Saugerties, New York - Ronan McGuigan on Capall Zidane, a bay Dutch Warmblood gelding, narrowly edged out Quentin Judge on HH Fyloe, another bay gelding, to win Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix.
McGuigan and his Capall Zidane, one of only three to reach the jump-off, finished with a time of 40.102, eight-tenths of a second ahead of Judge’s time of 40.994. U.S. Olympian Mclain Ward, on Azibantos, finished third, with four faults and a time of 42 seconds, even. Amanda Flint on Balotan would have joined them in the short course after a clear first round, except for a time fault that kept her from a chance to jump for the blue.
“Obviously, I’m very happy with the whole thing. It was a nice course from (designer) Alan Wade,” said McGuigan, who also took first place in Wednesday’s $10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome. “I thought it was a good track for the $50,000 class,” he said, adding that he expects the courses will get tougher as the weeks go on. “I was happy that my horse jumped great,” he said.
McGuigan was the first to go clear in Round 1, “In the first round, there was skinny oxer in the middle of the triple took a lot of people out,” he said. “For me, that was the careful jump.”
He continued, “In the jump-off, it was Quentin (Judge) and Mclain (Ward), so I knew it was going to be quite fast.” As the first to go on the shortened course, McGuigan said he needed to set a fast pace without any faults, galloping between obstacles one to three, and then to the last fence. “I had to make the time up somewhere,” he said. “I just tried to be as fast as I could, and conservative on the turns – but really gallop hard. I knew I had to set a fast time with Quentin, and with Mclain in the class you always worry. Quintin also jumped clear, but fortunately didn’t get my time.”
Judge’s horse, HH Fyloe, is owned by Double H Farm. Ward’s Azibantos is owned by Group C LLC, and Flint’s Balotan is owned by The Coverboy Group. McGuigan said of his two major wins at HITS-on-the-Hudson I, “It was a great week - hopefully we'll replicate it.
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix - HITS-on-the-Hudson I
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Round 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Capall Zidane Ronan McGuigan Ronan McGuigan $15,000 0 0 40.102
2 HH Fyloe Double H Farm Quentin Judge $11,000 0 0 40.994
3 Azibantos Group C LLC McLain Ward $6,500 0 4 42.000
4 Balotan The Coverboy Group Amanda Flint $4,000 1 * *
5 My Pleasure My Pleasure LLC Peter Leone $3,000 4 * *
6 Qui Vive Des Songes Z Mr & Mrs Ralph Caristo Heather Caristo-Williams $2,500 4 * *
7 H.H. Ashley Double H Farm McLain Ward $2,000 4 * *
8 Freak Out Mr & Mrs Ralph Caristo Heather Caristo-Williams $1,500 4 * *
9 Gentille Van Spieveld GJ Stable Leslie Howard $1,500 4 * *
10 Superbad The Coverboy Group Amanda Flint $1,000 4 * *
11 HH Best Buy Double H Farm McLain Ward $1,000 4 * *
12 VDL Wittinger Amanda Flint Amanda Flint $1,000 4 * *