Culpeper, VA (July 21, 2008)—Tracy Fenney is taking all of her money and going home! The fabulous Grand Prix rider from Texas negotiated the fastest double-clear round aboard S & L Willie in Sunday's $40,000 HITS Grand Prix to conclude the Cavalier Classic at HITS Culpeper.
The win marks the second Grand Prix Fenney has won in as many weeks during the July shows at HITS Culpeper. She's already cracked the $100,000 mark in Grand Prix prize money won at HITS shows so far in 2008, earning a whopping $111,150 with her three different Grand Prix mounts. In last Sunday's feature class, she also won the blue aboard S & L Willie. The winning mount is 13 and Fenney has owned him since he was just five. Fenney's latest two victories aboard S & L Willie have helped make him her leading horse in the USGPL Standings. Up until now, it was Fenney's other mount Grace that had been leading the pack.
Fenney also won both $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix classes during the July shows at HITS Culpeper, making her four for four in the high-performance classes. “It's been a fabulous two weeks for us in Culpeper, but we are ready to go home,” joked Fenney. “We are going to make a quick stop in Oklahoma City for a smaller show then relax for a while before we come back to Culpeper for the USGPL Finals in September.”
Fenney got the best of 28 pairs in the first round and five combinations in a very entertaining jump-off to win $12,000 in prize money for MTM Farm. Fenney and S & L Willie kicked things off in the jump-off with a clear round in 39.005 to set the Great American Time to Beat right off the bat leaving the remainder of the field to play catch-up.
“It was a really good jump-off,” said Fenney. “There were a good ten seconds between the second-to-last and final jump. It was truly a race to the final jump. Everyone seemed to be landing the second-to-last jump at about 30 seconds on the clock, so it was hard to tell if my time was going to be broken. It made for a really exciting class!”
Rising star Michelle Spadone and her mount Melisimo were second to challenge builder Jamie Alder's track. Spadone entered the ring fresh off a first- and sixth-place finish in the $15,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic earlier in the day. The combination went clear but came up slightly more than three-tenths of a second short, stopping the clocks in 39.312 to finish in second place.
"It was definitely a race to the finish going into that last jump,” said Spadone. “It was so close! Tracy is such a great rider and I was so happy to come so close to winning.”
"Michelle was great! I watched her earlier in the day and she rode fabulously,” added Fenney. "Everyone in the jump-off today was great.”
Third in the jump-off order were Tracy Magness and her trusty Grand Prix mount Tarco Van Ter Moude. They navigated Alder's route without dropping any rails in 40.390 to take fifth place for Mr. and Mrs. John Bartko.
Ladies night at HITS Culpeper continued when the fourth woman entered the ring. Mary Lisa Leffler and Gerona 92 also went clean in 39.692 to finish just off the pace and eventually land in third place for Rolling Acres Farm.
The enviable last-to-ride spot belonged to Patty Stovel and her mount Shandor 41. The pair went into the class leading in the USGPL Standings and used a fourth-place finish in Sunday's feature class to stay at the top. They went clear in 39.898 to grab $3,200 in prize money for owner Shandor Syndicate.
Show jumping at HITS Culpeper now takes a short break and will resumes with the Winston National on Wednesday, August 20 that will feature the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix, $10,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, $15,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, Central Equine Junior Medal, Adequan Hunter Division and the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix.
The first Culpeper Horse and Colt Show was held at Monte Vista Park in 1897 and it continued for the next 54 years. In the 1980s, show jumping returned to Culpeper in a grand fashion with the opening of Commonwealth Park, one of the finest horse-sport facilities in the country. Some of the richest show jumping events in America have been held at Commonwealth Park, including the $200,000 U.S. Cup, the grand finale for the United States Grand Prix League in 1986. HITS purchased Commonwealth Park in 1997 and began restoring the grounds to its former glory. In 1998, HITS reintroduced the United States Grand Prix League, and has presented the USGPL Finals at Commonwealth Park ever since. Approximately $1 million in total prize money is offered at the six HITS Culpeper events.
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: ©2008 Lili Weik Photography; Tracy Fenney and S&L Willie clear a hurdle during the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/tracy-fenney-willie-hits-culpeper-07-08.html">Tracy Fenney and S & L Willie win the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com