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    Jenny K ‘Splendid’ in HITS hunter win

    Special to the Horsetrader - March 6th, 2014 - Show & Event News

    THERMAL — Jenny Karazissis of Calabasas is a regular contender in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, and she has clearly lost no ground this year. On Saturday, she took Splendid to the win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix for owner Julia Landmann at HITS Thermal. With top scores of 85.75 and 88, Karazissis bested a field of 35 to win under the lights in the desert.

    “This is a relatively new ride for me and I was very impressed with how well he handled this level of competition,” said Karazissis of the six-year-old gelding that she found for Landmann in Florida this January. “Julia bought him right before the circuit without trying him herself, and that gamble has paid off.”

    Tucker Williams of Houston, Texas, designed the courses for the hunter prix at HITS Thermal and made great use of the expansive Hunter Stadium.

    “We used every inch of the ring and spread the fences out to let them really gallop. The riders really showed up to compete today, which created a very exciting atmosphere,” said Williams who owns and operates CCI Jumps in Texas. Highlighting the course, Williams built a 12 stride bending line across the middle of the ring that gave many riders a chance to shine.

    Karazissis admitted that, despite being young, her mount handled the challenges presented by Williams perfectly. “He was great in this class and also did the High Performance Hunters this week. He stays so level-headed, he’s smart, scopey and very big-strided,” she said.

    Fellow California rider Buddy Brown of Tiburon was third with an 85 and 86 on Cosineval for Leah Rappaport. Tommi Clark of Burbank rounded out the top five on Stephen Borders’ Exemplar after posting an 83 and 87. Only 3.5 points separated second through fifth, making for a competitive second round where the lead changed hands several times.

    As qualifying continues for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, hunter riders are also gearing up for the return of the $50,000 East Meets West Hunter Prix Challenge, which will take place March 14-15. When the innovative class takes the stage, the top hunter riders at HITS Thermal will be pitted against the top hunter riders from HITS Ocala in Florida via simulcast.

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