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February 26, 2009

Archie Bunker Flies To The Top At HITS Desert Circuit

Will Simpson’s new ride might take him to Las Vegas.

It was gold versus gold, with a little silver thrown in, in the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix CSI-W on Feb. 7 in Thermal, Calif.

The jump-off featured Olympic gold medal teammates McLain Ward and Will Simpson, with the addition of Canada’s team silver medalist Jill Henselwood.

Ward led the way in the first round and turned in a graceful clear with Phillipa over Bernardo Cabral’s challenging track. It looked for a while like that might be the only clean round of the evening.

January 23, 2009

2008 Winter Circuit Champions: There's Nothing Wrong With Wright At HITS Arizona

Neither snow nor a 21⁄2-hour commute can keep this dedicated junior rider out of the saddle.

Many 12-year-old riders who heard their barn would be shutting down and their trainer moving from 5 to 120 miles away would hang up their helmets and pick a new sport, but not Devon Wright. When Wright learned four years ago that the stable where she rode—the last major horse facility in Vail, Colo.—would be torn down to make way for a high school, she never considered altering her plan to continue to compete on the A-rated circuit.

January 23, 2009

2008 Winter Circuit Champions: Ashley LeCroy Makes Her Presence Known At HITS Ocala

This winter circuit first-timer takes home the medium pony hunter circuit championship.

To say that Ashley LeCroy is a fast learner would be an understatement.

Just 11⁄2 years ago, she was competing in the children’s small pony hunters. Six months later she took home the medium pony hunter circuit championship at the 2008 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit (Fla.) on an unknown green pony whom she’d met only two weeks beforehand.

January 23, 2009

2008 Winter Circuit Champions: Glenda Lippman Meets All Her Goals At HITS Thermal

This adult amateur came back from a scary fall to become circuit champion.

In 2006 Glenda Lippman suffered an injury that might have convinced many adult amateurs to hang up their spurs. An ill-timed buck in the warm-up at the Capital Challenge (Md.) sent the Las Vegas, Nev., rider flying, and she ended up on six weeks of bed rest with a broken pelvis.

March 30, 2007

Kroff Cruises To Victory In Arizona Final

Allison Kroff and her Nomograff sped to the blue ribbon in the $25,000 Arizona Finals Grand Prix, the final day of the HITS Arizona Desert Finals, held March 14-18 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Nomograff, a 12-year-old Dutch Warm-blood, narrowly defeated Brandi Holloway’s young mare Gabriella Z. Both had clear rounds, but Nomograff squeaked to victory in 40.07 seconds, .89 seconds ahead of Gabriella Z.

March 30, 2007

Spitfire And King Reign Supreme At Ocala

Having qualified two of his three rides for the 10-horse jump-off for the $100,000 Footing Authority Grand Prix, held March 18, the final day of the five-week HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Ocala, Fla., the odds were in Kyle King’s favor. Having dropped a rail with Capone I after a tight inside turn to a liverpool in the second round, he returned with Linda Opdycke’s Spitfire and a new game plan for his second trip around the shortened course.

March 22, 2007

Pearce Is Fastest At HITS Desert Circuit VI

The crowd groaned as John Pearce and Forest View Farms’ Urioso dropped the next-to-last fence in the jump-off of the $150,000 Grand Prix of the Desert, March 11.

A clear round would have guaranteed him the win, as Grace and Tracy Fenney had dropped three rails, and Jill Humphrey had a rail on each of her two rides, Kaskaya and Felix 380, in the finale of Desert Circuit VI in Thermal, Calif.

But Pearce didn’t worry. “I had a plan,” he said.

March 6, 2007

Callisto Makes A Comeback For Henselwood At HITS Thermal

The $75,000 Footing Authority World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix in Thermal, Calif., served as a great reassurance to Jill Henselwood and her ongoing faith in Callisto. The road has been a bit rocky for the pair, but on Feb. 11 at the HITS Desert Circuit, the 14-year-old Thoroughbred once again showed the speed and scope Henselwood saw in her three years ago.

March 6, 2007

Summer Arrives Early At HITS Desert Circuit II

As the race heats up for the FEI Rolex World Cup Finals, to be held in Las Vegas, Nev., in April, the West Coast riders are battling it out for points. Only two riders from the West Coast league will qualify, and the results of the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix CSI-W, the finale of HITS Desert Circuit II in Thermal, Calf., made the World Cup Final picture even more complicated.

February 11, 2007

Callisto Makes Another Comeback for Henselwood

Technically, no horses left Anthony D’Ambrosio’s $75,000 Footing Authority CSI-W grand prix course in Thermal, Calif., without fault. But a spirited jump-off still ensued. It became a three-way contest between two Jills and a Richard—that is, top west coast World Cup-ranked Jill Humphrey, second-seated Richard Spooner, and Canada’s Jill Henselwood. Each rider rode a clean first round but incurred one time fault.

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