ten jumps, so it was a really good, challenging course.” Meijer was last to go in the first round, with a score of 78 that put her in fifth place going into the second round. The top score of the first round went to Patricia Schindler and Bold Moves, owned by Blake Schindler, with a score of 82.
The top 12 riders from the first round returned in reverse order for the Handy phase. Meijer was eighth to show in the second round and scored an 82, for a combined score of 160.
“In the second round there were two tricky bending lines,” said Meijer. “Even though I was fifth going into the second round, the scores were so close that anything could happen – anyone could have a rail down or a wrong lead change.”
Schindler was last to show in the second round, looking to capitalize on her high score from the first round for the win. However, a second-round score of 72 for a combined score of 154 put her in third place. Second place went to Paige J. Beisel and First Things First, owned by David Beisel, with a combined score of 155.
Meijer and her mother, Starr, have been competing at HITS Ocala since the Pre-Circuit. “I feel really satisfied,” said Meijer. “I’m happy to have made it through the whole circuit with my horses and me doing so well.”
Rounding out the top five in the class were Emily Jones on Ava Lindsay’s Prestige in fourth with a score of 152, followed by Jody Scudder on her mount Coventry in fifth with a score of 151.
It was a big weekend at HITS Ocala that saw Meg O’Mara win the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch Equitation Championship on Friday, and Alissa Kinsey win the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Team Barber Children/Adult Jumper Championship on Sunday. The show grounds at HITS Post Time Farm were packed on Sunday as hundreds of spectators came out to see the final day of competition for the 2010 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Circuit Champions were crowned and perpetual trophies were awarded to the season’s top performers, while some of the biggest names in show jumping took aim at the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, with the hopes of adding to their chances of qualifying for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix.
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.
$5,000 Adult Hunter Classic
PLACING HORSE OWNER RIDER PRIZE MONEY RD 1 SCORE RD 2 SCORE SCORE
1 Casanova Kendall Meijer Kendall Meijer $1,500 78 82 160
2 First Things First Mr and Mrs David Beisel Paige J Beisel $1,000 79 76 155
3 Bold Moves Blake Schindler Patricia Schindler $700 82 72 154
4 Prestige Ava Lindsay Emily Jones $500 80 72 152
5 Coventry Jody Scudder Jody Scudder $400 72 79 151
6 Vivienne West Wood Farms LLC Jane Losin $350 81 68 149
7 Echo Bay Alexandra Lowery Alexandra Lowery $300 77 66 143
8 Impulse Leslie Richman Leslie Richman $250 64 76 140
Photo Credits: Kendall Meijer and Casanova on course in Saturday's $5,000 Adult Hunter Classic at HITS Ocala. © ESI Photography.
Kendall Meijer and Casanova are congratulated for their victory in the $5,000 Adult Hunter Classic at HITS Ocala. © ESI Photography.