Ocala, FL (January 24, 2017): The $50,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix was an exciting and competitive class on Sunday at the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium.

Australian equestrian Scott Keach and his 12-year-old Olympic mount Fedor, owned by Southern Cross Equestrian of Reddick, Florida, was the fastest of four double clear rounds to take home the win in the opening week of the HITS Ocala Witner Circuit.

“This is only the second class that Fedor has jumped this season,” said Keach. “I was unable to watch any of the other riders in the jump-off, so I just went as quickly as I could.”

Brandi Holloway from Topeka, Kansas, and Lucky Strike, owned by Hays Investment Corp., was second. Third place went to Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas, on MTM Reve du Paradis.

The course of 16 elements was designed by Mauricio Garcia of Archer, Florida, Twenty six horse and rider combinations tackled the first round course with twelve jumping first round clears.

The jump-off included several roll backs, the b and c elements of the triple and finished over two separate airy verticals. Twelve horses in the jump-off assured everyone a piece of the prize money so everyone put pedal to the metal to earn a bigger piece of the pie.

First to go clear was Fenney on MTM Reve du Paradis. Fenney and the  grey were just nosed out of a win in Thursday’s Smartpak Grand Prix and put in another outstanding round to stop the clock at 39.246 to take the temporary lead.

The next two to jump-off, Mattias Tromp and Nicole Bellisimo had 12 faults each before Brandi Holloway and Lucky Strike took their shot. Angling the last jump paid off with a new Great American Time to Beat of 39.091 to take the lead.

Moving ahead in the order while Fenney prepped her second mount, Fedor and Keach jumped a clear round riding the same track but with Fedor’s quicker style in the air, they were to shave a fraction off of Holloway’s time to take the lead in 38.728.

Fenney returned on MTM Como No only to have a rail at the second to last fence, but they finished as the fastest with four faults for eventual fifth place.

Vale and Bonzini S had 8 faults to finish in eighth place. Charlie Jayne and the super athletic Playboy appeared to have the winning time until they visibly slowed down in the approach to the last jump to finish clear with the fourth fastest time of 40.351.

Two more jumped off but no one was able to match the double clear performances of the top four.

Keach was pleased with his horse’s performance, and hopes to build on this week’s win with all of his horses.  “I plan on staying at HITS Ocala throughout the season. I have several young horses to bring along as well as Fedor and HITS offers the variety of classes I need for all of them.”

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Scott Keach and Fedor on their way to a $50,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix win.

Fernando Cardenas and Quincy Car take the $7500 U Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic

Fernando Cardenas of New Hill, North Carolina, won the $7,500 U Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic during Week I of the Ocala Winter Circuit. The victory came aboard by the narrowest of margins his homebred stallion Quincy Car over second place Moelissa Rudershausen of Mifflintown, Pennsylvania on Charmeur Ask, and third-place Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, Ohio, on Charline 28 by the narrowest of margins.

“It was close, this is an especially nice win for us since my father bred this horse—we’ve been with him the whole way,” said Cardenas. “Coming out of the winter where we live in North Carolina, he was a little out of shape so we elected to do the amateurs instead of the Grand Prix and it was the perfect class for him.”

The 1.45 meter-course designed by Mauricio Garcia of Archer, Florida was comprised of 15 jumping efforts and proved to be challenging.

Twenty competed in the first round with several contestants showing multiple horses. The time allowed was a factor with Haley Waters jumping a clear round on the course on new European import Don Juan H, but exceeding the time allowed for two time faults placed her sixth. Five jumped clear rounds to move on to the jump-off.

First to contest the shortened course was Christi Israel of Ocala on Cilandra Z. The grey had the final two fences in the jump off down for 8 faults in 42.005 to finish in the ultimate fourth-place spot.

Next to compete was Adrienne Marciano of Berwyn, Pennsylvania riding Laspari. Her coach Seth Vallhonrat advised her that the winner would be the rider that took the shortest track. Unfortunately, Marciano left out a fence and was eliminated,  but still placed fifth.

Third to go was Rudershausen and Charmeur Ask. They turned tightly inside after fence three, galloped across the ring to the Liverpool, jumped cleanly through the combination towards the end of the course and rolled back to the final oxer to set the Great American Time to Beat at 39.731 with a cool, clear round.

Quincy Car and Cardenas entered next after Rudershausen; they improved upon the currently leading time with a tighter turn to the final oxer to take the lead in 39.374 with all of the rails up.

“I did the inside turn after fence three and then I thought Melissa was very fast,” said Cardenas of his plan. “I didn’t see where I could leave out any strides so I just tried to be as fast as I could to the last jump.”

The final difference between first and second place would ultimately be just .357 seconds.

Abrahamson and Charline 28 were the final pair to jump-off. They put in the third double clear effort in 40.365 to collect the third place award.


(C) ESI Photography
Fernando Cardenas and Quincy Car on their way to a $7,00 U-Dump Jr/Ao Jumper Classic win.

Claire McKean on Elektro Wins First Classic as an Amateur

Claire McKean of The Woodlands, Texas, topped a field of 17 juniors and amateurs to take home the top prize in the $5,000 KindredBio Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.35m Classic at HITS Post Time Farm.

“I loved the course, it challenged you to gallop up to the first line and settle for the second line,” said McKean. “My horse actually got a little hung up in the triple combination in the first round but he was able to power through.”

Seven of 17 starters jumped clear rounds over a 15-effort course designed by Mauricio Garcia of Archer, Florida.

First to jump off was Mary Katherine Hargreaves on Gracieux who set the pace with a clear round in 34.810.

Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, Ohio, on her first mount of the jump=off, Hailey ADZ, had four faults at the second fence in a time of 33.895. Next to go clean was Jordan Coyne on Casanto; they jumped clear in 33.700 to take the lead and set the Great American Time to Beat.

Douglas Schreiber on Lambert had a careful clear in 39.276. McKean went next on her grey Belgian Warmblood, Elektro. She turned exceptionally tight on each rollback and her efficiency resulted in a class leading time of 30.944 to take over the lead.

The final rider was Abrahamson returning with her second mount, Basco H2. Her pace was fast but turns not quite as tight resulted in a time of 31.274 to finish in second place, moving Coyne, of High Springs, Florida, to third.

Elated with her win, McKean exclaimed, “I just got my horse about nine months ago and he just turned eight so he’s still learning. My goal in the first round was just to have a nice clear round and in the jump-off to keep my turns tidy and go as fast as I could. It all worked out in my favor. He jumped incredible. I just turned 18 so this is my first win as an amateur. “

$50,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix Final Results:


$7,500 U Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic Final Results:


$5,000 KindredBio Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.35m Classic Final Results: