Marilyn Little Stacks $5k FEI Welcome Stake Leaderboard at HITS Ocala


Marilyn Little and Venus on their way to a $5,000 FEI Welcome Stake win.  Photo: ESI Photography

OCALA, FL (February 20, 2016): Day one of the FEI CSIO4* week  at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida, ended on a high note for Marilyn Little, of Frederick, Maryland, who took home first place with Venus, owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc. and third place with Clear Water owned by Karen O’Connor in the FEI Welcome Stake.

Excitement for Friday’s main event, the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO4*, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona, filled the air as competition got underway.

Forty-two riders hailing from across the globe tested the 1.40m speed course set by Ireland’s Alan Wade. First in the order and with determination fueling their game, Little and her bay mount Venus dominated the course from the moment they stepped foot inside the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium. Fiercely attempting each obstacle, the pair zipped through the course to clock in clear, and in a time of 59.43.

“It was a really fast course, and the footing was great. Alan Wade did a good job building a nice introductory course and there were a lot of people in the class—many who were prepping for what’s to come later in the week, and some really taking a shot,” said Little. “I had to go first in the class so I knew I had some fast ones coming behind me, especially Andy Kocher. True to form, he was very quick, but Venus is a speed racer.”

Seventh in the order, Kevin Babington, of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, and his own Mark Q, followed Little’s lead with a crisp, clean round, but were just over the 79 second time allowed, clocking in at 81.86 for one time fault.

Babington remained in second until the twelfth entry, Diego Jose Muyshondt, riding for El Salvador, and Val d’lsere, owned by Paulo Santana, cleared the course in 80.47 for one time fault and the second-place spot.

Muyshondt held his own until known speedster and a familiar name in the HITS Ocala winner’s circle this year, Andrew Kocher, of Lake St Louis, Missouri, appeared at the in-gate. Kocher, aboard Ciana, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC., delivered a quick round in a time of 61.58, moving him up the leaderboard to second.

Little, piloting her second of two entries, Clear Water, was twenty-fourth in the order and she had her eye on the prize again. They sailed through the course for a clear round finishing with a time of 62.18, just one second behind Kocher for third.

Thomas Feigel, of Pompano Beach, Florida, and Analyze This, were twenty-sixth and ready to chase the clock. Zipping through the course with precision and finishing clean with a time of 73.74 to secure the fourth-place finish.

Anchoring the order of go, Paulo Sergio Mateo Santana Filho of Wellington, Florida, and his own Talubet, was the fifth and final rider to give a clean round. Finishing in a time of 77.59, Filho took home fifth-place.

Place  Horse Owner Rider/Country Prize R.1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Venus Raylyn Farms, Inc. Marilyn Little / USA $1650 0 59.43
2 Ciana Eagle Valley Partners, LLC Andrew Kocher / USA $1000 0 61.58
3 Clear Water Karen O’Connor Marilyn Little / USA $750 0 62.18
4 Analyze This Kimberly Jakubowski Tommy Feigel / CAN $500 0 73.74
5 Taloubet Paulo Santana Paulo Santana / ESA $300 0 77.59
6 Val d’Isere Dr. Annette Friend Diego Muyshondt / ESA $225 1 80.47
7 Warrant Ilan Ferder & Alberto Michan Alberto Michan / MEX $150 1 80.94
8 Mark Q Kevin Babington Kevin Babington / IRL $125 1 81.86
9 OhLaLa The OhLaLa Group Lauren Hough / USA $100 1 82.33
10 Winston Trelawny Farm, LLC Cara Raether Carey / USA $100 2 84.90
11 Bariano David & Monica Garza Eugenio Garza Perez / MEX $50 3 89.73
12 Christofolini H Andrea Torres Guerreiro Manuel Torres / COL $50 4 89.73