Ocala, Florida, USA – March 19, 2021 – That’s a wrap for the Hits Ocala Winter Celebration (IX), featuring world-class hunter and jumper competition. Riders are certainly on their A-game as we near the end of the Circuit. This week featured the $200,000 Hits Ocala Grand Prix, where many of the top riders in the sport prepared their horses for next week’s Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. Along with featured competition, riders worked diligently to earn their final points toward the Tack Shack of Ocala 2nd-Half Circuit and Pyranha Overall Circuit Awards, which will be presented prior to the Great American Million.
Friday began with the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in the Grand Prix Stadium where Vanessa Mannix (CAN) was welcomed to the Winner’s Circle aboard her own Catinka 25 (Catoki x Luxano) to accept the blue ribbon. Mannix was last to jump-off and bested the field backed by a penalty-free effort in 39.501 seconds.
One of the most consistent combinations of the season at Hits Post Time Farm, Hunter Holloway (USA) and Pepita Con Spita (DSP Con Spirit x Come On) registered another top-three finishing, earning reserve honors with a double clear and a final time of 40.70 seconds.
Conor Swaill (IRL) and Vital Chance de La Roque (Diamant de Semilly x Rivage du Poncel) secured the third spot on the podium after leaving all the poles up at the end of their two performances and breaking the beam of the jump-off timers in 41.53 seconds.
Final Results – $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix
1) Vanessa Mannix (CAN) & Catinka 25 – 0 / 0 – 39.50
2) Hunter Holloway (USA) & Pepita Con Spita – 0 / 0 – 40.70
3) Conor Swaill (IRL) & Vital Chance de La Roque – 0 / 0 – 41.53
Source: Press Release (edited) from Hits Horse Show
Photos: © ESI Photography