Michaels-Beerbaum and Malou win the HITS GP
05 03 2013
The $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, won’t be easily forgotten. Fifty-five top horse-and-rider combinations took to Brazilian course designer Marina Azevedo’s course Sunday afternoon and 10 of the most competitive made it to one of the most exciting jump-offs yet this season, with the top four having less than a second to differentiate their time. It was Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany who could not be stopped in her quest to be the best. Riding Octavia Farms’ Malou, Michaels-Beerbaum blazed to victory with two clear rounds and a jump-off time of 39.23 seconds.
The win was all the more sweet in that last week, the pair came within striking distance of blue, placing second in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. Susan Artes came in second with Zamiro with a time of 39.46 seconds and Rich Fellers posted a time of 39.62 seconds on Flexible for third. Fourth-placed Ashlee Bond had a time of 39.93 seconds with Cadett 7, and Saer Coulter and Don VHP Z finished fifth with no faults in a time of 45.82 seconds.
The only starter who made it to the jump-off with two horses, Michaels-Beerbaum was the first in on Bella Donna, owned by Michaels-Beerbaum and EOS Sport, but the duo had two rails down and ultimately landed seventh.
Second in, Simon Nizri of Mexico, and Club Hipico La Silla’s Chela L-S also scattered rails and had one time fault, placing tenth. It was the third pair in for the jump-off, Bond and Cadett 7, that were the first to go clear, setting the Great American Time to Beat. Lane Clarke riding Casseur de Prix, went next, and also had a rail, riding to sixth.
Up next, Michaels-Beerbaum on her second ride, Malou, raised the bar for the four to follow. With Egypt’s Nayel Nassar collecting eight faults on the next ride, it looked like she might remain at the top.
Then came Artes, followed by Fellers, with two very fast trips that thrilled the audience, but left Michaels-Beerbaum’s lead intact.
Heading into week VI of the Desert Circuit, the riders’ top grand prix placings are having an impact on the AIG Thermal $1 Million Preliminary Rider Standings and the big event that will cap the Desert Circuit on the last day of Week VII, March 17, is tantalizingly within sight.
Source:press release from HITS, Inc.