HITS Ocala VIII finished up with the $50,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, held in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium on Sunday. Angel Karolyi of Aiken, South Carolina, riding McLain Ward’s Wings was the only rider to have two clear rounds for the win.
Karolyi went last in the jump-off and took a chance by going slowly and carefully, riding for a clear round. Thirty-seven competed over the course designed by Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City, Mexico. The course took its toll in both the first round and the jump-off with only seven going clean in the first round. Faults were scattered throughout the course but a difficult diagonal line of fences starting with a triple bar on a two stride combination, to a narrow vertical created some questions for the riders in both the first round and the jump-off.
In the jump-off, VanderVeen went first and four faults at the tricky combination, finishing with a time of 48.662, for third place. The winner of last Sunday’s $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix, on Bull Run's Faustino de Tili, was happy with her ride saying, “My horse jumped really well. We just got a little unlucky at the combination [with a downed rail at 8b].”
Eight-year-old Liratus and Devin Ryan jumped huge over the triple bar then stopped at the combination finishing seventh with multiple faults. Next up was Quincy Car and Cardenas who went clear all the way to the end, and just caught the back rail of the final oxer for four faults in 47.162. The next three had eight faults, leaving the door open for Karolyi, who took a chance at the clear and made it all the way home for the win.
Karolyi said, “It was risky going for the clear but I heard them announce that there were only two with four faults as I was riding towards the first fence and I figured if I had a rail I would still be third, so I took the chance — I wanted to win."
Source: Press release from HITS, Inc.
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