CULPEPER, VA (July 19, 2011) – Silvio Mazzoni of Leesburg, Virginia and his own Remonta Habano captured their second Grand Prix victory at HITS this year by winning Sunday’s $40,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper. The duo also won the blue in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at the Ocala Winter Classic this winter.
Prior to the start of Sunday’s main event, the Topaz Vaulters, an equine gymnastics spectacle, gave a special performance to kick off an afternoon of show jumping. Course designer, Jose “Pepe” Gamarra of Ellenton, Florida made the $40,000 class his debut at HITS Commonwealth Park. His first round saw seven horse-and-rider combinations go clear and then return for the jump-off.
“The course was great,” said Mazzoni, who gained momentum for Sunday’s victory after a fourth-place finish in Friday’s $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix with Remonta Habano. “It was a very technical track, which asked a lot of the right questions.”
First to return in the jump-off was Alexa Lowe of Upperville, Virginia aboard Windsor Farm Sales’ Amicello. The team wasted no time in setting the Great American Time to Beat at 45.306 seconds with a clear-effort.
Mazzoni followed and easily took the lead with a blistering time of 39.741 seconds.
“This new footing is perfect for my horse,” said Mazzoni. “He’s very careful and was able to make a lot of neat, tight, inside turns.”
The winner of Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, Patty Stovel of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania looked to sweep the weekend, this time aboard her own Carigor Z, with a Grand Prix win. In the jump-off, Stovel had four faults in 40.905 seconds, which would ultimately finish sixth.
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina was next to show and had four faults in 41.170 seconds, to settle behind Stovel in seventh place aboard Candeloro, owned by WTBJ, LLC.
Kate Gerhart of Sellersville, Pennsylvania made her triumphant return to HITS Culpeper this month and quickly launched herself back into the ribbons with a strong showing on Sunday aboard Timo, owned by Cathy Gerhart. They finished in second place after a clear round in 41.214 seconds.
“I was so excited to get to show here this weekend,” said a beaming Gerhart. “He’s [Timo] such a good boy! He’s been fantastic and is so much fun to ride. I’m looking forward to going back to Saugerties this summer to once again, hopefully, qualify for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix.”
Ramiro Quintana of Wellington, Florida aboard Meghan Moran Kraut’s Graf Lando, was sixth to show in the jump-off and was poised to take over the lead. Quintana posted the fastest time of 38.900 seconds, nearly a second faster than Mazzoni, but picked up four jumping faults, which landed him in fifth place.
Last to show was one of the fastest rising stars in the ring, junior Hasbrouck Donovan of Gainesville, Florida aboard her own Delilah. Donovan and Delilah took home the third place ribbon in last week’s Grand Prix and had repeated that performance on Sunday with a time of 41.807 seconds.
“I’m very happy!” said Donovan. “I’ve been having a lot of fun competing at this level and I’m really happy with how well we’ve done so far.”
This week, Donovan and the rest of the team from Don Stewart Show Stables, will travel north to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York, where they hope their momentum continues.
$15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
Laura Linback of Mundelin, Illinois took home the blue in Friday’s $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix aboard Woodrun’s Uppsala, to kick-off the weekend of High-Performance action in the Grand Prix ring. Second place went to Benjamin Meredith of Frederick, Maryland aboard Stephanie Barnes’ Violet, while Colombian Olympian Manuel Torres and Chambacunero, owned by TG Show Stables, captured the third-place ribbon.
The Cavalier Classic at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia highlighted the July series of show jumping in the heart of Virginia Horse Country. Now, the road to the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix travels home to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York for one of the most highly-anticipated show circuits, ever. Six more Grand Prix qualifiers for the Pfizer Million await, including the big ticket $100,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, Sunday, August 7 as High-Performance riders from around the world make their way to the Empire State.
HITS-on-the-Hudson will also feature the return of the coveted USEF Junior Hunter Championship Finals from August 1-3, with the winners of each section receiving an invitation to compete in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, which will take place from September 10-11 as a part of Pfizer Million Weekend.
Show jumping returns to HITS Culpeper next month for two consecutive weeks starting on Wednesday, August 17 and will include the USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals on August, 20. For more information on the Equitation Finals, contact Pam Freeley at 540.272.4144.
HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. HITS will once again offer the most innovative weekend in show jumping history in 2011 when it hosts the second annual Pfizer Million and the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, September 10-11, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/silvio-mazzoni-and-remonta-habano-capture-the-40000-purina-mills-grand-prix.html">Silvio Mazzoni and Remonta Habano capture the $40,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com