Ocala, FL (February 10, 2014) – Thirty contenders showed up to challenge the difficult track set by course designer David Ballard of Tottenham, Ontario, Canada in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Sunday at HITS Ocala. It was, however, Aaron Vale of Williston, Florida and Spirit of Alena that took the victory. The time allowed was set at 77 seconds, and the course included a triple combination at fence six, a double at fence eleven and several oxers for a total of thirteen obstacles.
The course proved to be formidable with consistent knock-downs and time faults as Ballard tested the competitors. Lisa Goldman was first to post a clear round and later have four join her for the jump-off.
Goldman rode 12-year-old Belgium Warmblood Centurion B to a double-clear performance for owner Mary Goldman, both of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, establishing the Great American Time To Beat at 35.75 seconds. They would ultimately finish third.
Next to jump off was Tracy Fenney and her 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding, MTM Centano. They completed the track in 35.52 seconds for second place. Grant Wilson of Palm Beach, Florida in the irons of Watch Me for owner Emmanuelle Mille posted a time of 43.30 seconds to take fourth place. Fenney piloted MTM Timon to fifth with a time of 34.74 seconds and four faults.
It was, in the end, impossible to catch the ‘Spirit’. Last to jump was professional rider Vale and Spirit of Alena, owned by Campos & Miranda Investments. They wowed the crowd and put the hammer down in an all-out effort with a time of 34.82 seconds for the win. It was grand prix jumping as it was meant to be.
When asked about the eye-catching big, red, sport horse stallion, Aaron commented, “He is one of those horses with a good mind, combined with an amazing stride. He has a great feel to him. For a big horse, he is very quick and has plenty of jump.”
Vale began riding the horse in 2013 and has been bringing him along slowly. “I am very happy with his performance today. Hopefully we will get to the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on March 24.”
There will be more grand prix action next Sunday as HITS V – the Ocala Winter Festival – kicks off with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix and $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, both presented by Zoetis. The excitement is starting to build for the first-ever Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. The Great American Million will debut as the second jewel in the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping Monday, March 24 in the new Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.
Building on 60 years of experience as Pfizer Animal Health, Zoetis delivers quality medicines and vaccines, complemented by diagnostics products and genetics tests and supported by a range of services. They work every day to better understand and address the real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals in ways they find truly relevant. Zoetis produces a comprehensive range of safe and effective products, including equine vaccines, dewormers and sedative analgesics, to help professionals and individual horse owners keep their animals healthy. Both veterinarians and horse owners know and trust the Zoetis will help their horses live longer, healthier lives.
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize $ Rd 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Spirit of Alena Campos & Miranda Aaron Vale $15,000 0 0 34.82
2 MTM Centano MTM Farm Tracy Fenney $11,000 0 0 35.52
3 Centurion B Mary Goldman Lisa Goldman $6,500 0 0 35.75
4 Watch Me Emanuelle Mile Grant Wilson $4,000 0 0 43.30
5 MTM Timon MTM Farm Tracy Fenney $3,000 0 4 34.74
6 Ammeretto Equine Holdings, LLC David Beisel $2,500 4 - -
7 Top Top Alex Jayne Charlie Jayne $2,000 4 - -
8 Bon Giorno Showcase81, LLC Bryn Sadler $1,500 4 - -
9 Lazaro Jordan Coyne Jordan Coyne $1,500 4 - -
10 Titus 2:11 Derek Petersen Jared Petersen $1,000 4 - -
11 Yolo Hays Investment Corp. Hunter Holloway $1,000 4 - -
12 Cyraneiky Split Rock Farm, Inc. Derek Braun $1,000 4 - -