One to Watch at HITS Ocala: Dorothy Douglas

PC: Dominique Gonzalez

Dorothy Douglas (who also goes by Dorrie to her friends and family) recently made a big splash at the HITS Ocala scene by winning the $50,000 SmartPak Grand Prix during week three aboard her horse of a lifetime, S&L Elite. We caught up with Dorrie after the win to learn a few new facts about the rider, her horses, and where she’s headed in the future.

She Belongs to an Equestrian Dynasty

Dorrie has deep equestrian roots that start with her mother, Karen Douglas. She credits her mother’s unending support and passion for the sport for getting her started in horses, as Karen owns and operates Stonecroft Farm, a centerpiece facility of the hunter/jumper scene in Massachusetts.  Her fondest memory of riding as a child was when she was six and received her first hunter pony, Oreo Cookie, a black and white paint who helped Dorrie climb the ranks in the pony divisions.

From there, Dorrie saw herself in every ring; the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. A powerful influence in her junior career was trainer Fred Hunt, who helped her maintain consistent rides. Once college loomed near, Dorrie decided on St. Lawerence University. There, she earned a spot on their competitive IHSA team. Dorrie soaked up the experience and credits head coach Mary Drueding for expanding her horizons and elevating her competitive edge.

She Took Time Off From the Sport

After securing a degree in economics and a minor in communications, she took three years off from riding. During that time, Dorrie found herself backpacking across Southeast Asia and teaching English in South Korea. By briefly leaving the sport, Dorrie was able to grow as an individual, encounter new people, cultures, and ideas, and come back to the horse industry refreshed.

In 2012, Dorrie came into contact with Mike and Tracy McCormick of MTM Farms, and an immediate simpatico formed. She worked for them first in Florida on the show circuit and then returned to Flower Mound, Texas to continue as a full-fledged member of the team, a partnership that continues to benefit both Dorrie and MTM.

PC: Dominique Gonzalez

She’s Coming Up the Ranks and She’s Here to Stay

Five years later, the 29-year-old has garnered success across a variety of divisions. She capped off the 2016 show season with a fourth place finish aboard S&L Just a Cobbler, a seven year old Dutch Warmblood, in the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix at HITS on the Hudson. Just the month before this pair took second out of 129 entries in the Pre-Green Incentive Championship Tier 2.

Dorrie has teamed up with many horses in her life, and one of the most recognized is S&L Elite, an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood. Spending over three years together as a pair has produced immense results, including their recent win in the HITS $50,000 Grand Prix. Other top placings include: fifth in the $25,000 Smartpak Grand Prix, second in the Great Southwest Grand Prix, and the winner of the $50,000 Equioxx Grand Prix. In previous years they have shown in both the HITS on the Hudson and HITS Ocala Great American $1 Million Grand Prix classes and gained tremendous experience from it.

PC: Dominique Gonzalez

The success that has come to her was not an easy path, but a well-driven, goal-orientated one. She gives immense credit to the whole MTM Farm, Mike McCormick and Tracy Fenney for everything that has come her way. In the future, Dorrie strives to compete in more International Hunter Derbies and Grand Prix classes, and something tells us this isn’t the last time we’ll see her name in lights in Ocala and beyond.