California Riding Magazine • March, 2012

Winner's Circle


With a win in Sunday's $53,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix CSI2*W, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, Francie Steinwedell-Carvin gained important qualifying leverage for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and the 2012 FEI World Cup. She and Prentiss Partners' Taunus are pictured here on course in the covered ring at HITS Thermal. Photo © Flying Horse Photography

HITS at the Half Way Point

The first half of the HITS Thermal hunter/jumper circuit came to a close with Duncan McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy's win of the $53,000 HITS Grand Prix, a World Cup qualifier, on Sunday, Feb. 12. Earlier that week, the third of the six-week series, Canadian Jill Henselwood logged her second Thermal Grand Prix win. Jill scored her first victory in week I, while Helen McNaught, Francie Steinwedell Carvin and relative newcomer Josephina Nor Lantzman were other leading ladies in the Grand Prix ring during the circuit's first half.

Both Grand Prix and Hunter riders at HITS Thermal have set their sights on qualifying for the coveted Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final and this year's inaugural $250,000 HITS 3' Hunter Prix Final.

Rich Fellers races through the course aboard Colgan Cruise in Friday's $32,000 Desert Classic, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California. Photo © Flying Horse Photography

Rich Fellers kicked off Grand Prix action at Desert Circuit II and piloted Chapman & Fellers' Colgan Cruise to a win in the first of the circuit's FEI classes, the $32,000 HITS Desert Classic, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Francie Steinwedell-Carvin kept the momentum going with an impressive victory in the 53,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix CSI2*W, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, to welcome the first FEI World Cup qualifier of the season. She guided Prentiss Partners' Taunus to the only faultless round of the day. Fellers and Steinwedell-Carvin each banked a critical early-season qualifier for the third annual Pfizer Million and are well on their way to making an appearance at HITS-on-the-Hudson in the fall.


John Bragg and Stephanie Ray's Castle Hill on their way to winning the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal. Photo © Flying Horse Photography

John Bragg stirred some excitement for the return of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final with a first place finish in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. He and Stephanie Ray's Castle Hill posted a pair of scores in the 90s to take home the blue with ease. Emily Winkler brought the spotlight to amateur riders as she and her own Landmark earned a win in the $1,500 HITS 3' Hunter Prix on Sunday afternoon. The team was the best out of the 26 that showed in one of the first qualifiers for the $250,000 HITS 3' Hunter Prix Final.


Emily Winkler and Landmark on course in the $1,500 HITS 3' Hunter Prix at HITS Thermal. Photo © Flying Horse Photography

Other winners who celebrated blue ribbons in Thermal include Rebecca Fahrendorf who won the Farnam Adult Medal aboard Sarah Draxton's Just Larry. Karl Cook took home the $10,000 Junior/Amatuer-Owner Jumper Clasic High with Signe Ostby's Notories Utopia and Savannah Jenkins earned the USEF Talent Search medal on Karoline Sauls' Orblack.


Steffen Peters and Ravel warm up before successfully defending their World Dressage Masters title in Palm Beach, FL, in late January.
Photo by Cheval Photos.