Twenty-one-year-old Jared Petersen of Archer, Florida and fellow Legacy Farm rider Jordan Coyne of New Port Richey, Florida went one-two in Sunday’s $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Culpeper, posting the only double clear rounds of the day. In a field that included grand prix veterans such as Laura Linback, Tracy Fenney and Ian Silitch, Petersen and Coyne topped a field of 20 over a course set by Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland.
“This is as good as it gets,” said Derek Petersen, who trains both Coyne and his son Jared. “They braved the elements and rode really well over a fair course.”
The track included 12 obstacles and 15 jumping efforts with a double combination at fence three and a triple combination at the final effort. Faults were evenly spread throughout the course, but the final fences seemed to pose the most difficulty. Fence 11 preceded a rollback to the right to fence 12, which was followed by a bending line to the triple.
In the third trip of the class, Ian Silitch of Ocala, Florida posted the first clear round with Gaston Family Investments, LLC’s Vanita. He was followed by Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas on MTM Timon and Petersen on Derek Petersen’s Titus 2:11. Coyne on her own Lazaro and Fenney on MTM Farm’s MTM Centano rounded out a five-horse jump-off.
Silitch and Fenney both had rails early in the jump-off before Petersen returned to post a fault-free round in 35.70 seconds and the Great American Time to Beat. “I saw Tracy had a rail with Timon, which took a lot of pressure off, but I knew she had Centano coming back and wasn’t going to underestimate them. They certainly have the speed to beat us,” said Petersen. “My main goal was to be as quick as I could without having a rail in the process.”
Coyne followed Petersen and the winning time came down to thousandths of a second. She and Lazaro were clear in 35.77 seconds. “I couldn’t have been happier with the results – Jared and I joked earlier in the week about being first and second in the grand prix and it happened!” said Coyne with a laugh. “[Lazaro] is a machine. He doesn’t care what’s going on around him – he’s a pro and he always does his job.”
Fenney and MTM Centano were last to go in the jump-off, but picked up four faults at the third fence to finish fifth. Silitch was fourth with Vanita and Fenney was third aboard MTM Timon.
Petersen and Titus 2:11 experienced a wildly successful circuit at HITS Ocala this winter with four grand prix wins. “He can do anything I want on him,” said Petersen of his nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding. “If I want to leave out a stride or add two, he’s always in my hand.”
After their success in Ocala, Petersen has aimed Titus 2:11 towards their very first Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix appearance and currently sits in the top 10 of the Preliminary Rider Rankings. Coyne is also considering joining Petersen with Lazaro, who was fourth in the 2012 Pfizer Million with Derek Petersen aboard. “He has the mileage and if we keep consistent, it’s a definite goal,” she said.
Sunday capped the first of two weeks of showing at HITS Culpeper, before all attention turns east for HITS Championship weekend and HITS Saugerties September 6-8, 2013.
Source: press release from HITS
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