Desert Circuit II Heats up with $5k Devoucoux Hunter Prix & $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

Thermal, CA – January 30, 2016 – The $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix continued into Week II of the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California, on Friday, January 29.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

unnamedNick Haness and Bliss on their way to a $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix win. (C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY

Hunter riders took to the 13-effort course in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, a qualifying opportunity of the Thermal Desert Circuit for the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September 2016. Riders and their mounts navigated the two-round classic and the top 15 returned for the second round to compete for a piece of the prize purse.

Nick Haness and Bliss, owned by Enchantment Farm, LLC, took home the blue on Friday. The crowd clapped and cheered as the equestrian from San Clemente, California, and his flashy mount finished the second round to claim the lead; they scored a consistent 87 in both rounds to garner the victory.

Second-place went to this week’s Charles Owen Leading Hunter Rider, John French of Pleasanton, California, and Maritime, owned by Elizabeth Gabler. French and Maritime had the highest-scoring first round with a score of 88, but a score of 85 in the second round put their total just behind Haness and Bliss by one point.

Also in the ribbons was Desert Circuit I $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix winner, Hope Glynn of Petaluma, California, and Full Circle, owned by Karen Trione. They had a first-round score of 86.5 and a second- round score of 86 to secure third-place. Glynn also sealed the top five with Corriendo Tau, also owned by Karen Trione, for fifth-place with scores of 85.5 and 85, respectively.

Hugh Mutch and Balios Z, owned by Sloane Lindemann-Barnett, took fourth-place with a first round score of 85, improving to 86.5 in the second.

Place     Horse  Owner Rider Prize R.1 Score R.2 Score Total
1 Bliss Enchantment Farm LLC Nick Haness $1,500 87 87 174
2 Maritime Elizabeth Gabler John French $1,000 88 85 173
3 Full Circle Karen Trione Hope Glynn $700 86.5 86 172.5
4 Balios Z Sloan Lindemann-Barnett Hugh Mutch $500 85 86.5 171.5
5 Corriendo Tau Karen Trione Hope Flynn $400 85.5 85 170.5
6 Delilah Ilene Kurtzman Illene Kurtzman $325 80 87 167
7 Fortune Lesley Bulechek Nina Vogel $300 82 84 166
8 Contendro’s Dream Debbie jamsa Tommi Clark $275 81.5 83 164.5
$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

unnamedAya Clear and Fenway winning the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. (C) ESI Photography 

Friday’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix offered the Desert Circuit’s second qualifying opportunity of the circuit for the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final at the HITS Championship in September 2016.

Exhibitors traversed through the 10-effort course, though only one horse and rider would take home the first-place title.

The team to beat was Aya Clear from Piedmont, California, and her own Fenway. Clear piloted her mount with precision and style to claim the class with a first-round score of 88 to advance to the second round of the classic, scoring an 87 to seal the victory. Clear also earned fifth-place with her own Gabriel with scores of 86 and 79.

Lindsay Maxwell riding Ann Russo’s Zampano, finished in second-place, receiving scores of 86.5 and 83.5, respectively. Maxwell also placed fourth with her own Widget, earning scores of 83 and 82.5.

Third-place was awarded to Juliette Joseph of San Diego, California, and Cinematic, owned by Karina Sanchez.  Joseph and Cinematic earned an 80 in the first round, improving to an 86 in the second round.

Place     Horse  Owner  Rider   Prize    R.1 Score    R.2 Score   Total
1 Fenway Aya Clear Aya Clear  $450 88 87 175
2 Zampano Ann Russo Lindsay Maxwell $300 86.5 83.5 170
3 Cinematic Karina Sanchez Juliette Joseph $200 80 86 166
4 Widget Lindsay Maxwell Lindsay Maxwell $150 83 82.5 165.5
5 Gabriel Aya Clear Aya Clear $125 86 79 165
6 Castle Hill Stephanie Ray Stephanie Ray $100 84 80 164
7 Suntrust Sandra Ward Jacqueline Ward $100 77.5 85 162..5
8 Ondrus Isabella Danisi-Gonzalez Crystal Theisen $75 81 78 159
About HITS, Inc.

HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the Village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, and Virginia.

While hosting the richest weekend in show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson, HITS also formed the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. This includes the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by MortgageCall, in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5*, presented by Wells Fargo, in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS! Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail