Culpeper, VA (July 15, 2008)—Texas' Tracy Fenney continued her unprecedented run at HITS shows in 2008 with an impressive win in the $40,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix to conclude a record-breaking week of show jumping during the Showday National at Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia.
Fenney and her mount S&L Willie outlasted a field of 20 riders in the first round and seven pairs in the jump-off to capture the blue ribbon and $12,000 in first-place prize money for MTM Farm.
Fenney, who competed at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, has now collected over $100,000 in Grand Prix prize money at both HITS Ocala and HITS Culpeper combined this year. She was also fifth in the class aboard her second mount MTM Centano.
The victory in Sunday's feature class rounded out a fantastic week for Fenney. In Friday's $15,000 Brook Ledge Mini Prix, she won the blue aboard Grace, grabbed third place with her mount S&L Willie and secured seventh place in the irons of MTM Centano.
"Holy moly," exclaimed course designer Jerry Dougherty after Fenney's win. "It's incredible to think she has won over $100,000 just from HITS this year. Plus, she wins everywhere she goes, so it's shaping up to be some year for her."
"HITS has been great to me this year," said Fenney. "I won a lot of prize money in Ocala and continued the great run into Pin Oak and, now, it seems like I am going to keep rolling in Culpeper. The class had some great riders in it and was very competitive, so I am thrilled that I won."
"It's pretty exciting to think I have won this much money at HITS," she continued. "I have a great trainer and three healthy Grand Prix horses. No matter what kind of course I have to ride, I know one of my horses is going to do well in it. They are all great at different things."
Melissa Rudershausen and her mount Prins were the first of seven pairs to challenge Dougherty's jump-off route. They set the Great American Time to Beat right off the bat stopping the clocks in 48.370 and eventually landed in third place.
Second in the jump-off order were Fenney and MTM Centano. They had four faults and a fifth-place finish for MTM Farm. Third to go was Chuck Waters aboard his mount 727. The pair made it through Dougherty's course without dropping any rails but had two time faults to finish the day in fourth place.
Next to go in the jump-off were Matt Hollberg and his horse Aragon II. Four jumping faults and a time fault put the duo in sixth place. Patty Stovel and her mount Shandor 41 took their turn next in the jump-off. Stovel, who currently sits on top of the USGPL Standings, went clear in 47.652 to take over the lead. They would eventually finish in second place.
Stovel's lead was short lived as Fenney and S&L Willie came into the ring next. A clear round in 45.882 shaved almost two seconds off of Stovel's time as Fenney grabbed yet another blue ribbon.
"I knew I had Evan behind me and he would be really fast," said Fenney. "I knew I had to really go for it in order to win the class."
Last in the jump-off order were Evan Coluccio and his trusty mount Romeo. They couldn't take advantage of the last-to-ride spot and finished with eight faults in seventh place.
"It was a very competitive class," added Dougherty. "Everyone was going for it. They are all strong competitors who like to win."
Stovel moves into the top spot of the USGPL Standings aboard Shandor 41 with $50,200 in prize money won while Fenney and Grace hold the second spot for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix that will be held in Culpeper on Sunday, September 28.
The top 30 riders in the Marshall & Sterling League National Standings (based on money won by the qualified horse/rider combination) are invited to participate in the Invitational. In addition, one Wild Card slot is allotted. Riders may elect to ride any horse of their choice, but may only ride one horse in the Invitational.
Top Grand Prix riders like Fenney, Tracy Magness and Stovel will all look to earn more points for USGPL Standings during the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix that will be held on Sunday, July 20 during the Cavalier Classic at HITS Culpeper.
Show jumping at HITS Culpeper resumes with the Cavalier Classic on Wednesday, July 16-20 and 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: ©2008 Lili Weik Photography; Tracy Fenney gets congratulated by Pfizer Animal Health's Stephanie Smith and HITS' Holly Bachor after winning the $40,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/tracy-fenney-willie-strongid-hits-07-08.html">Tracy Fenney and S&L Willie win the $40,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com