Jens Baackmann Secures First Place in the $150,000 Purina Grand Prix

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Purina: The Official Horse Feed of HITS Shows
Jens Baackmann Takes Blue in the $150,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix
Show jumping competition continues at HITS Post Time Farm for the 39th annual HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Week VII brought success to many with Jens Baackmann taking home the blue ribbon in the $150,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix and Cassandra Kahle securing first place in the $10,000 Devoucoux in winning style.

HITS Ocala hosts nearly 400 classes in more than 100 divisions, with more than two dozen special classes and classics, from the Bit O' Straw Hunter Classic to the featured Sunday Grand Prix. Read on as HITS congratulates all the winners at Week VII, and wishes the best of luck to all in the race for the Tack Shack of Ocala Second-Half Circuit Awards, HITS Ocala Grand Circuit Champion Awards, and those eyeing the prize in the seventh annual Great American $1 Million Grand Prix.
Leading off Week VII on Wednesday afternoon was Francois Lamontagne taking the blue ribbon in the $5,000 Open Welcome aboard CHANEL DU CALVAIRE in a time of 30.395.

2nd Place: Jaclyn Duff & VENUS DU GUE [31.148]
3rd Place: Jill Henselwood & CANNTINUE [31.353]
Lisa Goldman-Smolen added to her list of successes with a first place finish aboard SOVEREIGN in the $10,000 HITS Open Prix on Thursday. Goldman-Smolen crossed the timers in 36.131 to secure the win.

2nd Place: Kady Abrahamson & BUGATTI [37.825]
3rd Place: David Jennings & AVENTADOR [37.827]
Hunter Holloway and VDL BRAVO S were welcomed to the Winner's Circle on Friday afternoon to accept top honors in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. Holloway, already having a Grand Prix win and several top finishes under her belt at HITS Ocala, put the pressure on as she broke the 40-second mark to complete the jump-off in a slick time of 39.893.

2nd Place: Jenni McAllister & BATIDA PJ [40.704]
3rd Place: Kyle Dewar & CLEVER VAN DE HELLE [40.809]
Jennings and AVENTADOR moved up from their third place finish Thursday to win the $15,000 1.40m Jumper Classic on Saturday in a time of 37.968.

2nd Place: Goldman-Smolen & SOVEREIGN [38.195]
3rd Place: Holloway & PEPITA CON SPITA [39.042]
Jumper Classic Winners
$1,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Low: Tessa Harper & PIPER
$1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic - Medium: Allison Orth & CHARLIE BROWN
$2,000 M&S Child Jumper Classic - High: Lillian Geitner & TOUPIE DE CANTRAIE
$2,000 M&S Adult Jumper Classic - High: Amanda Shaffer & ANTONIO

$2,500 Pyranha Jr 1.25m Jumper Classic:
$2,500 Pyranha A-O/AM 1.25m Jumper Classic: Laura Linback & CARMINA

$5,000 Summit Joint Performance Jr/A-O/Am 1.35m Jumper Classic:
Caroline Di Vittorio & AUBURN DES ROSIERS
$7,500 U-Dump Jr/A-O/AM 1.45m Jumper Classic: Di Vittorio & U TWO D'ESQUELMES
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon for the $150,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix. Olympic Champions and top Grand Prix Grand Prix riders were welcomed to the Stadium to challenge the course designed by Marina Azevedo of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Azevedo's track was scopey with forward lines and room to gallop, and for many riders, it seemed like the perfect preparation for the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in just a few weeks.

Eight horses jumped clear in the first round of competition and were set to return for the jump-off that challenged riders to be careful and accurate. Five that returned jumped clear, each one trying to be faster than the last. Taking home the lion's share of prize money was Jens Baackmann for his ride aboard MTM COMO NO in a time of 42.238.

2nd Place: Lillie Keenan & AGANA VAN HET GERENDAL Z [42.676]
3rd Place: Tracy Fenney & IGOR VAN DE HEIBOS [43.008]
Purina Representative Stephanie Mclean awarded Baackmann with the blue ribbon and big check. Purina Animal Nutrition is the official feed of HITS Horse Shows. Purina has carefully created feeds that push the envelope and provide optimum nutrition. Each week, HITS Ocala Grand Prix winners are presented a gift basket courtesy of Angel's Salumi & Truffles.
The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit also features Hunter Prix competition each week that serves as the qualifiers for the HITS Championship that takes place annually in Saugerties, New York. HITS is proud to host some of the riches hunter classes in the world including the Diamond Mills and Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Finals, as well as some of the richest USHJA International Hunter Derbies across the nation.
Cassandra Kahle took top honors in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix aboard ESPIRIT DE VICTOIRE. Kahle led the first round with a score of 88 and returned to receive an 87 in the second round for a two-round total of 175.

2nd Place: Daniel Geitner & PEN AND INK [170]
3rd Place: Nashea Powell & DESSERT FIRST [168]
Sophia Ruscitti claimed top honors in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix for her ride aboard CONNOISSEUR. In this case, the best was saved for last as Ruscitti was last to enter the ring for the first round and received a score of 87, followed with an 85 in the second round for a cumulative score of 172.

2nd Place: Lena Rae Reeb & CALL ME [170]
3rd Place: Kelly Anne Siok & CARRERAS 14 [168]
Hunter Classic Winners

$1,000 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive: Clair Kellner & CALIGUA

$1,000 A-O 3'6" Hunter Classic: Laura Linback & THE FULL MONTY
$1,000 ALL-IN Removal A-O 3'3" Hunter Classic: Cara Garito & BIEBER
$1,000 CWD Jr 3'6" Hunter Classic - Small: Neave Campbell & CANTINI
$1,000 Antares Jr 3'6" Hunter Classic - Large: Morgan Van Nortwick & WINTERFELL
$1,000 Jr 3'3" Hunter Classic: Morgan Budovsky & TRIBECA

$500 M&S SmartPak Adult Hunter Classic: Sarah Wanger & MTM MOCHI
$500 M&S Child Hunter Classic - Horse: Ava Berman & SKOREKEEPER
$500 M&S Child Hunter Classic - Pony: Lyla Tuttle & OTTERIDGE GUNSMOKE

M&S Bit O'Straw Hunter Classic: Beth A. Ford Estey & KODIAK HARBOR

$1,000 Perfect Products Pony Hunter Classic: Maddie Tosh & BARONESS OF LOCHEIL
Click here for the full listing of results from the HITS Ocala Tournament.
As Week VII comes to a close, we jump in to Week VIII which will feature hunter competition in the Grand Prix Ring for World Championship Hunter Rider Week. Hunter riders can also look forward to a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby to highlight the week.
Social Scene
Week VII was full of special events including the fundraiser and Silent Auction for the Marion County Therapeutic Riding Association (MTRA). All gate and silent auction proceeds were donated to MTRA, as well as a percentage of rider's winnings in the Sunday Grand Prix.  

VIP Tables and Individual Passes for the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, Sunday, March 22 are now available. Tables seating 6 guests are $1,000 for the day, or purchase individual passes for $150 per person. VIP Tables and passes must be purchased in advance in the Horse Show Office or online. Full Table reservations will have a reserved table for 6 guests; Individual reservations will be open seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Enjoy the Great American Million in VIP Style! 
HITS is excited to be back in Ocala for its 39th consecutive year of horse shows - be sure to check out the Official Prize List for details on the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit and everything we have to offer! 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 352.620.2275 or info@hitsshows.comEnter today! We look forward to seeing you at this year’s circuit!