Ocala, Florida, USA – March 26, 2022 – The 2022 High Child/Adult Jumper division concluded on Saturday at HITS Ocala, with riders gathering at the main Stadium for the division’s final and largest event of the season, the $25,000 Marshall and Sterling Insurance League High Child/Adult Jumper Classic. The field of 50 starters was narrowed down to 12 for the jump-off, where the last to return proved to be the best of the day. Colby Kelly (USA) dashed to victory with Antor Z, beating fellow riders Keara Olson (USA) with Lady Antebellum and Alexandra Carlton (USA) with Cardiograf, who placed second and third, respectively
“This is amazing,” smiled Kelly (USA) after her win. “I planned my entire circuit around this class. I saw it last year and thought it was so cool. It’s an amazing opportunity for the children and the adults to go have fun. It’s so nice that there’s a class that gives this kind of money!”
Marina Azevedo (BRA) challenged riders with a 13-obstacle track for the first round that included three double combinations and concluded with a delicate vertical off of a bending line towards the gate. The 50 original entries were narrowed down to 12 for the jump-off, where riders could opt for a tight rollback after the first two fences before galloping to the first double combination and finishing over the same technical final line of the course.
Olson (USA) and Lady Antebellum (USA) were the fourth duo to return and the first to break the beam in under 30 seconds with all the rails intact, setting the pace to beat for the day. Several rounds later, Carlton tried her hand with Cardiograf, and while she was able to leave all the fences up and finish in under 30 seconds, she was still just a second shy of Olson with a time of 29.818 seconds, which would be good enough for third.
As the final rider to return for the tiebreaker, Kelly (USA) was the last to try and beat Olson’s time. She galloped into the Stadium with Antor Z and never let off the gas, leaving out a stride in the first line and the last line. The risks paid off as they dashed through the timers in a clear 28.777 seconds to claim the biggest check of the season in the High Child/Adult Jumper division.
“My plan for the jump-off was to go have fun,” said Kelly, a Freshman at the University of Miami. “I don’t get to ride that much, so when I do get to ride I just want to go in and have fun. I really trust my horse, so when I saw that we were going clean and we were going pretty fast I just went for the 8 in the last line. He was fantastic – I couldn’t ask him to be any better.
“I’ve owned Antor Z for five years, and he’s done everything for me,” noted Kelly of the 12-year-old Zangersheide gelding. “I got him when he was a 7-year-old, and he’s just been amazing. He’s the love of my life, and I can’t thank him enough!”
The HITS Ocala Championship Week will conclude on Sunday with the week’s main event, the Great American $500,000 Grand Prix, scheduled for 2 pm. The day will kick off with Family Day activities at noon next to the Stadium and the Parade of Champions, honoring all the top finishers for the 2022 HITS Ocala show season. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.HitsShows.com
Final Results – $25,000 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic – High
1) Colby Kelly (USA) & Antor Z
2) Keara Olson (USA) & Lady Antebellum
3) Alexandra Carlton (USA) & Cardiograf
Source: Press Release from Hits Horse Show
Photos: © Rebecca Walton