Morgan Ward and Party Time Celebrate $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala

Ocala, Fla. – Dec. 3, 2022 – The HITS Ocala Holiday Series is in full swing at HITS Post Time Farm, with hunters highlighting the action on Saturday during the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix. Morgan Ward was ready to celebrate after leading the two-round event from start to finish aboard Party Time. Saturday marked Party Time’s hunter prix debut with Ward, and with the new year underway for USEF, she was thrilled to kick off the season with a victory.

Morgan Ward and Party Time. Photo by ESI Photography

“We just got our partnership going in Vermont and she was champion there several times,” noted Ward. “Our plan for the new year was to start doing the derbies, so this was her first derby outing with me. It was a great start, and we only can go forward from here and keep going in the right direction.”

Matt Brayman set two beautiful courses for riders competing in Saturday’s feature event. The first round began with a related bending line that encompassed the ring and concluded with a long gallop over the final oxer towards the gate. Riders returned for the second round and started over a single vertical away from the gate and had several opportunities to showcase their mount’s style before concluding over an in-and-out.

Alexa Bayko and MTM Dixon. Photo by ESI Photography

Ward kicked off the day with an impressive score of 83 aboard Party Time during the first round to take the early lead as one of the first pairs to compete. Their lead held up going into the second round, where they had another flowing round to earn an 82 for a total of 165. Their beautiful performance garnered the winning title, as well as this week’s Healthy Horse Award, sponsored by Omega Alpha. Alexa Bayko took home both the second and third-place awards, earning a score of 159 with MTM Dixon and a score of 156 with Casamigos RFB for the red and yellow ribbons, respectively.

Alexa Bayko andCasamigos RFB. Photo by ESI Photography

“I was just planning on having two consistent rounds today,” explained Ward after her win with the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Elizabeth Lloyd. “I just wanted everything to be even and easy for her. She's a good performer as it is – she's got great expression and she jumps fantastic, so she's an eye-catcher for the judge.”

Ward was excited to be back at HITS Post Time Farm saying, “I love this horse show – it's really nice. It's so horse friendly and all the horses love it. I like how they can give you so many different options, from schooling young horses to showing older horses. They have different classes for all of them, and it's just a great venue to be at!”

Morgan Ward and Party Time. Photo by ESI Photography

The second week of the HITS Holiday Series will kick off on December 14, and hunters can showcase their skills in the $2,500 HITS Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Entries are still open for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, featuring 10 weeks of hunter/jumper action in our new rings. Additional changes for 2023 will include new Wi-Fi, real-time ring updates and improved hospitality for all our exhibitors. For more information and the complete class listing visit