Ocala, Fla.—Jan. 31
“This girl is on fire,” aptly describes Lisa Goldman and Centurion B as they topped the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Jan. 30, for their third grand prix win in as many weeks at HITS Ocala.
With 76 seconds, the allowed first-round time, local course designer Doug Russell challenged competitors by offering 12 obstacles with 14 jumping efforts. The competitors faced a combination of straight-forward verticals, oxers and tight turns, with a difficult left turn between fence seven, onward to eight. But, it was the triple combination at fence 10A, C and C, a vertical-oxer-vertical, that proved the trickiest part of the course. This combination produced the most faults with downed rails.
Five clean would return in the jump-off. MTM Timon, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding trained by Michael McCormick, owned by MTM Farm and ridden by veteran two-time 2014 HITS Ocala grand prix winner, Tracy Fenney, was the first to jump-off. Ultimately, their time of 39.56 proved good enough for the red ribbon.
But this day belonged to the Belgian Warmblood Centurion B, American-bred by Allyn McCracken and partnered for ten years with the grand prix rider Lisa Goldman, of Hawthorn Woods, Ill., where she’s trained by her mother, Mary Goldman.
When asked about the course and the horse, Lisa beamed. “He is just the best. He was a little feisty with the weather, which is out of character for him—usually he shows with a laid-back attitude,” she said.
“The course wasn’t set too big for today’s conditions and the footing was very good, considering the rain. My horse jumped well and dug in after the combination,” Goldman continued. “I was really watching the clock at 33 seconds.”
Acknowledging the class sponsor, Goldman admits that her 85-horse farm in Illinois is fueled by SmartPak. “After winning a lot of product during last year’s winter circuit, we started using it on our horses and couldn’t be happier with the results,” she said.
Third place rider/trainer was hometown hero, Aaron Vale of Morriston, Fla., aboard Bromance, owned by his Thinkslikeahorse. Fourth place went to Moet Walk, owned by Harlow Investment Enterprises, with trainer/rider David Beisel of Goshen, Ohio in the irons. Rounding out the field of five was Leviticus, owned by MTM Farm of Flower Mound, Texas, also trained by McCormick and ridden by Fenney.
$25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis