A star studded 41 entries competed in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix held in the picturesque Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Kirk Webby from White House Station, New Jersey, came out on top of the line up on Brando Du Rouet owned by the Tolleshunt Investment Group.
Competing over Bernardo Cabral’s course of 16 jumping efforts within the 83 second time allowed narrowed the field to a lucky four in the jump off, despite multiple entries by McLain Ward, Candice King, Aaron Vale, Tracy Fenney and more. The course was set at 1.50 meters and took its toll on competitors, with rails falling throughout.
The first of four to return for the jump off was Candice King of Wellington, Florida, riding Bellissimo LLC’s Kismet 50. Knowing her competition, King took all the inside routes for the win until the back rail of the final oxer fell to give her four faults in a very fast time of 49.314. This proved to be the fastest round with four faults earning King second place honors.
Next up was McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, riding Double H Farm’s HH Ashley who was second during the HITS Ocala Week II $50,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix. The Olympic Gold Medalist also took the inside routes, but an unfortunate rail at the second part of the combination cost him four faults in a time of 49.476 to place fourth.
Third to jump off was Kama Godek of Fairfax, Virginia, riding her own Air Force One. The grey was rearing with excitement at the starting buzzer and galloped the course without slowing for the turns. The crowd sighed with disappointment when the final rail fell for four faults in a time of 49.387 to finish third.
“I just needed to give one more half halt to the last fence,” said Godek who was happy with her ride.
Last to go and taking advantage of knowing just what he had to do to win was Kirk Webby aboard Brando du Rouet. The pair rode slowly and carefully for the clear and the win, successfully completing the course with no jumping faults and just two time faults in a time of 56.047.
“My strategy once everyone had rails down was just to go clear - and I’m really happy for the people who own him [Brando Du Rouet]. They have been really good to me,” said a victorious Webby. “The course was technical enough and I think it got the right result. My horse is by Baloubet du Rouet so he’s bred to do this.”
Placing fifth was Jerome Navet on OnlyJumpers.com’s Sirius Brown who had a clear jumping effort in the first round but just one time fault in a time of 83.889.
Source: Press release from the HITS Media Team
This photo has been added to your cart !Your shopping cart »