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Bjorn Ikast of Mexico wins the $25,000 Central Equine Grand Prix at HITS Arizona

TUCSON, ARIZONA (February 23, 2009)--Mexico's Bjorn Ikast captured the blue aboard Brave Heart in the $25,000 Central Equine Grand Prix to conclude Week IV, the Sahuro Classic at the Pima County Fairgrounds, in Tucson, Arizona.

Ikast got the best of 28 riders in the first round and an additional six that advanced to the jump-off en route to taking the first-place check of $7,500.

Ikast had a great day on Sunday, with three horses finishing in the money. He also placed eighth aboard Monte Cristo and tenth aboard Amen Corner Farm's Day Dream to collect a total of $9,000 in Sunday's featured class.

Going first in the jump-off was Andrea Strain and Luigi. They set the Great American Time to Beat right from the start, stopping the clock in 38.485. When the class was complete, they would finish in third place.

Second to show in the jump-off was Michelle Parker and Cross Creek Farm’s Socrates. They also jumped clear, in a time of 37.888 to take over the lead. They would eventually finish in second place.

Justin Resnik and Ama Marketing’s Lycos showed next and had a single rail down to finish in sixth place.

Fourth to show in the jump-off was Gary Brewster and Suzanne Brewster’s Royal Viali. They had an unlucky rail down midway through the course and finished in fifth place.

Fifth in the order were Ikast and Brave Heart. They made the dash for the cash in 37.809 to become the new class leader and eventually win the class.

Sitting in the enviable last-to-go spot was Parker and her second ride, Clever. A rail down at the final fence landed the duo in fourth.

Show jumping action at HITS Arizona continues next week with the Arizona Winter Festival and will feature 80 different divisions with more than 250 classes offered to riders of every level, from beginner to Grand Prix and is highlighted by the $25,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix on Sunday, March 1.

The six-week HITS Arizona Winter Circuit has been a staple of the West Coast show circuits for many years. HITS took over production of the circuit in 1991. Exhibitors who show at HITS Arizona gain valuable experience in the show ring under the eye of some of the country's top judges.

HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties , HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville , Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California , Florida , Arizona , New York and Virginia .

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit http://www.HitsShows.com

Photo Credit: © Deb Dawson Photography

Photo Caption: Bjorn Ikast is congratulated after winning the $25,000 Central Equine Grand Prix.


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