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Duncan McFarlane wins the HITS Grand Prix

Monday, 13 February 2012

Duncan McFarlane and Mr Whoopy. Photo by Flying Horse Photography.In Thermal California the CSI2*-W HITS Grand Prix took place Saturday. The $53.000 class is presented by Pfizer Animal Health. New Zealand’s Duncan McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy posted the only double-clear in the class, and captured their first Grand Prix victory of the season. Last autumn this combination finished second at the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York, and could take home $200,000.

In Saturday night’s Grabd Prix McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy, who has a habit of being a rather rambunctious partner, met the challenge of Course Designer Florencio Hernandez’s 1.60 meter World Cup course.  
Only five riders managed a clear first round, and Great Britain’s Helen McNaught and Caballo were first to go and finished the class in fourth place with four faults in 37.22 seconds. John Perez from Columbia riding Utopia followed and couldn’t pull ahead of McNaught’s time. The pair ended the night in fifth place with four faults and a time of 37.61 seconds.

McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy were next to show and cruised through the timers in 37.39 seconds, leaving all the fences up.“I’m lucky, this horse is a superstar,” said McFarlane after the win. “This was a great class. The footing was spectacular and the new jumps are wonderful. “

Otavio Penedo and Karl Cook both tried to challenge McFarlane’s pace, but came up short with four faults and times of 34.76 seconds and 35.21 seconds to finish the class second and third, respectively.

Source: HITS press release

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