Wayne, Illinois, USA – May 21, 2022 – Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) is on a streak with no signs of slowing down. After winning the first week’s $25,000 Hits Grand Prix at Hits Chicago with Sovereign, she returned this Saturday with her winning mount from the Great American $300,000 Grand Prix, Ivaro N, and took home the top prize after holding the lead from start to finish. Not to be outdone by his barn mate, Sovereign took home third with Smolen, while Katie Leverick and Hardy slid into the second-place position.
After taking his 8-year-old year off due to Smolen’s pregnancy, Ivaro N stepped into his own in 2022 and continued his streak into 2023 for owner Barbara Disko. “Last year was amazing and then he has been amazing this year too,” expressed Smolen after her win. “He kept the streak rolling over the winter. He did very well in a lot of those Sunday $100,000 Grand Prix classes at Hits Ocala. He’s been nothing but incredible. I think giving him that little bit of time as an 8-year-old was really great for him.”
Hector Loyola (PUR) built a technical track for Saturday’s main event with an oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination as well as a liverpool vertical as the final fence. Four advanced to the jump-off, where a new vertical-oxer double combination was introduced after the first tight rollback. It concluded with a long gallop to the final fences as riders raced home.
As the pathfinders during the first round, Lisa Goldman Smolen (USA) and Ivaro N were the first to return for the tiebreaker. They set an unbeatable pace, leaving all the fences intact and clearing the course in a very speedy 37.446 seconds.
Katie Leverick (USA) was next to return on Hardy and was hot on Smolen’s heels, also leaving all the fences up but clocking in just a second slower in 38.399 seconds, which would hold up for second place. Stephen Foran and Idool followed Leverick, but after a rail at the second fence their 4-fault effort in 40.371 seconds would eventually claim fourth place.
Smolen’s final mount of the afternoon, Sovereign, also lowered the height of the second obstacle to incur 4 penalty-points in a time of 37.694 seconds for third place, sealing Ivaro N’s victory.
“The course had a couple of really technical elements,” noted Smolen. “Two of the three that I had in it are very, very experienced horses, so I’m to work with it because I’ve had such a long partnership with them. Ivaro N does tend to be a little bit spooky, and he did look at that combination, but he was brave enough. It was a fun course!”
Smolen concluded, “It’s a beautiful facility and it’s home stomping grounds for me. I get to go home every night and be with my family. It’s pretty wonderful to be back here. Hits Chicago is an amazing home base for us.”
One more week of show jumping action remains at Lamplight Equestrian Center for the Lamplight Spring Classic, part of the Hits Chicago Series. Next week’s competition will feature the $10,000 Hits Open Jumper Prix, the $5,000 HITS Jumper Classic, and the $2,500 Vita Flex Open Welcome.
Final Results – $25,000 Hits Grand Prix
1) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Ivaro N – 0 / 0 – 37.446
2) Katie Leverick (USA) & Hardy – 0 / 0 – 38.399
3) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Sovereign – 0 / 4 – 37.694
Source: Press Release from Hits Horse Show
Photos: © Alison Hartwell Photography / Rebecca Walton
Categories: Hits Horse Shows