Ronan McGuigan Wins $50,000 HITS Grand Prix to Wrap Up Great First Week at HITS-on-the-Hudson

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Ronan McGuigan and his Capall Zidane won Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. (c) ESI Photography
Ronan McGuigan and his Capall Zidane won Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. (c) ESI Photography

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.

Ronan McGuigan and his Capall Zidane are presented with the blue ribbon after winning the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, May 24, 2015. (c) ESI Photography
Ronan McGuigan and his Capall Zidane are presented with the blue ribbon after winning the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, May 24, 2015. (c) ESI Photography

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 * *




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