Aaron Vale Dominates Competition at HITS Ocala Holiday Classic

Jill Henselwood & Aaron Vale Dominate Featured Jumper Competition
while Megan Young & Katelyn Coveney are Victorious in Hunter Prix
The HITS Ocala Holiday Series began with the first of two shows, the Ocala Holiday Classic, December 9-13 featuring USEF-Rated Hunter/Jumper competition at HITS Post Time Farm. The two-week series leads up to the 40th Anniversary of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, set to take place January 19 - March 28, 2021. HITS looks forward to celebrating four decades in the sunshine state, and watching all riders showing at HITS Ocala 'Make their Million Dollar Dreams Come True' this year!

Jill Henselwood, representing Canada, kicked-off the HITS Ocala Holiday Series with a first place finish in the $2,500 Open Welcome. Henselwood went double clear as she navigated EBLESSE through the timers in 33.086.

2nd Place: Cassandra Kahle & PYRENES DE LOUZES [36.543]
3rd Place: Morgan Ward & COLOURFUL RW [36.999]

Each year, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit welcomes Olympic athletes who represent at least a dozen countries. Henselwood, a long-time customer of HITS having shown in Thermal, Saugerties, Culpeper and Ocala, is an Olympic Silver Medalist and has traveled from Kemptville, Ontario to join us for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.

"This is my third season returning to HITS Ocala.  I come here because I know I can easily attend to the needs of my Grand Prix Horses," said Henselwood. "HITS Ocala ensures we have top course designers, a perfect mixture of sand and fiber footing, and new modern jumps each year,’ she continued.  “Furthermore, safety protocols are in place with masks, distancing and hand sanitizer to keep everyone healthy!”
Aaron Vale began his streak of wins in the featured Open Jumper classes on Friday, piloting EYE CATCHER to top honors in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. With the only clear round in the jump-off, Vale could not be caught, posting a time of 42.928.

2nd Place: Tracy Fenney & MTM APPLE [4-Faults, 39.536]
3rd Place: Sarah Meier & BILLIONAIRE [4-Faults, 43.320]

Vale continued his winning ways on Saturday, taking home the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Open Jumper Prix aboard CANDRO VAN DE ZUUTHOEVE in a time of 43.788.

2nd Place: Jaime Gibson & SUNTENDRA SN [44.288]
3rd Place: Bryn Rose Sadler & CEZARRO [4-Faults, 44.350]
Jumper Classic Winners
$2,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - High: Lindsey Ward & CONTIKI

$5,000 Jr/A-O/Am 1.25m Jumper Classic: Leigh Nanda & EL CASPER
$7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic: Jared Petersen & INSPIRADO
On Sunday, ten riders jumped clean in the first round of the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix and began preparations for the jump-off. Time was of the essence as all ten riders who returned jumped double clear, seemingly with each ride faster than the one before. It was evident that all ten competitors all had their eye on the lion's share of prize money in the featured class.

Returning to the Winner's Circle and completing the ultimate hat-trick this week, winning three of the four featured jumper classics, was Vale. As the last to return, Vale's only option was to give it his all aboard BOREALE DE TALMA in order to capture the win. A time of 37.567 would be quick enough to take over the first place position.

"It was fun to show and we were lucky to win all the big classes this week. The horse I won the Sunday Grand Prix on is a newer ride for me and actually my neighbor's horse so that was really excitinng," said Vale of his win.  "I saw that the Stadium is under refurbishment, so I'm really excited to be able to show in there this week and during Circuit."

2nd Place: Fenney & MTM APPLE [38.090]
3rd Place: Francois Lamontagne & CHANEL DU CALVAIRE [39.015]
The Ocala Holiday Classic was also host to superb hunter competition in the Main Hunter Ring. From Junior and Amateur-Owner Hunter Classics to featured Hunter Prix, competition was high.
Scoring a 93 in the first round and nearly matching that with a 92 in the second round, for a cumulative score of 185, Megan Young and RED C secured a commanding win in the $2,500 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix.

2nd Place: Kyle Muckler & CIRIBATI [170]
3rd Place: Morgan Ward & CYPRESS [164]

It was Katelyn Coveney and MTM FASHION who were unbeatable as they accepted the top placing in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix with their scores of 88 and 79 for a 167 total.

2nd Place: Jacquelyn Maggiore & BAMBOLINO [159]
3rd Place: Jessica Hunkiar & WITHOUT A TRACE [152]
Hunter Classic Winners

$1,000 A-O Hunter Classic: Laura Linback & THE FULL MONTY
$1,000 CWD Jr Hunter Classic: Shannon Jones & LORENZO

$500 M&S NAL SmartPak Adult Hunter Classic: Olivia Drexler & DOLITA
$500 M&S NAL Child Hunter Classic: Schuyler Dayner & LAFAYETTE PARK
Click here for the full listing of results from the HITS Ocala Holiday Series.

The HITS Ocala Holiday Series continues with another week of competition, December 16-20, 2020. This leads up to the 40th Anniversary of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit which features nearly 400 classes in more than 100 divisions each week, and more than two dozen special classes and classics, from the Bit O' Straw Hunter Classic to the featured Sunday Grand Prix. The ten week Circuit culminates with the seventh edition of the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix.
HITS is excited to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in 2021! Be sure to check out the Official Prize List for details on the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit and everything we have to offer.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 352.620.2275 or info@hitsshows.comEnter today! We look forward to seeing you at this year’s circuit!
©ESI Photography
More About HITS Post Time Farm
Join us at HITS Post Time Farm, one of the most spacious and horse friendly show grounds in the country. Situated on 500 acres, with bridle paths, lush grazing area, ample riding and lungeing space, there is no place like it to spend your winter show season. HITS Ocala offers both permanent and temporary stabling options with open air stalls, as well as a select number of private barns available for lease. Over 100 permanent turnout paddocks, on-site RV hook-ups, and on-site housing rentals round out the amenities at HITS Post Time Farm that put the horse and horseman first.

HITS has a nearly 40 year history of producing top-level USEF-Rated shows. A dedicated full-time staff brings more than a century of equine experience, from riding and training to barn and show management, and beyond, to their word-class shows. With all the amenities that HITS Post Time Farm has to offer, we can take care of your stabling, housing and showing needs - during the circuit, for the season, or even year-round.

More about HITS
Since its inception in 1982, HITS, Inc has grown into one of the largest producers of Hunter/Jumper horse shows in the United States. With four multi-week show circuits at its owned facilities in Florida, New York, Virginia, and Illinois, and as host to the annual HITS Championship and the $1 Million Grand Prix, HITS’ Commitment to Equestrian Sport is unprecedented. 

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HITSShows.com. Stay connected with HITS! Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Media should contact the HITS Media Team.
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