Dorothy Douglas goes Two for Two in Featured Competition

World Champion Hunter Rider Week, $7,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's & Adult Jumper Classics & More

The Ocala Winter Finals have long served to be a big week for Hunters at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, featuring World Champion Hunter Rider Week and showcasing hunters in the Grand Prix Ring and Main Hunter Ring. This week featured the third $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, and top-notch Hunter competition in the 'Horse Capital of the World'®. Along with spectacular Hunter competition, the Ocala Winter Finals hosted the $7,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's and Adult Jumper Classics, $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix and $50,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix in the Stadium.

With just two weeks left in the Circuit, riders are giving it their all in an effort to earn points toward the Tack Shack of Ocala 2nd-Half Circuit and Pyranha Overall Circuit Awards, which will be presented at the Ocala Championship (X), Sunday, March 28, prior to the seventh Great American $1 Million Grand Prix - watch live on ShowHorse TV!

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 Winter Finals or click here to enter for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit!

Saturday morning featured the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Grand Prix Ring, and what a beautiful morning it was. The sun was hitting just right as 41 riders competed, all in hopes for a place on the podium. After the first round, the top twelve riders returned in reverse order for the Handy Hunter round.

Top honors were awarded to Dorothy Douglas for her ride aboard MTM EXCEPTIONAL, owned by Abigail Davenport. "Abigail [Davenport] shows him in the Amateurs and when she isn't here showing, I get to steal him from her," said Douglas. "I think I've been riding him for at least three years now. It's a horse that is kind of her 'forever' horse and one of the only ones at MTM that really isn't for sale."

Douglas scored a 90 plus challenged all four high options for a score of 94 in the Hunter Classic round. With the highest score in the Classic round, Douglas was last to return in the Handy Hunter round and did not disappoint. The panel of judges awarded Douglas a base score of 92, and she once again took all four high options marking a 96 total and cumulative score of 190. "It's really cool over the years to have a solid horse like him that you can completely rely on and practice cool handy turns, win every class, and score in the 90's," Douglas continued. "It was fun showing the hunters in the Grand Prix Ring. It kind of gives them a little bit of a change of scenery. I think especially, being on a horse that has shown at a lot of different venues it's cool to be in a bigger space so that you can let them have a bit of a bigger canter."

2nd Place: Megan Young & CAPITOL AFFAIRE [182]
3rd Place: Hunter Holloway & RUBY TUESDAY [178.5]

Along with the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, the HITS Ocala Winter Finals was host to the final $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby of the Circuit and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix which is held every week. While HITS Ocala VIII was World Champion Hunter Rider Week, every week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit offers featured Hunter Competition. The season caps off with a second $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during HITS Ocala X. 

"I'll be showing MTM LOLAH LOL in the International Derby Week X and hope to have one or two in the $200,000 Grand Prix next week. We hope to finish off the circuit just like we started," Douglas exclaimed. My favorite part of HITS Ocala is probably the convenience of everything - whether it be where our stalls are and where the rings are. It just really feels a little bit like home and we love it here!"

Jumping to a blue ribbon finish in the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby was Rylee Poole-Kohli for her ride aboard NORTHWIND CRISPIN, owned by Prue Richardson. Poole-Kohli scored an 83 in the first round and followed that with a 76 for a total of 159. 

2nd Place: Lilyana Spafford & SILVER WISHES [157]
3rd Place: Caitlyn Hill & GOOD REASON [156]

Katelyn Coveney rode her own MTM FASHION to first place in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix with scores of 79 and 88, totaling 167.

2nd Place: Elizabeth Kenny & IT'S AVANTOS [164]
3rd Place: Jacquelyn Maggiore & BAMBOLINO [163]

Hunter Classic Winners

$1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive: Cassandra Kahle & MAXLIGHT

$1,000 A-O Hunter Classic - 3'6": Anna Wells-Sharp & PLAY THAT SONG
$1,000 Eastern Hay A-O Hunter Classic - 3'3": Annie Walsh & LITTLE BOY BALOU

$1,000 Antares Junior Hunter Classic - 3'6": Haley Barnes & GOLDEN GLOCK WS
$1,000 Junior Hunter Classic - 3'3": Maci Iddings & DIA

 $1,000 Perfect Products Pony Hunter Classic: Poole-Kohli & NORTHWIND CRISPIN

$500 M&S NAL/WIHS SmartPak Adult Hunter Classic: Nicole Lyvere & HARIBO
$500 M&S NAL/WIHS Child Hunter Classic: Caroline Hoover & EXCEPTIONAL

M&S Bit O' Straw Hunter Classic: Caroline Sordoni & DOC HOLIDAY

Featured jumper competition kicked off in the Grand Prix Stadium on Wednesday where Seth Vallhonrat added his name to the leaderboard, winning the $5,000 Open Welcome aboard his own NESSAJA in a time of 44.068.

2nd Place: Amanda Flint & VDL WITTINGER [45.924]
3rd Place: Jill Henselwood & EBLESSE [4-Faults, 39.923]

It was a one-two finish for Tracy Fenney in Thursday's $10,000 HITS Open Prix. Fenney rode MTM DOLCE VITA to a blue ribbon finish for MTM Farm in a time of 33.239.

2nd Place: Fenney & MTM LOCADEUR [34.012]
3rd Place: Kevin McCarthy & CATCH A STAR HSS [34.363]

Along with securing first in the USHJA National Hunter Derby, Douglas claimed a top ribbon in Friday's featured jumper competition. Douglas held the only double clear in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix aboard MTM CHELSEA 98 in 42.073. While she's no stranger to the Winner's Circle, this was Douglas' first Grand Prix win at HITS Ocala this season. "Everything seemed to work out on Friday," said Douglas about her jump-off. "I might have been a little bit conservative speed-wise but was the only one to jump double clear."

"We've had her [MTM CHELSEA 98] for about two years now and to me, she's one of those horses that you can go and try to win every class," said Douglas. "She's been stepping up and keeps surprising us that she's jumped as big as she has. She won a class at HITS Chicago this past summer and has had good ribbons all circuit so she definitely deserved the win on Friday. She's been so consistent and awesome!"

2nd Place: Fenney & MTM LOCADEUR [4-Faults, 38.830]
3rd Place: Brian Feigus & IGOR VAN DE HEIBOS [4-Faults, 39.179]

Securing the top placing in Saturday's $15,000 HITS 1.40m Classic was Grace Debney and ZARINA DE VIDAU for Temple Equestrian LLC. Debney didn't have any rails down in the field but accrued 3 time faults to take the win in 50.123.

2nd Place: Douglas & MTM PABLO 1 [4-Faults, 45.721]
3rd Place: Ashley Foster & STARDUST [4-Faults, 47.104]

Saturday afternoon featured the $7,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's and Adult High Jumper Classics in the Grand Prix Stadium. These classes give riders that are moving up the great experience of showing in the Stadium at HITS Ocala. The Children's section was welcomed to the Stadium first. The final to show in the $7,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's High Jumper Classic was Jayden Toomy and her own JONNAS CORINT making the final effort to win the class in a time of 42.191.

2nd Place: Claire Campbell & ADOCTRO [42.340]
3rd Place: Grace Zeck & EB CORSEGA Z [43.112]

Elizabeth Shaffer took home the top prize in the $7,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult High Jumper Classic aboard COLLEEN, owned by Amanda Shaffer. Shaffer bested the field by nearly a five second margin, jumping clear in 37.426 for the win.

2nd Place: Sherri Jamison & STAKKABLUE [42.183]
3rd Place: Morganne Young & DA VINCI [42.405]

Jumper Classic Winners
$1,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Low: Emily Anderson & PANDA EXPRESS
$1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Medium: Kaylin Dines & URREM

$2,500 Pyranha NAL Jr/A-O/Am 1.25m Jumper Classic:
$5,000 Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic: Amy Shafmaster & CARLOS
$7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/Am 1.45m Jumper Classic:
Sunday featured the $50,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix where 14 riders jumped clear in the first round over a course designed by Oscar Soberon of Wellington, Florida. Marking another win in what turned out to be a very fast and exciting jump-off was Aaron Vale piloting M LEBRON for Thinkslikeahorse. Vale crossed the timers in 36.260, slipping in to the leading position by a full second for his fourth Sunday Grand Prix victory of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.

Vale and M LEBRON claimed the top spot in the $5,000 Open Welcome at the HITS Ocala Masters (VI) and HITS Ocala Tournament (VII), but Sunday's Grand Prix was one of the biggest so far for the bay gelding. “Today’s course really suited Lebron,” Vale said. “He’s quick across the ground but is still learning to be fast in the turns. I was able to just gently guide him around the jump-off course, and he ended up faster than I expected. I’m really proud of how he performed today.”

2nd Place: Feigus & IGOR VAN DE HEIBOS [37.488]
3rd Place: Holloway & EASTERN JAM [37.728]
Click here for the full listing of results from the HITS Ocala Winter Finals.

USEF-Rated Premier/6* competition continues next week with the HITS Ocala Winter Celebration, March 16-21. HITS Ocala IX features the $200,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix. 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

If we can answer any questions or provide any additional information as you make your plans for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please do not hesitate to contact us at 352.620.2275 or info@hitsshows.comEnter today!
Enjoy the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Style
VIP Tables are available for the Ocala Championship (X) which features the seventh Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 28. Tables seating 6 guests are $2,000 for Wednesday - Sunday. Visit the Horse Show office for more information or to purchase your VIP Table for the Ocala Championship (X)!
EHV-1 Protocol
HITS wants to assure exhibitors of the safe environment for both horses and humans at HITS Post Time Farm. HITS has active Covid-19 and EHV protocols and emergency plans in place, and endeavors to keep HITS Post Time a safe, bio-friendly facility for the remainder of the Circuit. For a list of suggested EHV Protocols, please click here. For questions or further information, please contact the HITS Show Office at 352-620-2275 or email.