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Michael Grinyer and his mount Alcatraz lock up a Victory in the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™Grand Prix

OCALA, FL (March 10, 2008 )--Despite the hurricane-like conditions that hit Central Florida on Thursday and Friday, show jumping at HITS Ocala went off without a hitch this weekend at HITS Post Time Farm.

"All of the time, money and effort that went into making the facility weather resistant has paid off," said HITS' President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. "The HITS management staff proved to be durable and showed how versatile it is with its ability to adapt to the conditions."

"The rings were in fabulous shape," said Tracy Fenney. "We have a huge paddock in front of our barn and it was a pond because we had so much rain. It is unbelievable that the rings held up. If they can stand up to that storm they can last through anything."

"You never would have known it rained," said Aaron Vale. "The rings were all in tip-top shape. The staff did a tremendous job and they deserve a lot of credit."

"Sunday was perfect," said Tracy Magness. "The footing was great and it was hard to believe that there was a bad storm a few days earlier."

Speaking of perfect, Michael Grinyer and his mount Alcatraz were just that during Sunday's $50,000 Strongid® C 2X ™ Grand Prix, presented by Bel-Lago. They had the fastest double-clear effort to outlast 37 pairs in the first round and 10 combinations in the jump-off to secure $7,500 in prize money.

Kicking off the jump-off were Vale and his mount Sinatra. The pair had an unlucky rail midway through the course to finish in fourth place. "I didn't even expect him to jump in the Grand Prix classes," said Vale. "I leave the ring with a smile on my face each time I ride him. He is still a little green but he will be running with the big boys soon."

Second to challenge the course were Laura Linback and her horse Asdi Villagana. The combination dropped a rail at the third fence of the jump-off and finished in fifth place. Third in the jump-off order were Andres Quintero and his ride Golas. Like Vale, a rail down at jump 5C resulted in four faults and an eighth-place finish.

Next to go were Magness and her mount Tarco Van Ter Moude. The pair also had four faults and finished in sixth place. "Tarco has been really consistent,"said Magness. "He was clear in the first round during both Grand Prix classes this week and he seems to really like the ring and the footing."

Fenney entered the ring next aboard MTM Centano. The combination's four-fault effort landed them in third place. Fenney was also 10th aboard S & L Willie. During the 2008 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, Fenney has collected $87,000 in Grand Prix prize money making her the favorite to win this Sunday's $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group.

"Life is going well for us in Ocala,"said Fenney. "Anything I win on Sunday is just icing on the cake."

New Jersey's Callan Solem and Mianta were sixth in the order and also dropped a rail midway through the trip to finish in fourth place. Angel Karolyi rode Galant into the ring next and had four faults to finish in ninth place.

Grinyer and his mount Alcatraz were eighth in the jump-off order. The pair went through course designer Danny Foster's route clear and set the Great American Time to Beat at 48.322.

Fenney was back for her second trip of the jump-off aboard S & L Willie. The pair was eliminated and finished in 10th place.

Finally, sitting in the enviable last-to-ride spot were Patty Stovel and Shandor 41. The combination went clear and stopped the clocks in 50.741 to finish in second place.

Show jumping at HITS Ocala resumes on Tuesday, March 11 and will feature the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix on Thursday, March 13 and the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group, on Sunday March 16.

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: ©Lili Weik Photography; Michael Grinyer and Alcatraz win the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X ™ Grand Prix at HITS Ocala.

 

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