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Derek Petersen And Promised Land Win $100,000 King Shavings Grand Prix Finale At HITS Ocala

OCALA, FL (March 15, 2004)—Local favorites, Derek Petersen and Promised Land posted the only double-clear round to take home the blue ribbon in the $100,000 King Shavings Grand Prix at the close of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Course Designer Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, New York, built Sunday's challenging course for the field of 42 entries. This was the second Grand Prix win for the South African born rider and his talented 10 year-old bay gelding—in week II Petersen and Promised Land won the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. Petersen, who lives in Archer, Florida, had the support of an enthusiastic home crowd in a competition that saw only five horses advance to the jump-off.

Christine Tribble rode her own Vegas to second place. Aaron Vale and Quendo, owned by Town Creek Investment took third place. Todd Minikus and Gardenio, owned by Y Z Partners LLC placed fourth. Aaron Vale and his second mount Cortino, also owned by Town Creek Investment, finished in fifth place.

D'Ambrosio built a tough 14-obstacle first round course that included a double combination at fence no. 6, and a triple combination at fence no. 13. The first element of the triple was a 5' vertical, followed by a 4'9" oxer with a 5' spread, and the last element was another oxer of the same height and spread. After coming through the triple combination, riders had to face the last test of the course, a 5'3" vertical. Twenty-three riders had rails down at the triple, and an unlucky 13 pulled down the final fence.

For the jump-off, D'Ambrosio shortened the course to seven-obstacles. He included the double combination from the first round and the tall 5'3" final vertical. Todd Minikus led off with Gardenio, setting a blistering pace to cross the timers in 41.82 seconds the fastest time of the jump-off, but two rails down meant he had to settle for fourth place. Aaron Vale decided to take it steady with his first horse Quendo, tipping the timers in a careful 49.52 seconds, but despite his caution the final rail came down giving the pair a third place finish. Derek Petersen and Promised Land picked up the pace, crossing the timers in 45.03 seconds with all the rails in place. Aaron Vale and Cortino did their best to catch Petersen's time, but two rails down left them in fifth place. Christine Tribble was the last to ride and gave Petersen the best challenge. It all looked good until Vegas pulled down the final 5'3" vertical, crossing the timers in 45.86 seconds for second place.

Derek Petersen was cheered on by his wife Anita and his two sons Jared and Joel. Jared, aged 11, is already showing pony jumpers and hopes to follow in his father's successful footsteps. Petersen, who was born in South Africa, rode there as a Junior before moving to the States in 1988. Derek has worked hard to get where he is today. He started his career as a member of the jump crew and has worked his way up to successful rider and trainer.

Derek, who is a Deacon at his church, has always harbored high-hopes for Promised Land, "I had a revelation that this horse was going to take me to the 'Promised Land' and that's why I named him that...he is a gift of God." Promised Land is a 17.1 hand gelding that was German born from an unknown sire. This is the 4th year Derek has been showing this horse.
Other major award winners at HITS Ocala V included:
HBO Junior Medal Winner - Anders Jones, Weston, MA
Charles Owen Children's Medal Winner - Michael Danner, Odessa, FL
Charles Owen Adult Medal Winner - Janelle Langan, Goffstown, NH
Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider - Jennifer Alfano, Buffalo, NY
Bayer Legend Leading Jumper Rider - Aaron Vale, Aiken, SC

Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, New York, finished out the HITS Ocala circuit with the outstanding achievement of being named the the Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider four timesan award that is presented to the winningest hunter rider at the close of each week during the circuit.

Aaron Vale was presented with the Bayer Legend Leading Jumper Rider award for the fifth week in a row. He also received the Equus Entries Leading Grand Prix Rider award. Aaron takes home a beautiful "Super Bowl" ring inlaid with precious stones courtesy of Equus Entries.

For more information on the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, including complete competition results, please visit

Derek Petersen & Promised Land - winners of $100,000 King Shavings Grand Prix
© 2004 Lili Weik Photography

$100,000 King Shavings Grand Prix - Sunday, March 14, 2004
HITS Ocala V - Ocala, FL
Course Designer: Anthony D'Ambrosio, Red Hook, New York

Place Horse Rider Owner Prize Money Rd1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1st Promised Land Derek Petersen Derek / Anita Petersen $30,000 0 0 45.03
2nd Vegas Christine Tribble Christine Tribble / Windsor Show Stables $22,000 0 4 45.86
3rd Quendo Aaron Vale Town Creek Investment $13,000 0 4 49.52
4th Gardenio Todd Minikus Y Z Partners LLC $8,000 0 8 41.82
5th Cortino Aaron Vale Town Creek Investment $6,000 0 8 45.45
6th Modra Todd Minikus Donald Cheska $5,000 4
7th Cable Ian Silitch Ian / Jacquelyn Silitch $4,000 4
8th Ludwig Cara Raether Trelawny Farm Inc $3,000 4
9th Valentino Amy Millar Amy Millar $3,000 4
10th Picasso Aaron Vale Town Creek Investment $2,000 4
11th Jewel Thief Daniel Damen Daniel Damen $2,000 4
12th Neander Andre Thieme Redfield Farm LLC $2,000 4


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