Ocala, FL – On Friday evening, the $15,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix took over the WEC Grand Arena to allow developing horses and riders the chance to compete under the lights to one day prepare for the Saturday night grand prix. FEI Level III course designer Oscar Soberon (USA) built the welcoming tracks for the twenty-two starters, but it was pathfinder Brooks Hull and Derek Petersen’s Zechariah 3:9 (Zirocco Blue x Katrina) that posted an uncatchable time.
An even ten entries managed to jump clean in the first round to qualify for the immediate jump-off and six of those pairs yielded a double clean effort.
Fifteen-year-old Brooks Hull and Zechariah 3:9 were the first duo down the ramp into the WEC Grand Arena. Hull and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding negotiated a clean first round in 77.069 seconds, well under the time allowed of 82 seconds.
Hull and Zechariah 3:9 have been on a winning streak, “Just recently, we won ‘The Notting Hill Invitational’ at The Florida Horse Park. Then we won the High Jr/AO class earlier today,” said Hull. “Zechariah has been a great horse for me. It has taken me some time to figure him out, because I have never ridden a horse so powerful. I have learned so much and love showing him.”
Hull and Zechariah 3:9 advanced straight to the short course, “I knew I didn’t have to take any big risks. My plan was to use his natural speed to my advantage and focus on keeping the round smooth.”
The pair marched around the track, swiftly soaring over each obstacle to stop the timers at an unbeatable 43.366 seconds.
Hull was excited to have the opportunity to show under the lights, “It was amazing that WEC offered this class, because we didn’t want to send Zechariah in the grand prix to potentially get scared. We wanted to see how he would do in this atmosphere, but without the pressure of the Saturday night class. After tonight, I think we may be able to step up to the grand prix soon.”
Second place was found by Dorothy Douglas (USA) and Brittney Elliot’s En Fuego ES (Glasgow Van’t Merelsnest x Mirando). Douglas and the eight-year-old KWPN gelding delivered a seamless first round in 80.300 seconds to qualify for the jump-off. The pair flew around the jump-off track, not pumping the brakes once to stop the timers at 45.263 seconds.
Grace Debney (GBR) and Temple Equestrian LLC’s eight-year-old KWPN mare Jesprit H.S (Eldorado Van Zeshoek x Esprit-R) captured the third place spot on the leaderboard. The pair created a smooth first round in 78.860 seconds to advance straight to the jump-off. Debney and Jesprit H.S dashed around the short track, taking tidy turns in 47.125 seconds.
$15,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix Results:
1 Zechariah 3:9, Brooks Hull (USA), Derek Petersen: 0 | 0 | 43.366
2 En Fuego ES, Dorothy Douglas (USA), Brittney Elliot: 0 | 0 | 45.263
3 Jesprit H.S, Grace Debney (GBR), Temple Equestrian LLC: 0 | 0 | 47.125
4 James Bond HX, Samantha Schaefer (USA), Michael Smith: 0 | 0 | 47.445
5 Cooper B, Johan Kachelhoffer (RSA), Johan Kachelhoffer: 0 | 0 | 48.191
6 Inoletto, Ilana Halpern (USA), Alexandra Ireland: 0 | 0 | 54.140
7 Denison Park Combat, Elizabeth Schumann (USA): 0 | 4 | 52.780
8 Levito 12, Manuel Torres (COL), Manuel Torres: 0 | 4 | 53.027
9 Vertigo Delorme, Penny Brennan (USA), Penny Brennan: 0 | 8 | 43.320
10 Jasmijn, Bryn Sadler (USA), Rein Family LLC: 0 | 8 | 48.088