Ocala, FL – The nine-week 2023 Ocala Summer Series came to a thrilling close last week. Fan favorites, Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple took home the final grand prix win of the series in the $100,000 Hampton Green Farms Grand Prix. Lauren Schweppe and Cataumet prevailed in the $12,500 Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby and Josh Dolan secured a hat trick with the $10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby win. Read on for even more highlights from the final week.
On Sunday morning, Sharn Wordley and Brin D’or De Haute Melen Z closed out the 2023 Ocala Summer Series with a victory in the $10,000 THIS 1.40m Jumper Classic.
“He’s a really great horse, but just very careful and a bit cautious. I did him earlier this summer in the three-star ranking classes and placed in a number of them, but when we left for Europe for five weeks, I came back thinking I would start where I left off with him, but I had to get back into the groove. Now he’s starting to feel in top form again.”
Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple claimed the victory in the $100,000 Hampton Green Farms Grand Prix, bringing a packed house of spectators to their feet to celebrate.
“Apple just loves it out there. The Saturday night grand prix under the lights is amazing. It’s a whole different gear for the horses. They just come into their own and get excited. Every time we do the victory gallop, she gets so wound up. She bucks, plays and just loves it. We call it Disneyland for horses. It’s absolutely an incredible place to show.”
Abigail McArdle and I&H Boogy Woogy were electric in the $10,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix.
“I love it and I am so happy to be here. We came for two weeks in June with some students, and everyone enjoyed their time so much, we came back here again this week. We are based out of Wellington, so it’s not too far away. I am excited to be back soon.”
On Friday night, Sophia Ahearn and Diva Z topped the $2,000 Medium Jr/Am Jumper 1.30m-1.35m.
“Diva is the best horse on the planet. She’s a prima-donna, and she’ll remind you every single day, but she will try her heart out for you each and every day too.”
Lauren Schweppe and Cataumet prevailed in the $12,500 Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby.
“I knew Rowan Willis was coming behind me and he’s a jumper rider, so I knew I had to do all of the inside turns and all the high options. My team set mountains for me in the schooling area because the jumps seemed pretty big today, but Cataumet handled it beautifully.”
Josh Dolan scored a hat trick with the $10,000 UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby victory with Shameless.
“It’s amazing to see how much he’s grown up. He’s a special horse. He’s a freaky mover, pretty jumper – he’s got all of it. I think we are going to do a couple more 3’ and 3’3” greens, then build him up to be a first-year horse and aim for some bigger classes here in the winter. Maybe even do the 3’6” Incentive Finals next year. I am excited to see what the future brings.”
Isabel Harbour landed first and third in the $10,000 USHJA National 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby.
“It’s been a really fun Summer Series. Agave has been learning so much and today, I thought both horses were equally on it as I was. They both jumped so well in the first round. I think my nice open canter set me part in the first round. I found the jumps going forward, they didn’t touch anything and were just right there with me the entire time. I loved the haybale fence, it’s not often you see something like that in an indoor.”
Will Simpson & Whoop De Doo claimed the $24,000 C. Jarvis Insurance Welcome Prix victory on Thursday morning.
“Whoop De Doo came in, I made a really nice turn to the front, did the nine steps to the combination, and then my plan with her was the outside step in the seven which she did beautifully in a left to right angle which set me up for the right turn. She was very good there, jumped it very lofty and I really got the green light to take a shot at the vertical. It wasn’t very big. It was on a funny angle, but as good as she was jumping, I knew I could take a risk there. That put me on the ten strides to the last.”
Beth Ford Estey and Kodiak Harbor snagged their second consecutive $3,500 Non Pro Hunter Derby victory on Saturday.
World Equestrian Center – Ocala would like to express our gratitude to all of our exhibitors, spectators, sponsors, visitors and guests for making our 2023 Ocala Summer Series an amazing experience. We look forward to having everyone back soon for the 2023 November & December Show Series!