Friday, May. 24, 2024

Tracy Fenney Bests The Elements In $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix

Mother Nature wasn’t joking around when she decided to unleash a thunderstorm over HITS Ocala’s Post Time Farm on Sunday, March 21. Despite the organizer’s best efforts to move the class to an earlier time to beat the weather, the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix was contested in the middle of a steady downpour. It didn’t faze MTM Timon and Tracy Fenney, however. The pair posted the fastest four-fault round in the four horse jump-off to take home blue.

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Mother Nature wasn’t joking around when she decided to unleash a thunderstorm over HITS Ocala’s Post Time Farm on Sunday, March 21. Despite the organizer’s best efforts to move the class to an earlier time to beat the weather, the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix was contested in the middle of a steady downpour. It didn’t faze MTM Timon and Tracy Fenney, however. The pair posted the fastest four-fault round in the four horse jump-off to take home blue.

“I think the horses are just as uncomfortable as the people are,” said Fenney, 45, with a smile. “We’ve got more gear on than we normally do, and it’s just kind of miserable. But everyone is in the same position; it’s not like anyone is at an advantage or disadvantage.”

Fenney, who was coming off a win in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix earlier in the week with MTM Centano, thought the footing held up well and was pleased with Olaf Petersen’s track.

“I thought the course was quite nice,” said Fenney, Flower Mount, Texas. “I think he allowed for the inclement weather by not being so drastically big. It amazes me how they always get the right amount clean. You didn’t walk the course and get sick to your stomach thinking, ‘I can’t do this!’ ”

Petersen’s track had riders thinking about pace, as he created a fairly flowing course. The triple combination at 10ABC caused a number of fallen rails, but the rest of the faults were fairly spread out over the 16 fences.

Only four riders, Fenney, Todd Minikus on Olinda, Alexa Lowe on Credit Cruise, and Gabrielle Cousin on Aramisse Des Pins, made the jump-off, though none of them escaped the second round fault free.

Fenney had a rail down at original fence 10B, which left the door open for the riders that followed. Lowe pushed for the clear and the fastest time, but she had rails at original fences 9 and 10B, as well, which left her in fourth. Minikus rode for a clear round, but he was a little too careful to 6B and ticked the rail out of the cups. Cousin had the crowd behind her on her speedy Aramisse Des Pins, and the pair zipped around the course to the cheers of the onlookers. One rail down kept her from blue, but her time was good enough for second.

“I know Todd and Alexa are fast riders, so I knew I needed to go fast but to put in a clean round,” said Fenney. “Todd went slow trying to be clean, [but I don’t think Gabrielle] knew she just needed to be clean [to win]. Everyone just stops and watches her because her horse is pretty amazing.”

Cousin is a relative newcomer to the grand prix ranks and traveled to Ocala from Quebec, Canada, with her three horses and a groom.

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“I was advised to come here and gain experience outside of Canada,” said Cousin, 22. “[My ride today] was simple because the horse had a good feeling in the reins, and so it was easy for her. I was really prepared for the ride. Aramisse was healthy and feeling good. She’s really special, she doesn’t accept other riders, and she’s really free-minded. You have to listen to her or she doesn’t jump. She’s very sensitive!”

Cousin raised and trained “Aramisse” from birth, and the 7-year-old mare has a hot streak that she quite enjoys.

“She was very difficult to train, but I’m used to her now,” said Cousin. “We’ve had a good connection since the beginning, but it took us four or five years to bond. It took a long time to maintain that. We’ve always been friends though, and we learned together.”

Cousin is looking forward to returning to the Canadian show jumping circuit with a wealth of new experience under her belt, and more ambition in her pocket now that she’s experienced the competitive nature of the winter circuits.

“I think I have really good horses,” said Cousin with a smile. “[I hope] I can keep improving and have more opportunities.”

Results

1. MTM Timon and Tracy Fenney — 0-4/43.61

2. Aramisse Des Pins and Gabrielle Cousin — 0-4/46.72

3. Olinda and Todd Minikus — 0-4/46.98

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4. Credit Cruise and Alexa Lowe — 0-8/47.63

5. Robin Van Roosendael and Erynn Ballard — 1/76.85

6. Antares F and Seth Vallhonrant — 2/77.40

7. Tarco Van Ter Moude and Tracy Magness — 4/67.81

8. Athena and Charlie Jayne — 4/68.19

9. Nacorde and Andre Thieme — 4/68.89

10. Cesar and Andre Thieme — 4/69.65

 

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