Angel Karolyi has had two Sunday Grand Prix victories in a row at HITS Ocala. Karolyi and Venus, owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc., topped a highly competitive field of 46 entries including Margie Engle, Kevin Babington, Aaron Vale and Peter Leone, to name just a few, for the win in the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix, presented by the Great American Insurance Group.
The six-horse jump-off was a thriller that had spectators whooping and hollering in disbelief as horses jumped high, wide and fast. Four went clean in the jump-off but Karolyi’s time of 44.780 was the fastest.
Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico, set a daunting first round track of 17 efforts with verticals as high as 1.53 meters and oxers to 1.48 meters with spreads to 1.60 meters.
Faults were spread throughout the course in the first round but many came at A of the double going away from the gate which had a huge pink oxer and one stride to a vertical coming out. The other fence that caused trouble was A of the triple, set seven tight strides after the 1.60 meter wide Vetera® XP Vaccines oxer. As a result, it was a very careful and scopey course. For the jump-off, the careful elements were removed allowing the horses to gallop to the oxers and tall verticals with one tight rollback to a narrow over a Liverpool.
First to go was David Beisel, of Goshen, Ohio, riding Equine Holdings LLC’s Ammeretto. The beautiful dark brown stallion started his warm up circle with a few show off bucks then flew over the course at breakneck speed, leaving from seemingly impossible distances, and jumping clean to the delight of the crowd. Even the always cool announcer could not believe his eyes, wishing the remaining contestants luck at ever beating Beisels’s time of 45.714.
Apparently, luck was not needed as next to go was Venus and Karolyi who turned a little tighter and appeared to spend less time in the air and finished in an almost unbelievable 44.790 to set the new Great American Time to Beat, dropping Beisel to second place.
Karolyi said, “It was certainly a hard time to beat. He (Beisel) didn’t leave me much room. I think I did all the same numbers but the last four jumps — it just seemed so fast. I just took on the ride on this horse about a month ago. She was previously shown by Kent Farrington and Marilyn Little. We won the $10,000 Friday Prix and she jumped so well we decided to enter her today. It was a very nice track from the course designer, very well designed. No one really struggled.”
Beisel praised his horse saying, ‘He was fantastic! He was cruising wasn’t he? I was cautious on the rollback from one to two. I could have turned a little tighter to the Liverpool, and I was a little careful to the last jump because I went first and wanted to be clean. He’s been such a stinker lately, bucking and having antics, that I had to make a big circle and wind him up to get the bucks out and then he gets down to business. Congratulations to Angel on a great ride! I had a great weekend, too."
Alex Granato, on the big grey, Gangsta, followed with a clear in 46.072. Brando Du Rouet and Kirk Webby, winners of a Sunday Grand Prix last month, went next, and his time of 45.984 fit right between Beisel and Granato for third. Bryn Sadler and her 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood Bon Giorno had four faults in a time of 50.772 for fifth and Cujo 7 and Derek Braun had a stop to place sixth.
Source: Press release from the HITS Media Team
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