Jan. 28, 2024 – Ocala, FL – Another week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit came and went as Sunday competition closed out the second of ten weeks in the circuit. The final day came a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes across the HITS Post Time Farm with featured events including various junior/amateur classics and the weekly $24,500 Horseflight Jumper Classic. At the class’s completion, Quinto and Kyle Perkovich sat at the top of the leaderboard as one of only three contenders to advance to the jump off.
Ivan Tagle challenged Sunday’s riders with a first round track featuring a tight time-allowed and another technical triple combination which put the majority of the 23 combinations out of the running for the short course. Perkovich and Maya Denis, each with multiple rides, managed to find their way to a fault-free jumping effort, and Harold Chopping made his bid for the title before preparations were made for a short second round. Denis lead the path as she piloted her own eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Chelssini Z), Callypso de la Hamente Z, to the first double-clear effort, but left the door open for the remaining challengers. The Rein Family LLC’s 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quadros), Quadrant 3, jumped another clear round with Chopping in the irons but slid behind Denis with a slightly slower jump off time. Seizing the opportunity of the gap left by Denis, Perkovich put forth one more solid effort to steal the spotlight with his eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Vision van’t Hazelarenhoekje).
“He is just still getting comfortable at this height with the bigger fences,” Perkovich explained. “Both courses were challenging today and we started off the first round a little wishy-washy but managed to regroup. I think the first line of the first round really set the theme for the rest of the course.”
For Perkovich, his success in the jump off came down to the size of Quinto’s step.
“Maya [Denis] was really quick and efficient in the first half of the course,” he continued, “but I think I was able to catch her in the gaps between the skinny jump and the two-stride, and then between the two-stride and the Horseflight fence. Those types of runways are where I think Quinto has an advantage because he really covers the ground. In the final line, we kind of did six and a half-strides down to the last fence, which while not ideal, told me that the six was possible for the jump off.”
Classic competition continued onward into the afternoon as Adina Gesthalter and MTM Fiona 621 laid down the winning round in the $2,000 Great American 1.15m Junior Jumper Classic. Rhia Ohtsu and Jimmy Jumper kicked it up a notch as they repeated last week’s win but this time in the $2,500 Pyranha 1.25m Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, and classic competition came to a close with a win from Amy Shafmaster and Infante SK in the $5,000 Signature Brands 1.35m Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic.