Ocala, Florida, USA – December 4, 2022 – Sunday marked the conclusion of the first week of the Hits Holiday Series, with Tracy Fenney (USA) capturing her second big victory of the week with MTM Caepten. After winning Friday’s $10,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, the pair was revved up and ready to go. They bested the seven-horse jump-off during the $25,000 Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau Grand Prix by over a full second to take home the lion’s share of the prize money.
“MTM Caepten is literally perfect,” smiled Fenney. “He has the perfect motor, the perfect mouth, the perfect try, the perfect want to win. He wants to please and is so happy to go do his job. I haven’t jumped him really at home at all, and at the shows, he just rises to the occasion. You just have to love him for it. I think he’s some really, really amazing young rider’s horse – that’s what we think his forte is.”
With the horse show new year underway, Oscar Soberon set a welcoming track for the first round of Sunday’s main event. He tested riders with an oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination through the middle of the ring, followed by a triple bar line with a rollback to a vertical-oxer double combination. Seven advanced to the short course, where they had to make two tight rollbacks and gallop to a new wide oxer as the final fence at the far end of the arena.
Morgan Ward (USA) set the pace to beat with Colourful S as the first pair to leave all the rails in their cups during the jump-off, stopping the clock at 38.756 seconds.
Tom Foley (USA) quickly raised the bar with Small Change, speeding through the timers in 35.534 to take the lead temporarily.
Dorothy Douglas (USA) tried to catch him with MTM Pablo, but was half a second shy with a clear effort in 36.106 seconds.
Fenney had the benefit of watching the others go and left nothing to chance with MTM Caepten. They laid on the gas to the final oxer, jumping it at a sharp angle, and the risk was rewarded with a time of 34.052 seconds and the winning title.
“I got to see Tom and Dori go, so that gave me a good idea of what needed to be done,” explained Fenney. “You never know how fast you’re going – you hope you are going just a little bit faster than the one that’s winning. That horse is just so quick and agile and everything – he was really, really good!”
Fenney was happy to have such a successful first week back at Hits Ocala after recently relocating to the area permanently. “It’s literally so horse-friendly around here. The horses are confident and calm here. It’s just really, really nice. We never thought we would ever leave Texas, but it’s just so easy to be here. It’s so nice and so friendly.”
The second week of the HITS Ocala Holiday Series will kick off on December 14, and jumper action will feature the $10,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Friday and the $25,000 Masters Golf Cars Grand Prix on Sunday. Entries are still open for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, featuring 10 weeks of hunter/jumper action in our new rings. Additional changes for 2023 will include new Wi-Fi, real-time ring updates and improved hospitality for all our exhibitors. For more information and the complete class listing visit http://www.hitsshows.com.
Final Results – $25,000 Ocala/Marion County VCB Grand Prix
1) Tracy Fenney & MTM Caepten – 0 / 0 – 34.052
2) Tom Foley (USA) & Small Change – 0 / 0 – 35.534
3) Dorothy Douglas (USA) & MTM Pablo – 0 / 0 – 36.106
Source: Press Release from Hits Horse Shows
Photos: © ESI Photography