Lisa Goldman wasted no time adjusting to a new winter circuit. She and her barn of 14 horses from Red Coat Farm in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois are at HITS Ocala for the first time and are riding right to the top. The highlight, however, was Goldman's win in today's $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, with Centurion B, owned by her mother Mary Goldman.
"This class was exciting down to the very last second. The course rode nicely and I loved the combination at the end of the first round," said Goldman. "We have always heard great things about the HITS Ocala circuit and we now know that they are all very true – we love it here."
Goldman and the rest of Red Coat Farm escaped the brisk winter of Illinois to bask in some Florida sun and they iced the cake with several blue ribbons. Goldman and Centurion B won last week's $2,500 Brook Ledge Open Welcome and were second in Sunday's $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.
"We have owned Centurion B since he was three and I jumped his first cross rail with him," said Goldman of the 11 year old Belgian Warmblood, purchased from Bannockburn Farm in Indiana. "We owe a lot to today's class sponsor. We have our entire barn of 80 horses on SmartPak supplements and they perform as well as we could ever ask."
Today, Goldman and Centurion B topped a field of 27 on a course designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, Florida. He built 13 obstacles in the Grand Prix Ring, including a double combination at fence six and a triple at 13. Six returned for the jump-off, including Goldman on two mounts.
Laura Linback of Mundelin, Illinois was first to tackle the jump-off course and set the bar high with a clear round and an early Great American Time to Beat of 41.74 seconds aboard Woodrun's HH Dauphin. Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas contested with MTM Farm's MTM Centano, but picked up four faults with a rail at the second fence of the course.
Goldman and Centurion B rode third and posted the winning round in 36.53 seconds with three still to go, including her second mount Morocco. Fenney returned, but again fell victim to fence two with MTM Farm's MTM Timon. Adrienne Iverson was next to challenge Goldman, but finished with eight faults.
Last to ride in the jump-off, Goldman rode into second with a clear round in 38.57 seconds with Morocco. Linback finished third, and Fenney was fourth and fifth, respectively.
Aside from obvious celebration, today's win was a sentimental victory for the Goldmans as the husband of Centurion B's breeder, Fletcher McCracken, recently suffered a stroke and has since only been able to utter one phrase – Centurion B. When McCracken spoke to the Goldmans this evening, they were able to tell him that his beloved horse won him a grand prix. But, they aren't stopping there – Goldman has big plans for her horse and is hoping to qualify for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York this September.
"It would be a dream come true to ride in a $1 million class," said Goldman. "Aside from the Olympics, there isn't much else I could wish for."
Source: Press release from HITS, Inc.
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