Andy Kocher Grabs the Win in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix
Ocala, FL (December 4, 2016): A weekend packed with competition ensued with Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix during Week I of the HITS Holiday Series. The order of go was stacked with talent, but the team to beat would prove to be Andrew Kocher of Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, aboard Ciana, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC.
Seven advanced to the jump-off where four would jump clear and the top contenders would only be separated by mere seconds.
First to challenge the shortened course was Aaron Vale piloting Spirit of Alena, owned by Thinkslikeahorse. Vale and the stallion set the tone for the remaining field with a cool, clean round in 42.905 seconds. The round would ultimately earn them the third-place prize.
The next three rounds would not top Vale on the leaderboard, including the eventual fifth place, Charlie Jayne and Tou La Moon, owned by Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher. Jayne and his mount nearly conquered the second round, but a single time fault stopped them.
The last three trips would all jump clear and it was a hair-raising race to the finish, where speed and efficiency were of the upmost importance.
Jared Petersen and Titus 2:11, owned by Derek Petersen, entered next to contend the shortened course. They clocked in with all of the rails up in 41.970.
Following Petersen was Kocher and Ciana. They powered toward the finish where they would stop the clock in 41.303, just fractions of a second ahead of Petersen for the eventual victory.
Kocher also grabbed several wins during the FEI CSI-4* at National Sunshine Series at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California, in November.
Lauren Hester and Lorstakov, owned by Hester Equestrian, LLC. were the final pair to enter the ring. Their clear, 43.754-second round would earn them fourth place.
Rd. 1 Faults
Eagle Valley Partners, LLC
Spirit of Alena
Hester Equestrian, LLC
Tou La Moon
Alex Jayne & Maura Thatcher
Hester Equestrian, LLC
MTM Reve Du Paradis
Hester Equestrian LLC
(C) ESI Photography Andrew Kocher and Ciana on their way to a $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix win.
(C) ESI Photography Kocher winning the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix.
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 in 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 the Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York.