First to go in a class is not always best in the world of grand prix show jumping, but Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, TX proved there are no absolutes. However, Fenney went in the ring first aboard S&L Willie, co-owned by Mike McCormick and S&L Farm's, set the standard for afternoon's event by going clean.
Six rounds later, Ian Silitch (Sperryville, VA) and November Hill Farm's Brave Ally ensured the capacity crowd a jump-off. However, the rest of the field could not duplicate the efforts of Fenney and Silitch. There were a few heartbreaks along the way as Polly Howard (Temperance, MI) riding Troon and Tracy Fenney on her second mount, Myst, left all the rails up, but garnered time faults. It looked as though Laura Linback, the final rider of the class was going to log the third clear round of the day on Kennedy, but a rail at the second to last fence dashed her hopes. Forty-four riders tackled Buddy Brown's course in today's HITS Post Time Grand Prix in Ocala, FL.
Fenney blazed around the jump-off course, but dropped the second to last rail coming out of the combination and then dropped the last rail as well for a final score of eight faults in 44.249 seconds. Silitch rode a bit more cautiously, and the rail mid-way at 9a caused some concern, but when he too had 11b down, Fenney was assured the victory.
In addition to keen equestrian competition, HITS prides itself on its many community activities associated with its horse shows. "The communities where we hold our shows throughout the year are very important to us," stated HITS President Tom Struzzieri. "Supporting local charities allows them to realize revenue and gain community recognition. In turn, our charity partners help us build up spectator support in each of the communities where we hold our shows."
Local charities assist with the spectator sales at each Sunday event and they receive 100% of proceeds. Interfaith Emergency Services was today's beneficiary, and they assist the area by coordinating support services and avoiding duplication. They provide emergency food, shelter, clothing, transportation, eyeglasses and medicine to more than 180,000 citizens of Marion County throughout the year.
Today was Family Day with children and adults enjoying the games, rides and entertainment organized by the City of Ocala Department of Parks and Recreation. Families then gathered to watch the grand spectacle of grand prix show jumping.
For more information on the HITS Indio Desert Circuit, please contact Tony Hitchcock or Marnye Langer of the HITS Media Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 775-5531. Photographs for print or electronic publication purposes are available upon request.
PLACE HORSE OWNER RIDER RIDER CITY/ST FAULTS/TIME PRIZE$
1 S&L Willie
Mike McCormick / S&L Farm Tracy Fenney Flower Mound, TX 0/8//44.249
Coming Attractions at Ocala:
March 3 2PM $50,000
HITS Ocala Grand Prix