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Patty Stovel steals the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Patty Stovel and her own Carigor Z. Photo by ©ESI Photography HITS is back in Virginia and Patty Stovel got things started in the Grand Prix ring this weekend with a win in the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard her own Carigor Z. Nineteen horses took to Jerry Dougherty’s 13-obstacle course and six conquered it to move onto the jump-off. The Bokeelia, Florida course designer built a technical course that presented an oxer-to-oxer double combination at fence five and a triple combination at fence 12, which boasted tall verticals to yet another large vertical at the final fence of the course. “This course was very careful, but it fit the group of horses that showed up to jump it very well,” said Stovel.

After watching six rounds, three of which were clear, Stovel and her 11-year-old Argentinean gelding made it four and joined the jump-off. Stovel and Carigor Z have been together since she purchased the horse as a three-year-old. “I brought him along slowly, but he has become quite good in the grand prix,” commented Stovel. “He has to learn every step he takes, but once he figures it out, he is very consistent.”

After two unsuccessful jump-off rounds, Laura Linback of Mundelin, Illinois delivered the first clear round and set the Great American Time to Beat at 46.22 seconds with Woodrun’s HH Dauphin. Stovel was hot on her heels and took the lead with a time of 41.68 seconds. Her win, however, was not secure yet. Regular blue ribbon winner Tracy Fenney and husband Michael McCormick, both of Flower Mound, Texas were the final two to face the jump-off. “It’s difficult to beat Tracy in a jump-off no matter what horse she’s on,” admitted Stovel.

Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Timon were well on their way to earning the win when Timon clipped a rail at the last fence and picked up four faults in the fasted time of the day – 40.80 seconds. “I knew that I had to go as fast as I could and that’s what I did,” said Stovel. “I left the rest up to Tracy and put enough pressure on her that she took the last rail down.”

Linback held on to second-place while Fenney finished in third, the first of an MTM Farm triple play as McCormick was fourth in the iron’s of MTM Remington and Fenney guided MTM Genau to fifth. This weekend’s Grand Prix was the first of five qualifying classes before the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix returns to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York to highlight HITS Championship Weekend September 7-9.

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