Half way home! Two Florida natives are neck and neck in the $20,500 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Championship…OCALA, FL (HITS-January 19, 2009)—The first half of the $20,500 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Championship kicked off this weekend at HITS Post Time Farm with Mackenzie Ryan and Kristianna Lindgren emerging as the favorites to capture the title when the overall winner is crowned next weekend at the conclusion of the Ocala Pre-Circuit 2.
The first leg of the competition took place on Friday evening and offered $2,500 in prize money. Mackenzie Ryan (Longwood, Florida) jumped to the lead after winning the blue aboard her horse Primata.
Ryan, who trains with Grand Prix rider Sergio Campos, got the best of 37 other riders who competed in the first phase of this popular competition. In the $4,000 second leg it was Lindgren’s turn to take the victory gallop, when she won the blue aboard her horse John 3:16. Lindgren (Gainesville, Florida) trains under the watchful eye of Grand Prix superstar Aaron Vale.
“The initial course was good—it was fun and rode well,” said Lindgren. “The jump-off course was right up our alley. We’re very good at roll backs, and slicing jumps and we rode it well.”
Lindgren has owned and been showing John 3:16 for three years. Four years ago, she was given a horse and started taking jumping lessons. Now she is on the verge of capturing the $20,500 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Championship after just one year of training with Vale.
With the first two legs of the $20,500 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Championship in the books, at 73 points Ryan holds the overall lead with the third and fourth legs of the event on tap for this coming weekend. However, Lindgren sits in fourth place with 60 points and is well within striking distance.
Show jumping at HITS Ocala continues next week with the Ocala Pre-Circuit 2 and will feature a diverse schedule of classes, including the second half of Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper Championship and the next $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.
Following the Ocala Pre-Circuit 2, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will take a one-week break and continue on Tuesday, February 3 with the first of six consecutive AA-rated weeks of competition.
The social calendar also gets into full swing next week with a special off-site exhibitor party on Friday, January 23 from 5 pm to 8 pm during The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Center Exhibitor Party. Exhibitors will be treated to refreshments, heavy hors d’oeuvres, exhibitions and seminars.
The Sanctuary is located just down the road from HITS Post Time Farm and all exhibitors are encouraged to see what The Sanctuary has to offer. For those arriving for the HITS Ocala rated shows, The Sanctuary will be hosting a Welcome Party on Friday, February 7 from 5 pm to 9 pm. For more information, please contact HITS’ Account Executive for Corporate Sponsorship Lisa Engel at Lisa@HitsShows.com.
HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com.