Ali Ramsay Wins the $36,500 Desert Welcome Stake CSI3*-W

Thermal, CA (February 10, 2017): The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Thermal kicked off at HITS Desert Horse Park with Thursday’s $36,500 Desert Welcome Stake CSI3*-W class. As the final stop on the West Coast to qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha, Nebraska in April, each rider is hunting for points this week. It all leads up to the main event, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Qualifier on Saturday, February 11 at 3pm PST. 

This class belonged to young Canadian equestrian, Ali Ramsay of Victoria, British Columbia. Ramsay soared her way to the win aboard her partner Hermelien VD Hooghoeve, a striking and powerful bay mare. Going second in the order of a four-horse jump-off, Ramsay and her mount laid down a cool, clear round to take home the winning title.

Lane Clarke of Laguna Nigel, California, challenged the abbreviated course first riding Balu U, owned by Georgy Maskrey-Segesman. They came in on the right lead and flew straight to the first fence, an oxer mid-ring. They clocked in clear in 44.05 to set the tone for the remaining three challengers.

Ramsay came in next, opting to begin the course on the left lead instead of the right, which Clarke did. The course was technical and winding, putting riders and horses’ skill to the test.

“I planned to go in on the left lead, my horse goes better if I’m turning into the first jump, and I have the option to come on the opposite lead so I can angle the fence,” said Ramsay of her jump-off plan. “My horse is amazing, I’ve had her for two and half years now. She jumps better and better every time we compete—I don’t know how I got so lucky.”

Following Ramsay in the jump-off was Harley Brown of Portola Valley, California, piloting Apex, owned by Emma Catherine Reichow. They started off on a quick pace and conquered each fence until the fourth fence on course, the A element of the combination, tripped them up. They finished the course with four faults in 44.50 for the eventual fourth-place finish.

The final rider to contest the abbreviated course was Austrian equestrian Peter Petschenig riding Colour Your Life. An unfortunate rail at the first fence sealed the victory for Ramsay, but there was still time to shave off of Brown’s time, and the third-place prize was still within Petschenig’s grasp.

Petschenig and his mount flew through the course, kicking their pace up a notch on the long gallop from the mid-course combination to the third-to-last fence on course. They galloped home and crossed the timers in 44.35, a few tenths of a second ahead of Brown to secure third-place.

Daniel Pedraza of Mexico narrowly missed the jump-off due to one time fault. He would take home fifth place riding Arc De Triomphe.

The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping – Thermal CSI3*-W continues tomorrow with the $36,500 Desert Classic. Don’t miss the class LIVE at 2pm PST on HITS TV, the FEI YouTube Channel and FEI TV.

   Horse  Owner Rider Prize R.1 Faults J.O Faults J.O Time
1 HermelienVD Hooghoeve Ali Ramsay Ali Ramsay $12,045  0 0 43.03
2 Balu U Georgy Maskrey-Segesman Lane Clarke $7,300 0 0 44.05
3 Colour Your Life Peter Petschenig Peter Petschenig $5,475 0 4 44.35
4 Apex Emma Catherine Reichow Harley Brown $3,650 0 4 44.50
5 Arc De Triomphe Daniel Pedraza Daniel Pedraza $2,190 1 - -
6 Cornancer Little Valley Farms Ashlee Bond $1,642 4 - -
7 Clockwise of Greenhill Z Uma O'Neill Uma O'Neill $1,095 4 - -
8 Chela LS Little Valley Farms Ashlee Bond $912.50 4 - -
9 Saint Quentin Peter Petschenig Peter Petschenig $730 4 - -
10 Alex Copernicus Stables, LLC Audrey Coulter $730 4 - -
11 Terrific John Anderson John Anderson $365 4 - -
12 Granit S John Anderson John Anderson $365 4 - -
Ali Ramsay and Hermlien VD Hooghoeve on their way to a $36,500 Desert Welcome Stake win. 
Ali Ramsay and Hermlien VD Hooghoeve winning the $36,500 Desert Welcome Stake. 
About HITS, Inc.
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, Virginia, and a new property coming to Chicago, Illinois in May 2017. 

While hosting the richest weekend in show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson, HITS also formed the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. This includes the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5* in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS! Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail