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HITS Thermal ends; Doddridge is Hunter Circuit Champion

Rising star is 1st, 2nd in first adult-am season

From Horsetrader staff reports - April 1st, 2010 - Show & Event News

Melissa Doddridge, who rides under trainer Tracy Baer in Huntington Beach, claimed the 2010 HITS Desert Champion Hunter title on Bentley.

Flying Horse photo

Melissa Doddridge, who rides under trainer Tracy Baer in Huntington Beach, claimed the 2010 HITS Desert Champion Hunter title on Bentley.

THERMAL – Canadian grand prix jumper riders made headlines throughout the HITS Desert Circuit this winter, but in the end, joining them in the show’s Parade Of Champions was a California teen-ager who rose to the top of the hunter competition.

Doddridge went head-to-head against seasoned rider John French in the weekly $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derbies, and on Sunday, March 14, Doddridge catapulted ahead of French in overall prize money when she piloted three horses to ribbons in the feature class for hunters.

The Tustin rider took the blue ribbon aboard Best Man, the red on Delux, and she also grabbed sixth place on Bentley en route to pushing her total winnings in the popular two-round Derby to more than $16,000. Doddridge’s “Super Sunday” earned her the HITS Desert Classic Circuit Champion with Bentley and the Reserve Champion with Best Man.

“Over the past year, her riding has become consistent and the horses have become consistent, too,” said her trainer, Tracy Baer of Windsong Farm in Huntington Beach. “She has just really gotten to know each horse, and just really mastered the ride on each horse.”

John Anderson… Catena Leading GP Rider Award

Flying Horse photo

John Anderson… Catena Leading GP Rider Award

Baer says Doddridge, who will compete at upcoming Blenheim Equisports events, has a calm demeanor and a determination to ride well.

“She doesn’t get overly nervous< Baer said. “She wants to win, but she mostly wants to ride her horses well. If she comes out of the ring and she thinks she didn’t ride well, she’s really mad at herself – whether she wins or loses. “That’s why she’s become so good,” the trainer adds. “You see a lot of these kids that just aren’t like that –- they blame the horse, they blame the trainer, they blame whoever. She’s very accountable. That is a good trait to have, and it helps make her a winner.” French did his share of winning as well, collecting more than $15,000 in prize money during the circuit in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derbies, including three victories on a trio of different mounts. New this year, the Devoucoux Hunter Derby has been a featured event at both the HITS Desert Circuit and the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Ocala, Fla., and represents the 13th division to count for points in the Marshall & Sterling League. [caption id="attachment_3338" align="alignright" width="170" caption="Theodore Boris…Potcreek Meadow Farm Jr. Sportsmanship Award"]Theodore Boris…Potcreek Meadow Farm Jr. Sportsmanship Award

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The final Sunday at the HITS Desert Circuit featured presentation of the Antarès Grand Circuit Champion Awards, held during a Parade of Champions in the Grand Prix ring before the start of the $300,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.

Lucy Davis and her gelding, True Love, woon the $25,000 California Horsetrader Junior Amateur-owner Jumper High Classic on March 14. The win earned the pair $7,500.

Flying Horse photo

Lucy Davis and her gelding, True Love, woon the $25,000 California Horsetrader Junior Amateur-owner Jumper High Classic on March 14. The win earned the pair $7,500.

Keying the Parade of Champions was presentation of perpetual trophies awarded to the top exhibitors for accomplishments during the six-week circuit, including Theodore Boris, who won The Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsman Award.

“When I asked the starters at the back gates for their opinions, it was a unanimous decision,” said Cara Anthony, of Potcreek Meadow Farm. “Boris is a great kid who always has a smile on his face.”

Lucy Davis of Los Angeles and her 14-year-old gelding, True Love, won the $25,000 California Horsetrader Junior Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic, earning $7,500. In addition to her victory on “Lovey,” Lucy took third place on Nemo 119, earning another $3,250.

Second place went to Paris Sellon on Orlando LA, earning $5,500.

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