Feb. 22, 2024 – Ocala, FL – Jonathan McCrea piloted Jannan S to a fast and fault-free jump off finish to take the top call in Thursday’s $25,000 Alliant Private Client Cup. The day’s premier event is part of the weekly schedule throughout the ten weeks of competition at the HITS Post Time Farm during the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Bernardo Costa Cabral provided the track that the 24 starting combinations contested and produced a five horse jump off at the first round’s completion. With three entries in the class, McCrea primed himself for a ribbon, but it was only Windsor Show Stable’s 10-year-old KWPN stallion (Kannan) that managed to find his way to the short course. 

“I thought Bernardo [Costa Cabral] was very kind to us to be honest, but all of our horses are young,” McCrea explained of the four horses he and his wife, Christine McCrea, entered. “I thought the height was nice, and Bernardo really got the technical aspect spot on.” As one of the only two clear efforts across both tracks, the stallion led the way with a posted time of 45.39 seconds,  just over a second faster than Doug Payne and Payne Equestrian’s 11-year-old Warmblood gelding (Chacco Blue), Chaccolate. 

“This is his first grand prix of the year, but he’s jumped seven classes in 2024 so far and he hasn’t had a rail in any of those classes,” McCrea laughed, while knocking on a piece of wood for good luck. “I knew Derek [Petersen] was going to be very fast, but he had a couple of rails, so after I watched the other two go I felt pretty confident I could get them. I got lucky at the double, but you always need a little luck.” The McCrea’s call Wellington, Florida home, but following their most recent visit to HITS Post Time Farm, plan to spend a significant amount of time at the circuit. 

“I came here a few weeks ago and was incredibly impressed with the new improvements,” he stated. “On top of the fact that the footing is crazy good, I can’t say enough good things about it. We will go home to rest for a week and then plan to come right back, but this time with more horses!” Payne’s time of 46.47 paired with his clear round led to a second place finish, while David Jennings rounded out the class’s top three aboard New Normandy Farm’s 11-year-old Selle Francais stallion (Diamant de Semilly), Daxibus Normandy. 

It was another win for Marylisa Leffler and ZaZa Z in the week’s opening jumper class as the pair skyrocketed to the top of the $2,500 Parlanti Open Welcome Stake on Wednesday. McCrea took third in that class with his winning mount from Thursday, while Devin Ryan and Topgear SR Z slid into second.