Week VIII of the 2022 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit has Concluded!

The 2022 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit is nearing its end, with eight weeks of competition now complete. The latest week to come to a close, the Ocala Winter Finals, featured FEI CSI2* competition, the $75,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, World Championship Hunter Rider Week, and fundraising for the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. Read on for the winners of Week VIII's featured competition.
Marylisa Leffler earned the first special class win of the week in Wednesday's $5,000 Open Welcome. Leffler and ZAZA Z were the final pair to take to the jump-off course and crossed the timers in 38.364, winning by mere fractions of a second!

2nd Place: Doug Payne & QUINTESSENCE [38.407]
3rd Place: Fernando Plaz & CADIZ [39.106]
There was no match for Harold Chopping in Thursday's $7,500 HITS Open Prix. Chopping guided GERDERIEKA II VI to the fastest time of the first round and followed it up with the fastest fault-free time of the jump-off, completing the course in 34.171.

2nd Place: Francois Lamontagne & THUNDERBIRD VH SCHEEFKASTEEL Z [37.389]
3rd Place: Chopping & ELODIE [38.514]
After storms interrupted scheduled competition on Thursday, the sun broke through and FEI competitors were given one shot to win it all in Saturday's CSI2* $75,000 FEI Grand Prix. The first ride in the jump-off went to Great Britain's Jessica Mendoza, who posted the Great American Time to Beat of 43.39 with CASANOVA 499. Canada's Vanessa Mannix had a dropped rail on the second jump, while Kaitlin Campbell and Sean Jobin, competing for the USA and Canada respectively, followed with clean but slower rounds. After American Lisa Goldman-Smolen experienced trouble with the combination jump, Mendoza was left with a chance to finish one-two, but placed fourth with her second mount. 

2nd Place: Campbell & ARMENTOS [45.10]
3rd Place: Jobin & COQUELICOT VH HEUVELLAND Z [45.94]
The course for Saturday's $10,000 Post Time Classic challenged riders, with many rounds foiled by the triple combination. Doug Payne navigated the course better than his competitors, finishing in a time of 66.478 with only four jumping faults in the triple. He was joined in the winner's circle by EMERALDO.

2nd Place:  Devin Ryan & ASCALITTA SBK Z [4-faults, 67.062]
3rd Place:  Jessica Mendoza & GERMETA W [4-faults, 67.889]
Action in the Grand Prix Stadium continued into the evening, with the $7,500 M&S/NAL Child/Adult High Jumper Classic giving Junior and Amateur riders the chance to shine under the lights. None shone brighter than David Eakin, who saved the best for last in guiding VDL IRCOLANDE-E to a quick, clean jump-off run in 33.130.

2nd Place:  Neave Campbell & CLEARLINE [33.773]
3rd Place:  Chloe Halsnik & K RIVER [33.847]
Jack Robson designed another course that demanded the very best from riders for Sunday's $75,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix. After the thirteen riders ahead of him found difficulty, German Olympian Andre Thieme and CELLISTO navigated the course cleanly in 80.500. Thieme then had to wait through eight more rounds to learn that he had secured yet another HITS Ocala Grand Prix win and trophy to add to his impressive collection. The only other rider able to navigate the course without jumping faults, Kady Abrahamson finished in the runner-up spot after incurring three time faults. 

2nd Place:  Abrahamson & VANCOUVER [3-faults, 83.122]
3rd Place:  Francois Lamontagne & CHANEL DU CALVAIRE [4-faults, 76.305]
Jumper Classic Winners

$1,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Low: Sarah Woolley & HFO CORDYTE

$1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Medium: Noel Fratto & FERRIS BUELLER

$2,500 Pyranha/NAL Junior/Amateur 1.25m Jumper Classic: Stephany McConnell &

$5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.35m/1.45m Jumper Classic: Luke Sassi &

The Adeptus Leading Jumper Rider Award is presented each week to the rider accumulating the most points in one of the Open 0.65m to 1.40m divisions.

Congratulations to this week's winner:
Lila Gamel

Medal Winners

M&S Junior Medal: Emily Ainslie

Pyranha Children's Medal - Horse: Caroline Sordoni

Dover Saddlery Adult Medal: Avery Czapla

M&S Junior/Amateur Horsemanship: Emily Ainslie

M&S 2'6" Child/Adult Medal: Marlene Holland

Saturday's $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix was a tightly-contested one-round event. With their score of 86, Natalie Coffin & BONFIRE claimed the blue ribbon and winner's trophy.

2nd Place:  Ella Smutzer & ZORRO [85]
3rd Place:  Madison Ramsey & OCEAN AVENUE [84]
Jennifer Alfano won the final $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby of the 2022 HITS Ocala season on Saturday. Alfano and FAIRFAX earned the high score in each of the two rounds, a 90 and 91 respectively, for an overall total of 181.

2nd Place: Lily Toensing & CONSANTO [175]
3rd Place:  Peter Wylde & TIBRI'S MEMPHIS [173]
Hunter Classic Winners

M&S Bit O' Straw Hunter Classic: Addison Kane & INDIGO

$500 M&S/NAL/WIHS Child Hunter Classic - Horse: Julia Capozzi & CASSINO ROYALE

$500 M&S Child Hunter Classic - Pony: Carys Murray & RUMPLE MINZE

$500 SmartPak M&S/NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic: Jessie Goodwin & ANTIDOTE

$1,000 CWD Jr/A-O Hunter Classic 3'6": Maddie Tosh & CAMEO

$1,000 Antares Junior Hunter Classic 3'3": Madison Ramsey & OCEAN AVENUE

$1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic 3'3": Mary Eufemia & CENTRAL PARK

$1,000 Perfect Products Pony Hunter Classic: Laura Nosworthy & ROTTERDAM
Click here for the full listing of results from the HITS Ocala Winter Finals
Click here for the HITS Ocala Winter Finals photo galleries.