Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario, a perennial favorite of show jumping fans world wide, led the victory gallop of the $50,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix at the new HITS Post Time show facility on State Highway 27. A total of 26 horses competed under gloomy skies and persistent rain around a course designed by Danny Foster of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada. Foster's Round-one course included a total of 13 efforts, including a triple at fence 5a, b, and c. At the end of round one, only four horse-and-rider pairs had managed to turn in a clean effort in today's King Shavings U.S. Grand Prix League event. Of these, with McGee and Abby Converse just exceeded the 88 -second time-allowed, resulting in 1/2 -fault time penalty and fourth place finish.
Keean White and Arriscaft Libidou were the first pair to return for the jump-off. Like Millar, White also hails from Ontario. The pair's jump-off time of 59.813 proved to be the slowest of the afternoon and, their time, along with a rail at Fence 10, dropped them to a third-place finish that earned them a prize money check in the amount of $6,500.
Courtney Phibbs of Solebury, PA was the second around during the jump-off aboard Snepts. The pair turned in a faultless effort with a time of 55.674 seconds that resulted in a second-place finish and a check in the amount of $11,000.
Millar had the advantage
of riding last in the jump-off, so he could plan his strategy based on
the performances of the other two riders. Riding Micos, owned by Todd
and Nancy Snell, he knew that he needed both a faster time than Phibbs
and a fault-free round. Millar used his well-honed Olympic skills to negotiate
Foster's course with no rails down in a time of 51.532 to take home the
blue ribbon and a check in the amount of
Show jumping action continues at HITS Post Time in Ocala with the running of the $100,000 King Shavings Grand Prix on Sunday, March 10, beginning at 2:00 PM.
For Agate Records:
Owner/ Faults - Time/ Prize Money