Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas rode to a HITS Ocala hat trick with MTM Farm’s MTM Timon today, picking up her third grand prix win of the winter circuit. She and the13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding that carried her to three top-twenty finishes in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, and countless grand prix victories, were the best of 37 in today’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis.
Fenney characterized the course as fair for $25,000 and was one of eight to produce first-round clears and advance to the jump-off. Course designer Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario built a 13-obstacle course, which included a triple and double combination. The jump-off saw four in a row go clean and Michael Hughes of Allendale, New Jersey aboard Christina Fried’s Luxina got it started. The 17-year-old rider posted a time of 45.16 seconds, which was quickly bested by Kristen VanderVeen of St. Charles, Illinois with Bull Run Jumpers’ Bull Run’s Eternal. She finished in 45.09 seconds, hinting that today’s class results would be determined by the clock.
With only one of her two mounts advancing, Fenney had to play her speed card early in the second round. Third to ride, she and Timon crushed the Great American Time To Beat by almost two full seconds and crossed the beam in 53.58 to sit first. She then waited, fingers crossed, for the remaining five trips, but the code had been cracked. Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina produced one more clear round with Paddy Ann Burns’ Calando Z, but was two seconds too slow for the lead.
VanderVeen finished second and Hughes third. Chopping settled for fourth and Aaron Vale of Morriston, Florida capped the top five in the irons of 2VR Showjumpers’ Zippo II – the fastest of the four-fault rounds. SmartPak will continue to sponsor $25,000 grand prix each Thursday for the next three weeks, each presented by Zoetis.
Fenney has experienced surplus grand prix success at HITS Ocala in the past several years and swept the high-performance jumper classes during Week II this winter. She has her two top mounts, MTM Timon and MTM Centano, primed for Sunday’s $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, as well as anticipating a return to HITS Championship Weekend’s Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix this fall. She and husband Mike McCormick, however, may be thinking of taking their success west this year. “We own all of our horses, so we have some freedom as far as our schedule is concerned,” said Fenney. “We are considering taking a trip to California this season for the [AIG Thermal] $1 Million class out there as well as the [Zoetis] $1 Million in Saugerties.”
While some chase $1 million glory on the West Coast, East Coast riders will have their chance to ride for serious money during the same weekend. The $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, will return to HITS Ocala March 17.
Source: Press release from the HITS Media Team
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