Madeline Ahern and Tibri's Alibi Amaze in $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala

Ocala, Fla. – February 4, 2023 – Sometimes a horse and rider click right away, which proved to be the case for Madeline Ahern and Tibri's Alibi during the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala. A student at Stonehill College, Ahern flew down to show for the weekend, and when she tried Tibri's Alibi the pair matched right away. They made their debut during Saturday’s highlight event, earning impressive scores of 85 and 84 to secure the winning title. Caitlin Geary and VDL Etolon were just one point behind them for second place, while last week’s winners, Layne Brogden and West Palm, rounded out the top three.

“Our personalities clicked the second I got on him,” said Ahern. “He is the sweetest horse ever. He's more of a hunter ride, so that's definitely more my style. He has a very calm but goofy personality and this slow, big stride of canter. He is amazing – a really cool horse!”

Madeline Ahern and Tibri's Alibi

Twenty horse and rider combinations gathered at the Main Hunter Ring on Saturday to compete in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. The top 12 were invited to return for a second classic round and a second opportunity to top the leaderboard. Ahern led from start to finish, scoring an 85 in the first round, and returned to earn an 84 for a two-round total of 169.

“I had two very solid rounds today on Tibri’s Alibi,” explained Ahern. “We found all the distances right out of stride – everything came up very nicely. All of the lines rode really well. He has a huge stride, so in a few places I had to get him back a little bit because I was getting there a little bit early, but he was so great.”

Madeline Ahern and Tibri's Alibi

Ahern is the daughter of professional June Ahern, and traveled to HITS for the weekend to work with Ann Dotoli of Tibri LLC She leased Tibri’s Alibi, a 12-year-old Warmblood gelding from Dotoli, and was thrilled to have such a good result for her first time back at HITS Ocala in six years.

“I love HITS – it's a great show,” concluded Ahern. “I was so excited that I was able to do the Platinum in the Main Hunter Ring. I thought the footing was amazing and it rode really well. The rings look amazing and the Grand Prix ring looks really, really good too!”

Caitlin Geary and VDL Etolon

Finishing in a close second to Ahern was Caitlin Geary aboard VDL Etolon. With scores of 83 and 85, they were just one point away and took home the second-place prize. Layne Brogden had two solid rounds with West Palm, earning a total score of 162 for the third-place honors.

Layne Brogden & West Palm

Hunter action at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will continue next week with the first $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby of the season, as well as the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Horses and riders hoping to make their derby debuts will have the opportunity to showcase their skills during the Post Time 2'6" and 2’ Hunter Derbies. For more information visit the horse show office or