Ocala, FL- Sixty-four descended on the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Post Time farm in Ocala, Florida, to claim the winning title and take home the blue ribbon and lion’s share of the big prize money in the $25,000 M&S/Team Barber Child-Adult Jumper Classic in Week X of the Ocala Winter Circuit.
Twenty-seven advanced to the jump-off with the top twelve all producing clear rounds. The team to beat was Logan Taylor of Milford, Ohio, and Secretive owned by Judith Habeeb. Twenty-fifth in the jump-off order, Taylor and Secretive sped through the course, flying ahead of the competition and taking over the lead by a full second over the previous leader, and eventual second-place Robin Swinderman of Morriston, Florida, and Cliff II, owned by Meadowood Farm, LLC.
Taylor placed third in Week III’s $7,500 Marshall & Sterling/Tuffrider Equine Couture Child Jumper Classic at HITS Ocala, but this class marks her first time competing for this level of prize money, and the victory certainly sweetened the experience for the young, talented equestrian.
“This is my first time competing in a $25,000 class, and it feels great to have an opportunity to compete in a class with this kind of prize money,” said Taylor.
First of the eventual top five ribbon winners in the class to return to the jump-off was Atlanta, Georgia, equestrian Ashley Pace, navigating her own High Offley Estella IV to a quick, clean trip in 45.694, which would ultimately land them in fourth for their efforts.
Grace Boston of Owings Mills, Maryland, followed four trips later, taking over the lead from Pace with a fault-free trip in 44.079. They would finish with the third-place spot when the class was done.
Next of the top five to return to the jump-off was Alyson Gurney of Washington, DC, aboard Black Friday owned by Rolling Acres. They crossed the timers clean with a time of 47.248, not quite fast enough to top Pace and Boston, eventually earning them the fifth-place prize.
Robin Swinderman and Cliff II followed with a quick, sharp effort to claim the temporary lead with a clear 43.576-second round, ultimately earning them second-place.
Last of the top five ribbon winners to compete and taking advantage of learning from the fast trips earlier in the order, were victors Taylor and her mount Secretive. They sliced the turns and angled each fence to overthrow the competition with a speedy round in 42.489 for the win.
Taylor and her trainer, David Beisel, devised a plan to shave time off the clock and go all-in for the win. “As I watched the first few trips go in the jump-off, nobody was going very fast to the first few jumps,” said Taylor. “My trainer, David, and my plan was to go into the jump-off very forward to save time there, wait for her to jump and catch the second fence well.”
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com