The weather was ideal and all conditions were in Lisa Goldman’s favor as she piloted Mary Goldman’s Centurion B to a win in the $50,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, Sunday at HITS Ocala. After pocketing two grand prix wins earlier in the season, Goldman of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois and Centurion B conquered the jump-off and were the only pair to ride double-clear.
Sunday’s course was designed by Bernardo Cabral of Lisbon, Portugal. At the end of the first round, six advanced to the jump-off. “It was really challenging today,” said Goldman of the 13-obstacle, 16-jumping effort track in the first round. “I enjoyed the course though, it was big enough and there were enough that made it to the jump-off.”
First to return for the jump-off was Lauren Patava of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Bonaventure Farms’ Sly. She was clear until the last fence – a tall plank – came down and finished with four faults in a time of 53.88 seconds, good enough for fifth.
The plank at the ninth and final effort off the jump-off was a tough code to crack for almost all of the jump-off contenders. Four of the six were clear until they approached it, and Goldman was the only rider to clear it.
Patty Stovel of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania and her own Carigor Z returned second in the jump-off and had a much faster pace, however, four faults in 51.00 seconds placed them third overall.
Goldman and Centurion B were next to show and as the crowd expected her to blaze around the course with characteristic speed, she instead chose the conservative route and focused on a clear round. She conquered the plank and crossed the finished line in 52.11 seconds with no faults and setting the Great American Time to Beat. “I really like having a plank at the end,” said Goldman. “It’s a tough jump to keep up and always makes for an exciting jump-off.”
Adrienne Iverson of Redfield Farm in Califon, New Jersey and her own Sweetheart stepped up their game this season and found themselves in the ribbons yet again. The duo posted an eight-fault round in the fastest time of the day, 49.21 seconds, to finish in sixth place. David Beisel of Goshen, Ohio and Equine Holdings, LLC’s Ammeretto made it to the jump-off for the fourth consecutive time this season. They crossed the finish line fractions of a second faster than Goldman, in 52.10, but the plank hit the ground for the fourth time, giving them four faults and a fourth place finish.
Last to show was Jordan Coyne of New Port Richey, Florida and her own Lazaro. Coyne, who trains with Derek Petersen, hoped to bring home another win for Legacy Farm. She had the win her crosshairs with seconds to spare as she approached the last fence, but the plank tumbled to the ground for the fifth time. Her time of 49.67 was good enough for second place.
The honors came in abundance for Goldman, who not only took home the first-place check for Sunday’s main event, but also received one ton of free feed from Purina Animal Nutrition for her efforts, as well as the Arenus All-Around Athlete Award. With three grand prix victories so far, Goldman’s circuit has been nothing short of spectacular. "You always come into a circuit hoping for the best,” she said. “I’ve been very successful back home but this is my first time at a circuit in Florida and we’ve just had an amazing winter here. Today’s win was exceptionally special for me since my college equestrian coach, Stacey Sanderson, was here to watch.” Goldman rode in National Collegiate Equestrian Association competitions at Baylor University.
After her newfound success at HITS this winter, Goldman has the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix on her radar. “We weren’t planning on making it to Championship Weekend in Saugerties initially, but now we are definitely planning on being there. I’m really excited to go to Saugerties for the first time. We also have a couple of children’s jumpers that will show in the USHJA [Children’s and Adult Amateur Jumper] Regional Championships that weekend.”
Source: Press release from HITS Media Team
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