Ocala, FL – The final week of the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series was unforgettable! Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple opened the week with their third $24,000 C. Jarvis Insurance Welcome Prix victory. A trio of top athletes including Samantha Schaefer riding In the Know, Dorothy Douglas riding MTM Exceptional and Augusta Iwasaki riding Small Moments secured $75,000 Hunter Derby victories. Dreams came true for Geronimo Marcello Viana Ciavaglia (BRA) and HST Cartouche in the $250,000 MARS Equestrian Grand Prix. Read on for additional highlights of a memorable week!
18-year-old Ansgar Holtgers Jr. (USA) captured the $15,000 Taylor Harris Insurance Services 1.45m Jumper Classic victory aboard Gut Einhaus, LLC’s Chanyon (Chacco-blue x Lisanna) and galloped away with the champion title.
“A lot of people have said this to me, and I’ve said it to a lot of people – the jumps out there, especially last night, it feels like you’re competing at a World Championship. The atmosphere is always incredible and last night it was electric. Even today, it was hot, but people still came out to watch. I think it’s incredible to have this facility and see so many people enjoying the sport.”
In the $250,000 MARS Equestrian Grand Prix only five combinations advanced to the jump-off and in the end, it was Geronimo Marcello Viana Ciavaglia (BRA) and HST Cartouche (Carthoes B Z x ADC Chantilly Z) owned by Arnoldo Wald Filho who earned sweet victory.
“I have had a dream to come to Ocala since I was 17. I had a good friend visit Disney many years ago and told me he went to the small city called Ocala, and since then it was a dream to come here. This is my second time in America, I came three years ago to Wellington, but always wanted to come here. I have never seen anything like this. If you love horses, you have to come here. It’s incredible for the horses and riders. The courses have been spectacular. I am going back to Brazil a better rider and for sure coming back for the summer circuit. I love this and learned so much.”
Olympic Gold Medalist William Simpson (USA) snagged the win with the fastest time in the $15,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix aboard Quentin VA (Quarz x Trixie) owned by Two Socks Farm LLC.
“He felt right at home out there. I was looking at the other jumps that were already set to go for the grand prix tonight and I was thinking, that’s where he belongs,” shared Simpson. “I love it when they have a special occasion like this weekend. The atmosphere here is always electric and so much thought goes into the courses.”
On Friday afternoon, 26 top-level horse-and-rider combinations competed over Kevin Holowack’s (CAN) $15,000 1.40m Jumper Classic tracks. Tracy Fenney secured her second victory of the week aboard MTM Peanut (Capistrano x Radunar) owned by MTM Farm.
Samantha Schaefer and her longtime partner In The Know (Arkansas x Cavelle) owned by Madeline Schaefer bested the field in the $75,000 Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby after the pair navigated two foot-perfect rounds for a pair of scores in the 90s.
“I always say you have to play into his personality. If you took the fun out of it for him, he wouldn’t be the horse he is for us. He’s spoiled rotten. He runs the show and he has no apologies. Seven years is a long time and I think my team, his farriers, vets and our managers have done an incredible job of keeping him going. I want him to go on forever.”
Dorothy Douglas and Abigail Davenport’s MTM Exceptional (Casall Ask x Rheinsberg) earned a pair of superior scores in the $75,000 UF Veterinary Hospital 3’ Open Hunter Derby to take the win.
“I just relied on the fact that he’s an amazing jumper and knows his job. He’s done about 100 of these classes, so he knows the drill. I just focused on being smooth and having a nice round and trusted that the judges would reward it.”
Augusta Iwasaki and Small Moments (Cascadello I x Alcina) took home the lion’s share of the prize money in the $75,000 WEC Ocala 3’ Jr/Am Hunter Derby.
“I stuck with one plan for each horse. Gallop forward to the first jump, I think that always looks good and sets the tone for the rest of the track. Then I tried to be really tidy and smooth the rest of the way.”
Tracy Fenney (USA) secured her third $24,000 C. Jarvis Insurance Welcome Prix victory during the 12-week circuit aboard crowd favorite, MTM Apple (Favorit Ask x Kong’s Whopsie).
“I watched Cian O’Connor go before me and he tried to do seven to the last, and I thought eight was hard enough. I actually think I ended up doing nine with Apple, but I was quick everywhere else. The goal was to have enough horse for Saturday night.”
Adele Dewar and Elvenstar Ping Pong captured the $2,000 WEC Ocala Pony Hunter Derby, best 22 other competitors.
Lucy Massucci and MTM Cocktail snagged the $10,000 WEC Ocala 2’6” Junior Non Pro Hunter Derby, while Chelsea Kasper and Miss Mo were victorious in the $10,000 WEC Ocala 2’6” Amateur Non Pro Hunter Derby.
Congratulations to all competitors on a wonderful 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series! We hope to see everyone back soon for the 2023 Ocala Summer Series.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.
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