4 May

Beth Underhill Claims $50,000 Ocala Jumping Classic Grand Prix Ocala

first_img Horse Sport Enews Florida – Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON, won the $50,000 Ocala Jumping Classic held Sunday, March 25, at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida. Having enjoyed a successful competition circuit at HITS Ocala that saw her win the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix on February 18 followed by a second place finish in the $100,000 Grand Prix of Ocala on March 18, Underhill made the move over to the Florida Horse Park for the second annual Ocala Jumping Classic, organized and managed by fellow Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes and his family.A total of 34 starters tried their luck over the track set by FEI ‘O’ course designer David Ballard of Canada. Riding eighth out of the starting order, Underhill guided Magdaline to a clear round to assure her place in the jump-off. Eight other riders did the same, making for an exciting tie-breaker. Decorated U.S. Equestrian Team member Debbie Stephens was the first rider back for the jump-off and posted a clear round in a time of 35.65 seconds riding All Star. Underhill followed her into the ring, scorching around the shortened track to stop the timers at 32.37 seconds – more than three full seconds faster than Stephens’ time. Libby McKinney came the closest to catching Underhill, but her time of 33.32 seconds riding Gun du Desfi fell short, leaving her in second position. Two other riders, Sharn Wordley and Colombia’s Roberto Teran, were faster than Underhill by mere fractions of a second, but both paid the price of a fallen rail to finish in fourth and fifth positions respectively. And so Underhill earned her second major Grand Prix victory in as many months, taking home the winner’s cheque of $15,000 in prize money.In addition to their two Grand Prix titles, Underhill and Magdaline won the $15,000 Friday Mini Prix during the first week of competition at HITS Ocala, and finished runner-up in three other Grand Prix classes. For Underhill, her consistent results throughout the Ocala circuit were as rewarding as the wins. “I showed Magdaline during weeks one, three and five of the HITS circuit, and then did the Ocala Jumping Classic at the Florida Horse Park,” said Underhill of horse’s competitive schedule. “I was most pleased with the fact that she was incredibly consistent – the worst result she had over the whole winter was a cheap four faults. As a trainer, you always question if your management has worked in the end, but ‘Maggie’ finished the whole competition circuit feeling fresh and healthy and happy. It is very gratifying when it all comes together.”Underhill has been partnered with Magdaline, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Darryl B. Williams and Associates Inc., for the past eight years and has trained her up to the Grand Prix level.“The horse has really grown into her confidence level as she has grown older,” observed Underhill. “She is confident stepping into the ring and understands what is expected of her. It is fun to watch her, she’s very clever and on Sunday she knew that she had won. I have had her since she was a five-year-old coming six, so it has been nice to be along for the whole ride.”In addition to Magdaline, Underhill showed several other horses on the Ocala show jumping circuit and also oversaw the training of several students. Riding her own Dutch Warmblood mare, Rhiannon, Underhill won three Seven and Eight-Year-Old Young Horse classes during the HITS Ocala circuit and, moving to the Ocala Jumping Classic, placed third in the $5,000 1.40m competition and fifth in Saturday’s $10,000 Derby. Underhill and her students will now enjoy a month training at home before heading down to the HITS Culpeper event in Virginia, followed by stops at some of the biggest show jumping events in North America including the Vermont Summer Festival and Quebec’s International Bromont. A three-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion and veteran of Olympic, World Championship and Pan American Games Teams, Underhill is one of Canada’s most successful show jumping competitors. She is based just outside of Toronto in Schomberg, ON, where she operates Beth Underhill Stables. More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! SIGN UP Email*last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *