Edited Press Release
An international field of 30 athletes contested the $100,000 IDA Development Grand Prix at World Equestrian Center – Ocala during Week III of the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series. FEI Level III course designer Anderson Lima (BRA) built the elaborate tracks, where the ladies dominated the jump-off and Hunter Holloway (USA) galloped away with victory aboard Hays Investment Corporation’s Pepita Con Spita (DSP Con Spirit x Pamina).
Lima’s first round track allowed 16 contenders representing five different nations to advance to the jump-off. Of the 16 returning entries, nine yielded a double-clean effort with the ladies claiming eight of those nine spots.
Luis Sabino Goncalves (POR) and Sigma Stables LLC’s Vick Du Croisy were the first pair navigate a clean ride in the jump-off setting the time to beat at 37.550 seconds. The next clean jump-off round was found by Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple, who shaved a tenth of a second off the time to slide into the lead.
The lead changed hands again when Jacqueline Ruyle and her small but mighty Cyramo Z (Clarimo x Cyprus) launched at the sound of the tone, finding each fence forward to stop the clock at 37.307 seconds to take the lead. Ruyle’s time on top didn’t last long, because Lauren Balcomb (AUS) and Verdini D’Houtveld Z (Verdi x Laska III) pulled out all the stops, posting a blistering fast time of 37.193 seconds to move to the top of the leaderboard.
Olympian Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms, LLC’s 17-year-old KWPN gelding Brighton (Contendro II x Van Ed) were the next duo down the ramp into the WEC Grand Arena. The talented pair put forth a stellar performance in 37.731 seconds, just shy of the leading time.
When Hunter Holloway entered the arena aboard the skilled 12-year-old Westphalian mare Pepita Con Spita, she had a simple and straightforward plan for the jump-off: “Go as fast as I possibly could.”
“A slow double-clear wasn’t going to give you much tonight, so I knew I had to give it my all,” she said. “My first horse gave me a feel for the course, and I knew where I could save some time. ‘Pepita’ is even faster. She naturally just carries herself and covers more ground, so I just planned to go as fast as I could everywhere. She does it all and does it well. To the last oxer, I just kept kicking for all that I was worth!”
The pair soared over the final oxer to stop the timers in 36.771 seconds to seal the victory.
“[Pepita Con Spita] is such an incredible horse. I have had her for a few years now. I got her as an 8-year-old, and she is turning 12. We have had many highs together and many firsts. Hopefully that continues and we keep climbing the latter,” expressed Holloway. “The plan is do to the five-star in Wellington in a few weeks, and this was perfect preparation. We love WEC and always have a blast here. The facility is incredible, and the staff is so nice and welcoming. We are so happy to be here.”
$100,000 IDA Development Grand Prix Results:
1 Pepita Con Spita, Hunter Holloway (USA), Hays Investment Corp.: 0 | 0 | 36.771
2 Verdini D’Houtveld Z, Lauren Balcomb (AUS), Lauren Balcomb: 0 | 0 | 37.193
3 Cyramo Z, Jacqueline Ruyle (USA), Jacqueline Ruyle: 0 | 0 | 37.307
4 MTM Apple, Tracy Fenney (USA), MTM Farm: 0 | 0 | 37.386
5 Vick Du Croisy, Luis Sabino Goncalves (POR), Sigma Stables, LLC: 0 | 0 | 37.550
6 Brighton, Tiffany Foster, Artisan Farms, LLC: 0 | 0 | 37.731
7 Frasier, Samantha Schaefer (USA), Bonne Vie LLC: 0 | 0 | 38.107
8 MTM Hachi, Tracy Fenney (USA), MTM Farm: 0 | 0 | 39.073
9 James Bond HX, Samantha Schaefer (USA), Bonne Chance LLC: 0 | 0 | 40.923
10 Nono VD Withoeve, Santiago Lambre (BRA), All In Horses & Jan De Waard: 0 | 4 | 39.479