Anika Pirkle and Just a Dream Zoom to the Top

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Anika Pirkle and Just a Dream zoom to the top of $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Team Barber Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic at HITS Ocala. (C) ESI Photography
Anika Pirkle and Just a Dream zoom to the top of $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Team Barber Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic at HITS Ocala. (C) ESI Photography

Ocala, Florida (March 14, 2015): Under the lights of the Ocala Horse Properties Grand Prix Stadium, 12-year-old Anika Pirkle from Carmel, Indiana, impressed the crowd as she zoomed to the win in the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Team Barber Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic with her off-the-track Thoroughbred, Just a Dream. In a time of 32.808, they were a full three seconds faster than the 21 others who jumped-off, besting a total of 67 competitors from the first round.

With the help of trainer David Dorner, Pirkle and Just a Dream have a remarkable record behind them and a bright future ahead. Their win at HITS Ocala ranks with the likes of a her double Gold finish at the USHJA North Regional Children’s Individual and Team Championship at HITS Saugerties in 2014.

“We came up with a plan and we stuck to it. The first round was very challenging especially in the middle,” said Pirkle. “The diagonal line was a sit-up seven from the Vetera Vaccines oxer to the combination, which was a kicking one. Then a sit-up three to another oxer – we decided to kick for six and it worked.”

In the jump-off, Pirkle’s competition was hungry for a win with many riders galloping and turning as fast as they could in pursuit of the blue ribbon and only nine jumped clear as a result.

Jennifer Brennan, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and Shannondell Farm’s Spalding, were second to go in the jump-off and appeared to have the class in the bag. Brennan, aboard the same giant grey she won the $7,500 Marshall & Sterling/Tuffrider - Equine Couture Adult Jumper Classic during HITS Ocala Week III, clocked in at 35.807.

“I thought I had it,” said Brennan. “His stride is so big and he turned great.”

Brennan held the top spot until Pirkle entered the ring sixteenth and took the lead for a first place finish in a time of 32.808. “In the jump-off we planned to do eight up the first line, then crank the turn as hard as we could and finish the last line in seven,” added Pirkle.

Third place went to Ashton Alexander of Ocala, Florida, on Naturel, owned by Artisan Farms, LLC, with a time of 35.836. Victoria Weaver of Ottawa, Canada, turned in a time of 36.214 on Kandor Farm LLC’s Saba Du Reverdy for fourth place, followed by Papillon Peanut, owned by Mr. & Mrs. John Bartko, ridden by Wendy Libert of Hughesville, Maryland, with a time of 36.475 for fifth place.

Manuel Esparza of Mexico designed the course.

$25,000 Marshall & Sterling Team Barber Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic
Place    Horse    Owner    Rider  Prize   Rd. 1 Faults   JO Faults   JO Time
1 Just a Dream     Anika Pirkle  Anika Pirkle  $7,500     -  - 32.808
2 Spalding  Shannondell Farm, Inc.  Jennifer Brennan  $5,500 -     -  35.807
3 Naturel Artisan Farms, LLC  Ashton Alexander     $3,250     -  -  5.836
4 Saba Du Reverdy  Kandor Farm LLC  Victoria Weaver  $2,000  -     -  36.214
5 Papillion Peanut  Mr & Mrs John Bartko  Wendy Libert     $1,500     -  -  36.475
6 Don Loma  Lindsay Simmons  Lindsay Simmons  $1,250 -     - 37.493
7 Revelation  Fairfield Farms LLC  Meghan Flanagan  $1000  -  -  38.333
8 Cordela  Cindy Bohn  Abigail Russo  $750  -  -  39.833
9 Secret Agent    Casey Millis  Casey Millis  $750  -   -  40.39
10 Elevation 1147  Kendall Casaccio  Kendall Casaccio  $500  -     4  35.607
11 Why Not  Ashland Stables  Jade Webby  $500  -  4  37.15
12 Whiskey Rox    Elizabeth Traband  Grace Boston  $500  -  4  38.403