Week IV at HITS Post Time Farm included plenty of excitement and riders and horses of all ages, levels and states gathered to compete. The week culminated with the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday.
Canadian equestrian Isabelle Lapierre took home the blue-ribbon title in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix in Ocala riding her own mare, Cesha M. Interestingly, Lapierre and Cesha M took home the exact same title last year during Week IV of the Ocala Winter Circuit— first place in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix.
Lapierre and Cesha M returned to stake claim to their title in a lightning-fast jump-off round, where they took the top spot on the leaderboard with a three-second lead. The pair were third in the order of the nine-horse jump-off, and their fault-free time of 40.763 held up through the rest of the field.
Many of the contenders in Sunday’s Grand Prix have been competing against each other for the entirety of the Ocala Winter Circuit, and the order of go was stacked with talent—it was a class of veteran Grand Prix riders no doubt, with some fresh faces in the top 12 as well.
Scott Keach was the seventh in the order to challenge the abbreviated course piloting Chicco W, owned by Edith Rameika. The Australian equestrian and his mount sped through the course, stopping the clock in 43.065 for the eventual second-place finish.
The last contestant in the jump-off was Kim Farlinger aboard Caprice Van De Brouwershoeve, owned by Kim Farlinger Stables, Ltd. They chased Lapierre’s leading time and zoomed through the course, taking each fence by storm and leaving the rails up. They finished in 43.074, only one-hundredth of a second behind Keach’s round, settling them into third place.
Devin Ryan took home the fourth place prize with Cooper as the quickest four-fault jump-off round in 39.122. Rounding out the top five was Mattias Tromp piloting Avon, owned by Swede Ventures, LLC. They too would be foiled by a single rail to finish the course with four faults in 40.497.
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix
Place/Horse/Owner/Rider/Prize/R.1 Faults/J.O Faults/J.O Time
1 Cesha M/Isabelle Lapierre/Isabelle Lapierre/$15,000/0/0/40.763
2 Chicco W/Edith Rameika/Scott Keach/$11,000/0/0/43.065
3 Caprice Van De Brouwershoeve/Kim Farlinger Stables/Kim Farlinger/$6,500/0/0/43.074
4 Cooper/Devin Ryan/Devin Ryan/$4,000/0/4/39.122
5 Avon/Swede Ventures LLC/Mattias Tromp/$3,000/0/4/40.497
6 MTM Reve Du Paradis/MTM Farm/Tracy Fenney/$2,500/0/8/42.309
7 Airborne/Hugh Graham/Hugh Graham/$2,000/0/8/43.077
8 Quality On Top/North Face Farm/Aaron Vale/$1,500/0/12/41.366
9 Chanel Du Calvaire/Francois Lamontagne/Francois Lamontagne/$1,500/0/-/Elim
10 Condor C/Centennial Farm, Inc/Debbie Stephens/$1,000/2/-/-
11 Kenwood/The Kenwood Syndicate/Daniel Geitner/$1,000/4/-/-
12 S&L Elite/MTM Farm/Dorothy Douglas/$1,000/4/-/-