January 21, 2024 – Ocala, FL – On the final day of the Ocala January Classic, the first of ten weeks in the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, David Jennings took the last big win of the weekend as he piloted longtime mount Follow Me into the lead in the $24,500 Horseflight Jumper Classic. Sunday produced a wide range of jumper classics at the HITS Post Time Farm and saw impressive wins from the lowest to the highest levels of the sport. Competition culminated in the final jumper classic of the afternoon as 33 horse-and-rider combinations geared up to compete over Peter Grant’s (USA) final track.
Out of the original starting field, nine pairs put forward a faultless round to advance to the short course, while the tidy time-allowed became a detriment to several otherwise clean efforts. The lead changed hands several times before Jennings settled the score as he flawlessly navigated Grant’s short course with The Follow me Group’s 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding (For Edition), who has also been one of his most successful mounts.
“We’ve been jumping Peter [Grant]’s courses all week and he’s a great designer,” said Jennings. “Because of the height of this class, I knew the most important part of today’s jump off would be footspeed, and thankfully my horse is quite fast.
“I got a bit nervous when I got to the end of my stride and I was still seeing the gap to the last jump,” he chuckled, “but I’ve won a lot of grand prixs on this horse in years past and I trust him.”
Hayley Waters Wear’s time of 39.26 seconds fell two seconds short of Jenning’s blazing 37.52 seconds, but managed to secure second place with Dana Waters’ 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Lux Z), Over Lux. Young professional Hunter Holloway piloted the Hays Investment Corp’s nine-year-old KWPN mare (Elvaro), Kalina N, safely into the final position of the victory gallop after stopping the clock with a time of 39.99 seconds.
Junior and Amateur classics took center stage throughout the day. Ria Ohtsu and Jimmy Jumper lead the way in the $2,000 1.15m Junior Jumper Classic, sponsored by Great American; Pure for Romance put forth the winning ride for Madison Kondracki in the $2,500 Pyranha 1.25m Junior/Amateur Classic; Maleah Lang McMahon and the adorably-named Apple Bee received the blue ribbon for their efforts in the $5,000 Signature Brands 1.35 Junior/Amateur Classic.
Competition at HITS Post Time Farm will resume with the Ocala January Festival on Wednesday, January 23, 2024. For a full list of this week’s results, please visit www.showmanagementsystem.com.
- * All photos by ESI Photography