Which HITS Ocala Competitor Suits Your Fancy?

Mar 22, 2018 - 7:09 PM

Ocala, Fla.—March 22

The winter circuits are a great place to scope out some of the nicest horses in the country. From veterans earning valuable points for Devon (Pennsylvania) qualifications to the newest young stars that will soon go on to careers with their new junior or amateur-owners or perhaps contest a hunter derby, there are plenty of outstanding athletes on display.

Even if you’re not in the market for a new horse, it can be fun to dream, so we’re bringing you some lofty hunters and scopey jumpers from the final week of the HITS Ocala circuit. Which one would you like to take home with you?

Round 1: The Veterans

First up is Timothy Maddrix and Shutterbug. It’s easy to see why this pair took home the championship in the high performance this week. Shutterbug has an easy way of going around the ring, and then he snaps his knees up like the best of them. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
If you’re “in the know,” you’ve heard of Samantha Schaefer’s ride In The Know. They’ve won against the best of them, and his smooth inside turns helped them win the high performance handy. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Hercules VD Vromboutshoeve might have a mouthful of a name that has you thinking “jumper,” but this guy is all class and showed beautifully for Cassandra Kahle. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Bonus Horse: Holly Shepherd tacked up Kodachrome to warm up for Saturday’s USHJA International Hunter Derby, but this cool customer still jumped his heart out. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Now we’re going to ask you to use a little bit of imagination. Next up we’ve got some entries from the 3’3″ green hunters. One day you may be reading about them winning at the biggest shows in the country. Who do you think is the next superstar?

Round 2: The Up-And-Comers

We’re pretty sure Mandolin is up for a bigger challenge. Just look at her! She makes it all look easy with Hunt Tosh up. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Are you drooling yet? Have you pictured the stunning Heffner galloping up to a massive derby fence? We sure are. Hint, hint, Cassandra Kahle. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Hey Cassandra Kahle, you want to share one of these guys with us? Que Pasa is more than just a pretty face, he’s got a great jump to back up all that chrome. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Have you got your imagination all warmed up? Great! Because we’ve got another round of stunning green hunters for you.

Round 3: Future Stars

Knees to nose? Check! A La Carte looked pretty stunning with Kyle Muckler in the tack. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
What’s not to love? A glowing chestnut, a dash of white and check out that expression! Clair Kellner found a stunner in Gowan Castle. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Snap Dragon’s got the snappy knees part of his job figured out. He simply floated around the ring with Emily Terry Peterson. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Now let’s take a trip to the other side of the show ring and check out some entries in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. The name of the game is fast and clear, and nobody told these jumpers they don’t get extra points for style.

That’s a face of determination! Iliona may have shown off her textbook form in the air, but it didn’t stop her and David Raposa from taking home the win. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Those who show on the West Coast have seen Luebbo’s adorable jump many times. But this week he and Jamie Barge came to Florida, and we all get to ooh and aah over him. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Seriously though, these jumpers are stunning. Don’t believe me? Check out MTM Vivre Le Reve and Brian Moggre. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

Some horses enter the ring, and they ooze personality. They’re full of vim and vigor and have plenty of sass. Check them out in our final round.

Round 5: Sassiest Tail Flick

First up we’ve got Sharn Wordley’s ride Casper, who opted for the standard sassy tail flick. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
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And then we’ve got Emanuel Andrade’s Hardrock Z, who flicked his luscious tail out of the frame. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.
Now that’s some serious sass from David Beisel’s Call Me Hannes. Photo by Kimberly Loushin.

That’s all folks for today. Keep up with all of the Chronicle’s coverage of the final week of HITS Ocala including the Great American $1 Million.

Results from Ocala can be found here.


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