André Thieme Takes Top Call in $75,000 SummitMax Grand Prix with Paule S

Two dozen entries lined up to contest the track for the $75,000 SummitMax Grand Prix on Saturday morning during the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. The weekly grand prix event is a staple throughout the 10-week series and brings out some of the best in equestrian sport to HITS Post Time Farm. The day’s featured event saw multiple crowd favorites with their top mounts including Aaron Vale, Hunter Holloway, Tracy Fenney, and more but the best round was produced by André Thieme (GER) with Paule S. 

Nine of the 24 combinations originally listed managed to procure a fault-free first round finish across Oscar Soberon’s (USA) track and advance to the short course. Thieme bolstered his chances at a podium finish by qualifying not one but both of his morning’s mounts. With Marilyn Little LLC’s 11-year-old Oldenurg gelding (Chacco-Blue)  Chacco Hearts, Thieme produced a flawless and fast effort in 40.96 seconds, but it was with his 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Periguex) that he would find his way to the top after shaving two seconds off of his earlier time and stopping the clock in 38.63 seconds.

André Thieme jumping to the top. Photo by ESI Photography

“When I walked the course it looked perfect and I knew it wouldn’t be too easy but also not too difficult,” Thieme detailed. “I was really happy with my horses. I knew that with Paule going first in the jump off, I could really go for it and set a statement because I had another horse after him. Then I was a little bit more conservative with my second horse because I knew I couldn’t be faster than I was with Paule. Still we ended up first and third so it worked out pretty good!”

Francois LaMontagne (CAN) found his way into the top three as he split the difference in Thieme’s times and landed in 40.20 seconds with his 16-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare (Lucciano), Chanel Du Calvaire. The pair have been in winning form throughout the past several weeks at HITS, having won the previous week’s $75,000 Ocala Marion Grand Prix. The finale of jumper competition culminated on Sunday with the $24,500 Horseflight Jumper Classic.