Culpeper, VA - Tracy Fenney and MTM Centano, owned by MTM Farm, won the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper on Sunday, July 18 to close out the two weeks of July shows at HITS Commonwealth Park.
Fenney, of Flower Mound, Texas, was one of 21 horse-and-rider teams to compete over a course designed by Kenneth Krome of Westminster, Maryland, which saw seven clean rounds emerge to a jump-off.
"It was a really nice, inviting course," said Fenney. "While walking the course you didn't find any questions that seemed impossible to answer, and most of the riders seemed to find it to be a friendly course, as well."
Second to show in the first round was Aaron Vale, of Ocala, Florida, the winner of the previous weeks' $40,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Coming off of a big win, Vale produced the first clean round on United, owned by Brampton Woods Farm. Two trips later, Jenny Childs, of Archer, Florida, and her own Contharo went clean to guarantee a jump-off.
At the end of the first round, Tracy Fenney and MTM Timon and MTM Centano, both owned by MTM Farm; Manuel Torres, of Ashburn, Virginia, on Chambacunero, owned by TG Show Stables; Ian Silitch, of Ocala, Florida, and Rivano, owned by Spencer Ranch; and Taylor McMurtry, of Barrington Hills, Illinois, on her own Just An Illusion, set the stage for an exciting jump-off which awarded the first place winner a check for $12,000.
First to show in the jump-off was Vale and United, who set the pace at 40.152 seconds with four jumping faults.
Childs and Contharo were next to go and took the lead with the first-double clear effort of the class, setting the Great American Time to Beat at 39.929 seconds.
Fenney, with two mounts in the jump-off, looked to take over the early lead on MTM Timon; however, the pair ended up with four faults in 38.104 seconds to earn a sixth-place finish. After a succession of clean rounds which saw Manuel Torres and Chambacunero in the lead with a fast time of 37.241 seconds, Fenney took the reins again aboard MTM Centano. "After I saw Jenny [Childs] go around I knew she was fast," said Fenney. "I made some really tight turns and went as fast as I could." The team went clean in 36.105 seconds and captured the Great American Time to Beat.
"He's [MTM Centano] a big horse, but his size is deceiving," said Fenney. "He's very fast and can turn really well for a horse his size." Fenney, who in the previous week had trouble with the open water obstacle, overcame the challenge to capture the win. "Both my horses jumped the open water in the Brookledge, so they were finally comfortable with it," she commented. "It went really well today."
Finishing the class was Taylor McMurtry and Just An Illusion, who went clean but were unable to beat the time set by Fenney and MTM Centano.
Fenney currently sits at third on the Pfizer Million Eligible Rider Rankings list with MTM Timon and looks to continue on the road to the Pfizer Million by making her first ever visit to HITS Saugerties. After a successful two weeks at HITS Culpeper, which also saw her capture the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby the previous week, she should have the momentum she needs to continue her winning ways. "Mike [McCormick] and I are really excited about going to Saugerties this year," she said. "We've never been there before and we've heard it's beautiful, so we're excited to compete there."
Fenney joins a long list of top notch superstars who compete at HITS Saugerties that includes Aaron Vale, Jeffrey Welles, Margie Engle, Todd Minkius and McLain Ward. As the number of qualifying Grand Prix classes become limited, the competition is sure to heat up as competitors look to earn top prize money and secure their spot in the Pfizer Million Top 40.
Show jumping at HITS Saugerties begins today, highlighted by the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, on Friday, July 23, the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday, July 24, and the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, on Sunday, July 25.
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, including ticket prices and the special concert by music legend John Fogerty, 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.
$40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health
PLACING HORSE RIDER OWNER PRIZE MONEY RD 1 FAULTS JO FAULTS JO TIME
1 MTM Centano Tracy Fenney MTM Farm $12,000 0 0 36.105
2 Chambacunero Manuel Torres TG Show Stables $8,800 0 0 37.241
3 Contharo Jenny Childs Jenny Childs $5,200 0 0 39.929
4 Rivano Ian Silitch Spencer Ranch $3,200 0 0 40.193
5 Just An Illusion Taylor McMurtry Taylor McMurtry $2,400 0 0 40.500
6 MTM Timon Tracy Fenney MTM Farm $2,000 0 4 38.104
7 United Aaron Vale Brampton Woods Farm $1,600 0 4 40.152
8 Shandor 41 Patty Stovel Patty Stovel $1,200 3
9 Cadence Megan Edrick Procedures, Inc. $1,200 4
10 Eli Derek Petersen Derek Petersen $800 4
11 Hotspur 23 Gustavo Prato Gustavo Prato $800 4
12 Zabreau De Waver Z Thaisa Erwin Apex Equestrian $800 4
Photos: Tracy Fenney and MTM Centano win the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper. © ESI Photography.
--Fenney's husband, Mike McCormick, HITS' Holly Bachor and Joe Calcagno, present the awards to Tracy Fenney and MTM Centano for the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. © ESI Photography.