Morgan Ward and Party Time Top $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix at HITS Ocala

Ocala, Fla. – January 21, 2023 – Morgan Ward was once again the master of the hunter ring at HITS Ocala, capturing the winning title in the first $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix of the 2023 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit aboard Party Time. The duo earned two impressive scores, edging out second-place finishers Ehrin Rittmueller and Comes A Time by just three points, while Olympian Peter Wylde and Just Dessert rounded out the top three.

Morgan Ward and Party Time. Photo by ESI

“I just wanted to have two consistent rounds on Party Time today,” said Ward after her win. “She won during pre-circuit, so she's been gearing up for these derbies. Staying consistent was our main focus today, and she felt fantastic. They're jumping great on the new footing, so I was really pleased with her.”

Ehrin Rittmueller and Comes A Time. Photo by ESI

Ward kicked off the $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix with a score of 85, showcasing the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare’s beautiful jump over the flowing track in the main hunter ring for owner Elizabeth Lloyd. She returned in the lead, earning a second-round score of 83 for a winning score of 168. Rittmueller and Comes A Time garnered top scores of 83 and 82 for  165 to place second, while Wylde and Just Dessert’s score of 161.5 proved good enough for third place.

Peter Wylde and Just Dessert. Photo by ESI

Saturday’s victory came just one month after the pair topped the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix during the HITS Holiday Series, proving their consistency in the show ring. “She's a little bit of a prima donna, and she doesn’t want to be touched. She just wants to shine, and that's how she goes in the ring every time,” explained Ward. “She always jumps fantastic with a beautiful expression.”

Ward concluded, “We are thrilled with all of the improvements at [HITS Ocala]. All my horses have been jumping fantastic on the new footing – I'm very pleased with it. I think the staff and everyone is doing a fantastic job and we're just happy to be back here at the new HITS.”

Morgan Ward and Party Time. Photo by ESI

Hunter action at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will continue next week with the second $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. Horses and riders hoping to make their derby debuts will have the opportunity to showcase their skills during the Post Time 2'6" and 2’ Hunter Derbies. Top horses and riders should mark their calendars today for the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derbies, which will be held during Weeks 4 and 9 at Post Time Farm. For more information visit the horse show office or