Juliet Johansson & TH Magic Top $25,000 Peterson Smith M&S High Child/Adult Jumper Classic
Ocala, Fla. - March 25, 2023 - The 2023 High Child/Adult Jumper division concluded on Saturday at HITS Ocala, with riders gathering at the Grand Prix Ring for the division’s final and largest event of the season, the $25,000 Peterson Smith M&S High Child/Adult Jumper Classic. The field of over 40 starters was narrowed down to 13 for the jump-off, where one of the last to return proved to be the best of the day. Juliet Johansson dashed to victory with TH Magic, beating fellow riders Caroline Bridgeman with Compis and Alissa Kinsey with Good Lux Lucy, who placed second and third, respectively.
“It feels too good to be true,” expressed Johansson after her win. “It's my first show ever in Ocala. We came up specifically to do this class. I was like, ‘Oh, that looks like fun. Let's go try it!’ That’s why I’m here and I can’t believe we did it!”
Juliet Johansson & TH Magic
Marina Azevedo (BRA) challenged riders with a 13-obstacle track for the first round that included a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, an oxer-vertical double combination and concluded with a direct line to a wide final oxer. The original field was narrowed down to 13 for the jump-off, where riders began with a tight rollback followed by a long gallop before a tight turn to the first part of the triple combination. Then, they made three more turns before a bending line to the final delicate vertical.
Alissa Kinsey and Good Lux Lucy
Kinsey was the fourth to return with Good Lux Lucy and was the first to finish in under 46 seconds, setting the new time to beat with a quick and clear effort in 43.166 seconds. Although her time was swift, the lead immediately changed hands with Bridgeman and Compis tackling the track next. They broke the beam in 42.415 seconds to take over the top spot. It was not until six rounds later that Bridgeman lost the top spot. Johansson and TH Magic slipped past her by keeping their turns neat and leaving a stride out to the final fence, eventually dashing through the timers in 42.113 seconds for the day’s big victory.
Caroline Bridgeman and Compis
“My plan was to start strong,” explained Johansson. “I always like to try to win it from jump one, stay smooth, and not touch the reins, ride from the leg as my trainer always tells me, and just go for it. I left a stride out in the last line, but most people did that. I sliced the skinny a little more than I expected to and my turns were just neat. That’s probably what saved me that one second.”
Johansson has been riding TH Magic, a 17-year-old Warmblood gelding, for three years and has been slowly developing her confidence with him thanks to trainer Amy Foster of How-Lyn Acres. “This is my sixth class with him in the High Adults and my second at 1.15m. I am super excited – he's so talented and he seems to be getting better every show.”
Juliet Johansson and TH Magic
Attending HITS Ocala for the first time, Johansson has been enjoying her time at the venue. “I have been really pleasantly surprised because I didn't know what to expect,” she concluded. “It’s big, the rings are great, and there's a lot of variation. The people are super nice and there's a lot of variety in the classes. We've got a big barn here doing all different stuff, and it's really fun that we can find something for everybody. I've just been really happy.”
The HITS Ocala Championship Week will conclude on Sunday with the week’s main event, the Great American $300,000 Grand Prix, scheduled for 1 pm. The day will kick off with the $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic and the Parade of Champions, honoring all of the top finishers for the 2023 HITS Ocala show season. For more information visit www.HitsShows.com