ELLENVILLE, NY (August 31, 2001)- Donald Cheska of Waukesha, Wisconsin, riding By Design won the $15,000 Open Jumper Prix at HITS Catskills VI in Ellenville, New York, today. Cheska was the fastest of four double-clears in a field of 27 entries. By Design, a black, 11-year-old, 15.2-hand mare, earned $4,500 for her owner Bayside Farm. Cheska rode three horses in this class and also placed fifth with his Jubulent and eighth with Franc D'Helby owned by Twin Lakes Farm. Michael Roy Curtis of Tucson, Arizona, designed the course.
or Round One, Curtis built an 11-jump track that included a triple combination at Fence No. 6, a double at No. 8, and another double at No. 10. Time Allowed was set at 96 seconds. Eight horses went clean and qualified for the Jump-Off.
The six-element Jump-Off course required riders to start at the vertical at Fence No. 1, turn sharply right to the oxer at No. 2, turn left to a new oxer-No. 12, then take a short gallop left to pick up the course at the No. 9 vertical, roll back to the vertical-oxer double at No. 10, and rollback again to the final oxer at No. 11. Time Allowed was set at 45 seconds.
David Raposa of Clinton, New York, riding the first of his two contenders, S&L Off Guard, started the Jump-Off and set the pace with a clear round in 33.696, but he was edged into a second place finish and took home $3,300 for owner S&L Farms of West Palm Beach, Florida. Next on course was Cheska on his Jubulent, the first of his three rides. The duo had 10A down for four faults in 34.262, which placed him fifth. Ainsley Vince of Milton, Ontario, was third in the order of go on the first of her two rides, Catch 22, a horse she owns with Trinity Farm. This duo won the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix at HITS Catskills I, but in today's class they had the last fence down for four faults in 34.379, taking sixth place. Raposa returned to the field with Marsey Dotes owned by Shalamar Farm of New Hartford, New York, and challenged his own lead with his second double-clear of the day in 34.264, but it proved to be only good enough for third place in the final standings.
Cheska was back in the ring with his second ride, By Design, and snatched the lead from Raposa with his clear in 33.641, just .055 seconds faster, and his time proved to be unbeatable. Amy Millar of Kinnelon, New Jersey, on Manhattan owned by Millar Brooke Ltd. Of Perth, Ontario, was next to go and chalked up the fourth double-clear of the day but her time of 35.802 put her in fourth place. Cheska returned with his third ride, Franc d'Helby but lowered two fences for eight faults and also incurred a time fault when he clocked in at 45.614, finishing eighth. The final challenger was Vince who had one last chance to take the lead with Kafka, a horse she owns with the 3E Syndicate, but they had the very first fence down for four faults in 36.925, which put her in seventh place.
Today's $15,000 Open Jumper Prix was the sixth and final Friday Mini Prix in the HITS Catskills summer series of horse shows. The finale of the HITS Catskills series is the $100,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix at 1pm on Sunday, September 2.
$15,000 Open Jumper Prix, August 31,