Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. That’s a wrap for the HITS Ocala Winter Celebration (IX), featuring world-class hunter and jumper competition. Riders are certainly on their A-game as we near the end of the Circuit. This week featured the $200,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix, where many of the top riders in the sport prepared their horses for next week’s Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. Along with featured competition, riders worked diligently to earn their final points toward the Tack Shack of Ocala 2nd-Half Circuit and Pyranha Overall Circuit Awards, which will be presented prior to next week’s Great American Million.Taking home the first blue ribbon in featured jumper competition was David Jennings in Wednesday’s $5,000 Open Welcome. Jennings was first in the order aboard CANNTINUE, for Juniper Farms, and his time of 36.969 could not be caught.2nd Place: Cassandra Kahle & HH MESSENGER [38.465]3rd Place: Diego Perez Bilbao & MEADOW VALE CRUISE [39.134]Conor Swail claimed top honors in the $10,000 HITS Open Prix aboard KOSS VAN HEISTE, for Dalco Ltd, in a time of 37.524.2nd Place: Dorothy Douglas & MTM THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS [38.733]3rd Place: Tracy Fenney & MTM DOLCE VITA [39.143]Friday began with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in the Grand Prix Stadium where Vanessa Mannix was welcomed to the Winner’s Circle aboard her own CATINKA 25 to accept the blue ribbon. Mannix was last to jump-off and bested the field with her time of 39.501.2nd Place: Hunter Holloway & PEPITA CON SPITA [40.704]3rd Place: Swail & VITAL CHANCE DE LA ROQUE [41.532]Fenney moved up in the standings to take the win in the $15,000 HITS 1.40m Classic on Saturday aboard MTM LOCADEUR for MTM Farm. Being early in the order and the first rider to make it to the jump-off can be tricky as you set the pace, but nobody could beat Fenney’s time of 40.655.2nd Place: Perez Bilbao & ALTER EGO [44.533]3rd Place: Ashley Foster & STARDUST [45.174]Jumper Classic Winners$1,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic – Low: Kristina Gallo & CANTURINIO$1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic – Medium: Aiva Gamelin & SANITA PJ$2,000 M&S Child Jumper Classic – High: Sophia Ayers & FOR FASHION$2,000 M&S Adult Jumper Classic – High: Gabriella Fournier & CASADORA 4$2,500 Pyranha NAL Jr/A-O/Am 1.25m Jumper Classic: Madison Kondracki & SHUTTERFLY$5,000 Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic: Audrey Muscari & CINGSLEY 2$7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/Am 1.45m Jumper Classic: Hayley Waters & VITEL SOURDINA field of 46 riders were welcomed to the Grand Prix Stadium on Sunday afternoon for the $200,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix. Just eight riders would jump a clean first round over the course designed by Ms. Catalina “Catsy” Cruz of Mexico City, Mexico. The jump-off consisted of past Million Winners, Grand Prix Veterans, and riders that are no stranger to the Winner’s Circle at HITS Ocala. There was no doubt that it was going to be a competitive jump-off with each rider locked-in on the top prize.Capping off the Ocala Winter Celebration (IX) with her fourth Grand Prix win of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit was Fenney, jumping clean in the first round aboard her two mounts with a good shot at taking home the win.First to return in jump-off was Andre Thieme and CRAZY GIRL, posting a fault-free a time of 41.930 and setting the pace for the class. Following Thieme, was Fenney and her first mount in the jump-off, MTM REVE DU PARADIS. An unfortunate rail at the first fence would ultimately place them fifth. “Following Andre [Theime], I had an idea of what the time would be like,” said Fenney. “Aaron [Vale] has been super on fire and I knew that he has won a lot with that horse [ELUSIVE] so I knew with him behind me and Jordan [Coyle] also having two after me, that I needed to be pretty quick.”Fenney had one more shot at the win as she was fourth to return aboard MTM APPLE, owned by MTM Farm. She knew that she would need to be quick and accurate as Vale and Coyle, both known for their incredible speed, were standing by to jump-off. The pair navigated the jump-off in 36.645 and held onto the lead until the very end. “I don’t know that I’ve won a $200,000, so that’s pretty impressive,” exclaimed Fenney, beaming with joy. “She [MTM APPLE] was great and I am so excited! Aaron [Vale] was within a whisper of me so it could have gone either way today.”Second place was awarded to Aaron Vale and ELUSIVE, who were also the winners of this class in 2020. They came up just a hair short, posting a time of 39.714 in the jump-off. Rounding out the top three in the class was Thieme and CRAZY GIRL with the only other fault-free jump-off.Cassandra Kahle and Maxlight won the $10,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix. (ESI Photography)Hunters competed for the top prize on Saturday in the $10,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix and $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix in the Main Hunter Ring. Kicking off the day with a win was Kahle for her ride aboard MAXLIGHT for Redfield Farm in the $10,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix. Kahle was awarded the highest score in each round, 88 and 87, for a total of 175 and the blue ribbon.2nd Place: Vale & JAGERBOMB 3rd Place: Daniel Geitner & TROPICS Saturday afternoon came to a close with Elle Moreno taking the win in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix aboard HASHTAG for Stacy Lane-Sanderson. Moreno was awarded an 87 in each round to finish with a cumulative score of 174.2nd Place: Emma Covarrubias & ENDLESS JOY 3rd Place: Moreno & CASCAVEL Hunter Classic Winners$1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive: Hunt Tosh & CITATION$1,000 A-O Hunter Classic – 3’6″: Darby Toben & GIOVANNIE$1,000 Eastern Hay A-O Hunter Classic – 3’3″: Jenney Aselage & LOON LAKE$1,000 Antares Junior Hunter Classic – 3’6″: Maddie Tosh & CAMEO$1,000 Junior Hunter Classic – 3’3″: Lillian Geitner & BANKS MILL$1,000 Perfect Products Pony Hunter Classic: M. Tosh & STORYTELLER$500 M&S/NAL/WIHS SmartPak Adult Hunter Classic: Samantha Perreault & HEARTCORE$500 M&S/NAL/WIHS Child Hunter Classic: Kate Egan & ZORVINO$500 M&S/NAL/WIHS Child Hunter Classic – Pony: Lyla Tuttle & OTTERIDGE GUNSMOKEM&S Bit O’ Straw Hunter Classic: Chloe Stix & FABIANClick here for the full listing of results from the HITS Ocala Winter Celebration.The final week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit kicks-off this Wednesday for the HITS Ocala Championship which features USEF-Rated Premier/6* competition through March 28. Tags: Vanessa Mannix, HITS Ocala, show jumping, Cassandra Kahle, hunters, Catinka 25, HITS Ocala Grand Prix, Maxlight, Email* More from News:MARS Bromont CCI Announces Requirements For US-Based RidersThe first set of requirements to allow American athletes and support teams to enter Canada for the June 2-6 competition have been released.Canadian Eventer Jessica Phoenix Reaches the 100 CCI4*-S MarkPhoenix achieved the milestone while riding Pavarotti at the inaugural 2021 CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.Tribunal Satisfied That Kocher Made Prolonged Use of Electric SpursAs well as horse abuse, the US rider is found to have brought the sport into disrepute and committed criminal acts under Swiss law.Washington International Horse Show Returns to TryonTIEC will again provide the venue for the WIHS Oct. 26-31 with a full schedule of hunter, jumper and equitation classes. SIGN UP Horse Sport Enews
Daniel Koss, a doctoral student in Harvard’s Government Department, has spent nearly a year in China, studying how such a large, diverse nation could remain intact through decades of warfare, revolution, and unrest, and emerge to wield growing influence on the global stage.
Entries were released on Wednesday for the blue riband, backed by technology firm Timico for the first time, with Willie Mullins dominating the landscape. Ireland’s champion trainer has eight of the 32 possibles, including last year’s runner-up Djakadam, with last season’s RSA winner Don Poli a very strong second-string, according to the bookmakers. Colin Tizzard has just started to step Cue Card’s regime up a gear as the 10-year-old prepares to bid for a £1million bonus in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. While plenty of water needs to pass under the bridge before the race, King George second Vautour, a winner at the last two Festivals, is also in the mix along with Sir Des Champs, the 2013 Gold Cup runner-up. Boston Bob, Valseur Lido, 2014 runner-up On His Own and Ballycasey could also line up for Mullins. But standing in his way is a rejuvenated Cue Card, who showed he was no back number when winning the Charlie Hall on his reappearance and took his form to a new level when slamming Silviniaco Conti in the Betfair Chase and reeling in Vautour at Kempton. Those two races form the first two legs of the bonus on offer from Jockey Club Racecourses if he can top it off in the Gold Cup “You don’t want to be dawdling around with them now, a couple of frosty weeks and suddenly we are there,” said Tizzard on At The Races. “His work will be building up now, he’ll be going faster, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, he’ll go back doing that now, we’ll up the pace, rather than do more (work). “He likes his routine, if I can hold my nerve and keep to the routine he’ll be fine. “We all thought last year there was something bothering him and he wasn’t the horse he is this year. “People thought he had gone but whatever it is this year – the wind op, but he’d had that before his last two runs last season, so it wasn’t immediate action – he’s come back in a healthier horse this year. “It’s brilliant he’s come back as a 10-year-old as good as he is.” As well as the Mullins army Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack is also a huge threat for Ireland. He fell two out in the King George when staying on strongly and runs in the Kinloch Brae at Thurles on Thursday. Two interesting novices have been given the option – the Elliott-trained No More Heroes and Sandy Thomson’s Seeyouatmidnight – but Jonjo O’Neill decided against entering More Of That. “We have decided to keep to the novice route,” said O’Neill in the Gloucestershire Echo. “Weighing up the options and looking at the Gold Cup entries, it looked the best way to go at this stage. “We have the JLT or the RSA in mind for More Of That and we are looking to give him another run before then. He’s 100 per cent.” Road To Riches, third last March for Noel Meade, is another from Ireland to get excited about. “I could not be happier with Road To Riches,” said Meade. “We had a bit of a blood disorder and snotty nose with him at Christmas, but all is well now and the plan is to go to Leopardstown for the Irish (Hennessy) Gold Cup (February 6). “I felt last year that we tried to put it up to Coneygree and then Djakadam came and got us as we faded on the run-in. “I think Djakadam will improve because he was a young horse last year.” Meade could also run Wounded Warrior, third in the RSA last March. Hennessy winner Smad Place, O’Faolains Boy, Holywell, Grand National hero Many Clouds and 2014 Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere, who is recovering from a setback, also in the shake-up – as are Carlingford Lough and the long-absent Morning Assembly. Such is the strength of the Irish challenge Coral offer only 1-7 that the prize heads that way, with Paddy Power a slightly more enticing 1-4. “With six of the first seven in our betting trained across the Irish Sea, it’s long odds-on this season’s Timico Gold Cup is set for export, with Willie Mullins in particular holding a typically strong looking hand as he bids to win the race for a first time,” said Coral’s David Stevens. Press Association