A field of 46 riders were welcomed to the Grand Prix Stadium on Sunday afternoon for the $200,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix. Just eight riders would jump a clean first round over the course designed by Ms. Catalina “Catsy” Cruz of Mexico City, Mexico. The jump-off consisted of past Million Winners, Grand Prix Veterans, and riders that are no stranger to the Winner’s Circle at HITS Ocala. There was no doubt that it was going to be a competitive jump-off with each rider locked-in on the top prize.
Capping off the Ocala Winter Celebration (IX) with her fourth Grand Prix win of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit was Tracy Fenney, jumping clean in the first round aboard her two mounts with a good shot at taking home the win.
First to return in jump-off was Andre Thieme and Crazy Girl, posting a fault-free a time of 41.930 and setting the pace for the class. Following Thieme, was Fenney and her first mount in the jump-off, MTM Reve du Paradis. An unfortunate rail at the first fence would ultimately place them fifth. “Following Andre [Theime], I had an idea of what the time would be like,” said Fenney. “Aaron [Vale] has been super on fire and I knew that he has won a lot with that horse [Elusive] so I knew with him behind me and Jordan [Coyle] also having two after me, that I needed to be pretty quick.”
Fenney had one more shot at the win as she was fourth to return aboard MTM Apple, owned by MTM Farm. She knew that she would need to be quick and accurate as Vale and Coyle, both known for their incredible speed, were standing by to jump-off. The pair navigated the jump-off in 36.645 and held onto the lead until the very end. “I don’t know that I’ve won a $200,000, so that’s pretty impressive,” exclaimed Fenney, beaming with joy. “She [MTM Apple] was great and I am so excited! Aaron [Vale] was within a whisper of me so it could have gone either way today.”
Second place was awarded to Aaron Vale and Elusive, who were also the winners of this class in 2020. They came up just a hair short, posting a time of 39.714 in the jump-off. Rounding out the top three in the class was Thieme and Crazy Girl with the only other fault-free jump-off.