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Michelle Parker wins the $25,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix

TUCSON, ARIZONA (March 2, 2009)--Michelle Parker captured the blue aboard Cross Creek Farm's Socrates in the $25,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix to conclude Week V, the Arizona Winter Festival at the Pima County Fairgrounds, in Tucson, Arizona.

Parker got the best of the 33 riders that challenged course designer Jack Robson’s (Coronado, California) first round course and an additional nine who advanced to the jump-off en route to taking the first-place check of $7,500.

Allison Kroff would return first to the jump-off with one of her two horses that qualified when she entered the ring aboard Nomograaf. Kroff, who already has a Grand Prix victory this circuit, wouldn’t return to the winners’ circle on Sunday as the pair had two rails down and finished in sixth place.

Second to show in the jump-off was Justin Resnik and AMA Marketing's Copius. A clear round in 38.514 set the Great American Time to beat and resulted in a second place finish when the class was complete.

Gary Brewster rode Suzanne Brewster's Royal Viali next in the jump-off and had a rail down at the final obstacle on the jump-off course to finish in fourth place.

Fourth to show in the jump-off was Belynda Bond and Sea Cove. They had an unlucky rail down midway through the course and finished in fifth place. Fifth in the order was Janet Hischer and Twisted Tree Farm's Kenitra. A rail down at the last fence placed them in third place.

Next to go in the jump-off was Bjorn Ikast riding Amen Corner Farm's Day Dream. Ikast has been solid at HITS Arizona all circuit, and has two Grand Prix wins under his belt. Sunday, however, would not be his day, as the duo had two rails down late in the round and finished in ninth place.

Seventh to enter the ring for the jump-off was Kroff and her second mount of the jump-off, Miss Hans. They had eight faults and finished in eighth place.

Eighth to show in the jump-off was Brandie Holloway and Hays Investment's GabriellaZ. Two rails down landed them in seventh place.

Sitting in the enviable last-to-go spot was Parker and Cross Creek Farm's Socrates. Parker has been knocking on the door all circuit with several top finishes, and Sunday, she finally kicked the door wide open when she made the dash for the cash in 37.286 to end the class and win the blue!

"It was an exciting Grand Prix," said Robson. "I was looking to have about eight clean so I was happy. Michelle was last-to-go and took full advantage of the spot when she came home fast and clean.”

Show jumping action at HITS Arizona continues next week with the Arizona Winter Finals 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 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, March 8.

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: Michelle Parker in the irons aboard Socrates in the $25,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix.


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