The Ocala Winter Finals Host World Championship Hunter Rider Week and the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby!

Amanda Steege, Jillian Piesco and Peyton Addington show the Hunter world they have what it takes to win!
The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit is known for showcasing a broad range of classes and events during its ten week run. Week VIII was certainly no different, hosting the World Championship Hunter Rider Week including the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby. Hunter riders were given center stage in the Stadium and the Grass Field to celebrate the talent they bring to the ring. Riders of all ages were able to give spectators a look into what it is like to have the winning round. To keep up with this great display of Hunter riding, HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will be once again hosting the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during week X!  

Amanda Steege and LAFITTE DE MUZE were the winners of thE $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix during HITS Ocala VIII, held on the Grass Field. Steege pulled the top scores in both rounds of competition. In the first round, the pair scored an 88, putting them in the lead going into round two, where they earned them a score of 90, for an overall score of 178 to take home the blue ribbon. 
  • 2nd Place: Morgan Ward & CYPRESS (169)
  • 3rd Place: Jennifer Ritucci & MTM FASHION (168)
Jillan Piesco found herself in the Winners Circle for the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix for the third time this season. Her winning performance this week was with her partner CASSINO ROYALE as they scored a 78 in the first round, followed by an 81 to give them a grand total of 159.
  • 2nd Place: Sophia Murray & QUEBO (152)
  • 3rd Place: Megan Hubbard & VOYAGER (151)
The USHJA Pony Hunter Derby made its way back to the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit for the second time this year. With a field of 22 ponies competing to take home the coveted title, Peyton Addington and LEDOUX would rise victorious. Addington scored an 86 in the first round and an 82 in round two, giving her a total score of 168. 
  • 2nd Place: Izzy Beisel & BOUTONNIERE (162)
  • 3rd Place: Lily Beck & UPWORTHY (154)
The $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome had an exciting outcome this week with two riders tying for the win! Bryn Sadler on CEZARRO and Damian Dixon on CONGO both crossed the timers in 36.160!
  • 3rd Place: Sadler & CINVEN CR (38.090)
Kyle Dewar and CLEVER VAN DE HELLE claimed top honors this week in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. In a close jump off, they had a clean round with the fastest time of 41.500 to seal the win. 
  • 2nd Place: Sadler & CEZARRO (41.538) 
  • 3rd Place: Dixon & LAURENT PERRIER (42.661)
Taking home the blue ribbon in the $10,000 KindredBio Open Prix was Cassandra Kahleabroad BLUE. Kahle jumped a clean round to finish in 40.396. 
  • 2nd Place: Tracy Magness & INTENZ VAN HD (41.122) 
  • 3rd Place: David Raposa & S&L SAGE  (41.884)
The winner of the $15,000 1.35m Classic was David Beisel aboard FOR SUNDAY. With 12 riders making the jump off, the pair came out on top with the fastest time of 37.595.
  • 2nd Place: Patricia Stovel & CARIGOR Z (38.270)
  • 3rd Place: Kris Killam & MEMORY LANE (38.456)
The winning ride for the $2,500 Pyranha Junior 1.25m Jumper Classic was Anissa Jessee aboard NENUPHAR JAC. 

Ashley Foster and LUMINOUS were the winners of the $2,500 Pyranha A-O/Am 1.25m Jumper Classic. 

The winning team for the $5,000 Summit Joint Performance Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic was Savannah Unger on FUNDAMENT E.

Taking home top honors in the $7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/Am 1.45m Jumper Classic was Kaitlyn Williams and VEDOR. 

In the $7,500 M&S Child Jumper High Classic, Neave Campbell and CLEARLINE took home the blue ribbon.

The winning round for the $7,500 M&S Adult Jumper High Classic went to Katie Eppinger aboard VDL FERRARI. 
Haley Gassel came away with the win in the $50,000 Summit Joint Performance Grand Prix on Sunday. Gassel was able to edge out her competitors in the jump off by producing the only double clear round in the class. Her winning ride was aboard QUITE DARK 2, earning the winning time of 49.229.
  • 2nd Place: Kahle & PYRENES DE LOUZES ( 4 faults, 43.564) 
  • 3rd Place: Magness & INTENZ VAN HD (4 faults, 44.617)
That puts a wrap on Week VIII, but be sure to mark your calendars for Week IX and the return of the Marshall & Sterling Team Challenge! This multi-round, multi-day team competition for Children’s and Adult Hunter and Jumper Riders is the latest addition to the Marshall & Sterling League Insurance. Get together with your friends, or make new friends, and build your team of three members of any combination of Children’s or Adult Riders. Enter your team in the Horse Show Office!

Don't forget to rack up your points as we near Week X for Circuit Awards. With the start of Week X also comes the coveted title of winner for the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix! Stop into the show office and grab your tickets to this must watch event before it's to late!
HITS is excited to be back for its 38th consecutive year of horse shows! Be sure to check out the prize list, available now, for details on all the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit has to offer. Don't miss out on the excitement. Enter today!
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