Ocala Holiday Premiere Recap :: HITS


Ocala Holiday Premiere Recap


The 2017/2018 edition of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit got underway last week with the Ocala Holiday Premiere, the first show of the two-week HITS Ocala Holiday Series.  The weather was just about perfect and a great group of horses and riders turned out, all with an eye on the blue ribbon.

The jumpers kicked off on Friday with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix where Aaron Vale aboard STAKKO took home the blue ribbon. Vale also took home fourth place aboard CASSEVEL. In second place were Kirk Webby and BRANDO DU ROUET, followed by Jared Peterson and CATANO 29 in third place. Hayley Waters and GALOUS would round out the top five in the class.

On Saturday the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Classic took place, with Charlie Jayne taking home both the first and second place honors aboard AMICE Z and EVER BLUE, respectively. Third place was won by Vale aboard EXCLUSIVE, followed by Nicole Bellissimo and her partner HARLEY DAVID in fourth, and Kyle Dewar aboard CLEVER VAN DE HELLE in fifth place.

Vale returned to the ring for the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday and wrapped up the week with another win, as well as the second and fourth place awards, riding CASSEVEL, BONZINI S and STAKKO to their respective placings. Third place was Derek Petersen aboard DIAMANT’S LEGACY, and rounding out the top five was Hayley Waters aboard her partner GALOUS.

Aaron Vale aboard CASSEVEL finishing the week with a blue ribbon in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.
In the Hunter rings, the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix took place on Saturday where Shachine Belle and FUERST APOLLO LL took home the blue ribbon. In second place was Helen Goddard and MY WAY, followed by Melissa Deryn Foster aboard CARRILOU in third. This was the first qualifying class of the season for the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Finals which take place at the HITS Championships, September 5-9, 2018, and riders were eager to get a leg up on qualifying for the prestigious Final. 
Shachine Belle and FUERST APOLLO LL being awarded the blue ribbon for a great ride in the
$2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.
The HITS Ocala Holiday Series continues with the Ocala Holiday Classic, December 13-17, which will feature two $25,000 Grand Prix, a $10,000 Open Prix, Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classics at 1.30m and 1.40m, and opportunities to qualify for the HITS Championships next fall.

The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will return for its 37th year on January 16, 2018. We are proud to announce that it will again feature the 2018 Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping of the USA, including two new sections this year for Children and Junior riders, during Week V, an FEI CSI3* Division during Week VI, the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix during Week IX, all leading up to the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix during the last week of the circuit. There are also a number of special hunter classes including two USHJA International Hunter Derbies during Weeks IV and X, the World Championship Hunter Rider during Week VIII, and the Devoucoux and Platinum Performance Hunter Prix each week which are qualifiers for the 2018 HITS Championships.

The Prize List for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit is now available online. Entries for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit are due on January 3. For more information or to submit your entries electronically, visit HitsShows.com.
All photography is courtesy of ESI Photography.