Competition Heats Up in the 'Horse Capital of the World'®
With the half way mark just around the corner, competition is heating up at HITS Post Time Farm. The HITS Ocala Winter Classic (IV) welcomed Hunter Riders to the Grand Prix Stadium on Saturday for the first of two USHJA International Hunter Derbies this Circuit, and Ponies showed under the lights Saturday evening in the first of two USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies. Along with these featured hunter classes, prize money increased to award $150,000 in Sunday's Grand Prix.
USEF-Rated Hunter/Jumper competition continues at HITS Post Time Farm through March 28, culminating with the seventh Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. As you make your plans to join us for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please be sure to review the USEF Covid Protocol and the HITS Covid Protocol prior to your arrival. Read on for a recap of featured class winners from the Ocala Premiere or click here to enter for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit!
David Tromp picked up the first win of the week in the $5,000 Open Welcome for his ride aboard David Tromp Show Stables, Inc.'s, INCOGNITO. Tromp crossed the timers in 41.596 to secure the blue ribbon in Wednesday's class.
2nd Place: Jenni McAllister & BATIDA PJ [43.482]
3rd Place: Tracy Magness & CHOPIN DU CHATEAU HOLLONGNE Z [44.654]
Picking up first place in the $10,000 HITS Open Prix and kicking off an incredible week was Dorothy Douglas and MTM FIONA 621 for Davenport Farms. The pair crossed the timers in 36.120 to secure the win in Thursday's class.
2nd Place: Sharn Wordley & CALISTO 26 [36.800]
3rd Place: David O'Brien & ONE IN A MILLION SCF [37.028]
Ten riders jumped clear in the first round of the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Friday. No stranger to the Winner's Circle at HITS Post Time Farm, Hunter Holloway claimed another Grand Prix win at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Holloway showed two horses and jumped clean on both in the first round.
Holloway was second to return in the jump-off aboard EASTERN JAM and went clean in a time of 44.144. Returning near the end of the jump-off on her second mount, Holloway posted a time of 43.565 aboard Hays Investment Corp.'s, PEPITA CON SPITA for the win.
2nd Place: Daniel Geitner & CHAKALAKA [43.947]
3rd Place: Holloway & EASTERN JAM [44.144]
Douglas and MTM FIONA 621, owned by Davenport Farms, returned to the Winner's Circle to claim another win in featured competition on Saturday morning. Douglas's time of 34.857in the jump-off of the $15,000 HITS 1.40m Classic in the Grand Prix Ring could not be beat.
2nd Place: Chopping & QUADRANT 3 [35.669]
3rd Place: Geitner & GIGOLO [36.295]
Jumper Classic Winners
$1,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Low: Olivia Norgart & ARAMON
$1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Medium: Gabriella Fournier & CASADORA 4
$2,000 M&S Child Jumper Classic - High: Pippa Spingler & QUONTINE DE LA ROQUE
$2,000 M&S Adult Jumper Classic - High: Fiona Steinmetz & MTM MALLORCA
$2,500 Pyranha NAL Jr/A-O/Am 1.25m Jumper Classic: Adelaide Toensing & BLUE
$5,000 Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic: Laura Linback & SKAT 15
$7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/Am 1.45m Jumper Classic: Laurel Blakemore & FINE FLEUR
The stakes were high in Sunday's Grand Prix which awarded $150,000 in prize money, and will continue to increase through the rest of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Just as in Friday's Grand Prix, Sunday featured a track designed by Mr. Olaf Petersen of Munich, Germany that called for accuracy and carefulness. Eight riders successfully navigated the first round course with no faults. Those with faults had the most trouble through the combination on the diagonal (7A-B) to the single oxer (8) heading toward the in-gate.
Aaron Vale was the first to return in the jump-off aboard ELUSIVE for Thinkslikeahorse. Vale knows as well as anyone that being first to go in the jump-off means setting the pace, and with fast contenders behind you, you have to take risks. That's just what Vale did in Sunday's Grand Prix, posting the fastest time at 38.782, but an unlucky rail at the second to last fence ultimately placed them in third.
Second to return was Andre Thieme and he crossed the timers clean in 39.193, with a time that would be quick enough for the win. Thieme moved up from his third place finish in last Sunday's Grand Prix aboard his own CONACCO and was just one of two riders to complete the jump-off fault free.
The other fault-free ride belonged to Holloway and the up-and-coming PEPITA CON SPITA, who are proving their ability to hold their own against some of the top Grand Prix horses and riders showing at this year’s Circuit. Holloway took home second place in a time of 41.009.
The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit spotlights several Hunter Classes and Classics each week, including the Platinum Performance and Diamond Mills Hunter Prix which count toward the HITS Championship, USHJA National and International Hunter Derbies, and more. Riders can look forward to the Zone IV Handy Hunter Challenge (Week VI) and World Champion Hunter Rider Week (Week VIII).
The Grand Prix Stadium was transformed into a Hunter Derby Field on Saturday for the first of two $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derbies and the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Week IV was also host to the first of two $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derbies in the Main Hunter Ring.
Continuing her success into the Hunters was Douglas, who rose victorious in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday. Douglas piloted MTM LOLAH LOL to the blue ribbon with exceptional scores.
In the Classic Hunter Round, Douglas was awarded matching scores of 87 from each panel, plus took all four high options for a total of 182. She followed that up in the Handy Hunter Round with an 84.5 plus 7 Handy points from Panel 1 and an 83.5 plus 6 Handy points from Panel 2 and again took all four of the high option fences to total a 189. Her overall score of 371 was good for the win and the lion's share of prize money.
2nd Place: Kristen Bumpus & DIADORA 
3rd Place: Carly Campbell-Cooper & CAPRIATI [367.5]
Douglas rides for MTM Farm out of Flower Mound, Texas, competing professionally in the Hunters and Jumpers and is a familiar face at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. "The jumps were amazing, but of course it helps that I was riding a very brave horse," commented Douglas. "Just last year 'Lolah' was jumping the 1.40m Classics here [at HITS] with Tracy [Fenney], but now she's an Amateur-Owner Hunter for Abigail [Davenport]." Davenport finished sixth in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic with 'Lolah' last week! "We have always loved showing at HITS Ocala and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the Circuit," said Douglas.
Christina Kourgelis was awarded the winning scores in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix for her ride aboard CAYETANO. Kourgelis scored an 85 in each round of the Hunter Prix for a total score of 170 and the blue ribbon.
2nd Place: Toensing & CONSANTO 
3rd Place: Rachel Griffin & JASMIN DE BORNIVAL Z [165.5]
Ponies were in the spotlight as they showed under the lights in the Main Hunter Ring. Leading the way in the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby with scores of 88 and 83 for a cumulative score of 171 was Caitlyn Hill for her ride aboard GOOD REASON.
2nd Place: Hailey Guidry & C.E. REMARKABLE 
3rd Place: Sophia Sisco & GOOD BOY 
Hunter Classic Winners
$1,000 A-O Hunter Classic - 3'6": Anna Wells-Sharp & PLAY THAT SONG
$1,000 Eastern Hay A-O Hunter Classic - 3'3": Matthew Lowe & DEMARCO
$1,000 Antares Junior Hunter Classic 16-17 - 3'6": Grace Debney & REVEAL
$1,000 CWD Junior Hunter Classic 15 & Under - 3'6": Maddie Tosh & COLD HARBOR
$1,000 Junior Hunter Classic - 3'3": Annabelle Brown & STYLE
$1,000 Perfect Products Pony Hunter Classic: Lauren Reid & Good Times
$500 M&S NAL/WIHS SmartPak Adult Hunter Classic: Annie Walsh & LITTLE BOY BALOU
$500 M&S NAL/WIHS Child Hunter Classic: Elle Moreno & SNOWBALL
M&S Bit O' Straw Hunter Classic: Shelby Brehman & CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW
Click here for the full listing of results from the HITS Ocala Winter Classic.
USEF-Rated National/5* competition continues next week with the HITS Ocala Winter Festival, February 16-21. Don't miss out - the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit continues with more competition and fun at HITS Post Time Farm! For more information or to enter for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, click here.
Watch Live on ShowHorse TV
HITS and ShowHorse TV are excited to announce Live Stream Services at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Viewers can now watch the Grand Prix Stadium LIVE every day at ShowHorse TV. Weekly subscriptions to access video-on-demand of classes and individual rider clips are also available starting just $49! Watch live on ShowHorse TV or download from the App Store or Google Play store to watch on the go. Showhorse TV is also available on AppleTV and Roku!