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Tracy Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude Win $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

OCALA, FL (February 15, 2008)— Tracy Magness and her trusty mount Tarco Van Ter Moude picked up right where they left off last season at HITS Ocala when the pair negotiated the fastest double-clear round on course designer Kenny Krome's route to secure the top prize in Thursday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix to kickoff the Ocala Winter Classic at HITS Post Time Farm.

Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude captured three Grand Prix classes during the 2007 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. She collected $47,000 in prize money for Mr. and Mrs. John Bartko en route to being named the leading Grand Prix rider on last year's circuit.

Tarco Van Ter Moude is 11 and in Thursday's feature class Magness and her mount outlasted 29 combinations in the first round and five in the jump-off to win $7,500 in prize money.

Starting things off in the jump-off were Laura Linback and her mount Asdi Villagana. The pair navigated a clear round and stopped the clocks in 38.80 to set the Great American Time to Beat. That time would be good enough for second place and $5,500 in prize money for Woodrun Farm.

Next to go in the jump-off were Paul Halpern and his mount Rolls Royce. The pair had an unlucky rail down midway through the round and had to settle for fourth place. Third to go was Mike McCormick who rode MTM Remington for MTM Farm. The pair had eight faults and finished in fifth place.

Magness and her mount Tarco Van Ter Moude were fourth to go in the jump-off and the pair stopped the clocks in a blazing fast 36.40 to take the lead by more than two seconds!

Finally, sitting in the enviable last-to-ride spot were Tracy Fenney and her mount S&L Willie.The pair navigated the course without dropping any rails, but they stopped the clocks in 39.64, and that was only good enough for third place. Fenney also had the ride from MTM Farm and collected $3,250 in prize money.

With the victory, Magness earned some valuable points for the USGPL standings. This means that she increased her chances of being on the list of the riders who will be invited to participate in the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper in late September. The top 30 riders in the Marshall & Sterling League National Standings (based on money won by the horse/rider combination) will qualify to participate in the Invitational. In addition, one Wild Card slot will be allotted. The rider may elect to ride any horse of his or her choice, but may ride only one horse in the Invitational.

Show jumping at HITS Ocala continues all weekend and will feature the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix presented by The Waldorf=Astoria Collection on Sunday, February 17. Also on the agenda for the Winter Classic are several fun out-of-ring activities. On Friday and Saturday, February 15 and 16 The Ranch Fitness Center and Spa presents Spa Daze. Both afternoons will feature chair massages and spa services compliments of The Ranch. On Friday, February 15, HITS welcomes its sponsors to the Ocala Winter Circuit with a cocktail reception and dinner at SKY Restaurant. This invitation-only event is for valued HITS sponsors and is graciously hosted by SKY restaurant in Ocala.

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

Tracy Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude win the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Ocala


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