OCALA, FLORIDA (March 4, 2001)--Two Olympians competed against each other in a six-horse jump-off at HITS Ocala IV today, and Lauren Hough, 24, of Ocala, Florida, riding Windy City, emerged as the winner of the $50,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix. Hough qualified two horses for the jump-off, and also placed fourth with her Sydney Olympics mount, Clasiko. Eight-time Canadian Olympic veteran Ian Millar, 54, on Dorincord was just .433 of a second off the winning time and placed second. Hough was awarded $15,000 for Windy City's owner, Peppercorn Ltd. Danny Foster of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, was the course designer for the field of 36 entries. Foster is Chairman of the Show Jumping Team for Canada and is on the board of directors for Jump Canada.
Prior to the class, Foster said, "There's a great field of riders in Ocala now-some very, very good riders. Lots of Canadians are here. You have a good field and you have to test them because of that." Foster's 13-jump Round One course included a double at Fence No. 7 and a triple at Fence No. 12. Time Allowed was set at 98 seconds. Half the field faulted out at the double--the bogey jump. Nine riders did not complete Round One.
For the jump-off, Foster built an eight-obstacle course and set Time Allowed at 55 seconds. Hough, riding Clasiko, was second in the order and had the first clear round, setting the pace at 48.915. Derek Petersen of Archer, Florida, on his Promised Land went next and challenged the leader with a clear round in 47.392, which proved to be good enough for third place and $6,500. Jill Henselwood, a Canadian Team member from Oxford Mills, Ontario, on Same Old Song went next and was clear all the way to the last jump but was eliminated in a fall. Henselwood took home $2,500 for owner Frank Earle. Hough returned to the ring with Windy City and bested her own time with a clear in 44.557 for the win. Last to go was Millar of Perth, Ontario, on Dorincord, who went fast and clean in 44.790, but had to settle for second place. Dorincord earned $11,000 for owner Millar Brooke Ltd--Ian's farm.
Foster commented on course designing for high caliber Grand Prix riders, "Basically there's two ways of being tough. One is with size and the other one is with technicality. There are lots of things that are technical. I was a rider all my life and there are many very subtle things that are difficult that non-riders wouldn't necessarily see the difficulty. Basically you're talking about lines of jumps, combinations of jumps, and the distances in between that relate from one to the other. It's where you place jumps, and it's how you use the in-gate area that can increase difficulty. This is where I think having experience as a rider helps me to understand what those little nuances are that make it hard for horses and riders."
Today's class was also a qualifying Grand Prix for the Cosequin® U.S. Grand Prix League Invitational Finals to be held in Culpeper, Virginia, September 26-30, 2001.
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix, March 4, 2001
HITS Ocala Winter Circuit III, Ocala, Florida
Course Designer: Danny Foster
Pl#/Horse/Rider/Owner/Prize Money/Rd 1/Rd 2/Faults/J-O Time
1 Windy City/Lauren Hough/Peppercorn Ltd/$15,000/0/0/44.557
2. Dorincord/Ian Millar/Millar Brooke/$11,000/0/0/44.790
3. Promised Land/Derek Petersen/Derek Petersen/$6,500/0/0/47.392
4. Clasiko/Lauren Hough/$4,000/The Clasiko Group/$4,000/0/0/48.915
5. Aalsmeer's Enterprize/Andre Thieme/Aalsmeer Farm/$3,000/0/4/47.629
6. Same Old Song/Jill Henselwood/Frank Earle/$2,500/0/E
7. Elan Florestan/Aaron Vale/Elan Farms/$2,000/4/NA
8. Cool Waters/Sulu Rose/The Galloping Field/$1,500/4/NA
9. Paloma/Patricia Stovel/James Pirtle/$1,500/4/NA
10. Conejo/Karen Cudmore/Blair Cudmore/$1,000/4/NA
11. Sylver II/Frankie Chesler/Sher-Al Farms/$1,000/4/NA
12. Aftershock/Jonathan Millar/The Point & Millar Brooke Ltd/4/NA
Number of horses who competed in this class: 36
Class Prize Money: $50,000
Show Jumping Action Continues at Ocala Winter Circuit 2001 & FINAL WEEK
Ocala Winter Finals March 7-11
$50,000 East Meets West Hunter Challenge Sunday, March 11 11am
presented by The Chronicle of the Horse
$100,000 Grand Prix Sunday, March 11 2pm
presented by Great American Insurance
HITS GOLDEN HILLS INTERNATIONAL SHOW GROUNDS: 7500 Hwy. 27 West; Ocala, Florida 34482; Directions: Interstate 75 to Ocala Exit for Rte. 27. Go west to Golden Hills. Horse show entrance is three miles on the left. Telephone: 352.620.2275;