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Lucy Davis ends breakthrough HITS season with big win

L.A. teen on Nemo 119 in 'surreal' $200,000 grand prix victory

Special to the Horsetrader - April 7th, 2011 - Show & Event News
Lucy Davis and Nemo 119 lead the victory gallop for the March 13th $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini of Newport Beach.

Flying Horse Photos

Lucy Davis and Nemo 119 lead the victory gallop for the March 13th $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini of Newport Beach.

THERMAL — From winning last year’s $25,000 California Horsetrader Junior Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic to taking this year’s richest grand prix on the circuit, Lucy Davis has enjoyed 12 remarkable months.

The 18-year-old Davis, riding Old Oak Farm’s Nemo 119, scored the crown jewel of the 2011 HITS Desert Circuit March 13 when they captured the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert, presented by Lamborghini of Newport Beach.

The Los Angeles rider is making herself a household name in the sport. Her victory marked her fourth grand prix triumph in a row at the HITS Desert Circuit. Earlier in the day, she was awarded the Shallano Style of Riding Award during the Parade of Champions. The prestigious award is presented to the young Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation as modeled by Olympic medalists Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld, and George Morris.

Tony Hitchcock presents Lucy Davis with the 2011 Shalanno Style of Riding Award.

Flying Horse Photos

Tony Hitchcock presents Lucy Davis with the 2011 Shalanno Style of Riding Award.

“I could never believe this in a million years,” Davis said after the class. “I was so happy to just win one grand prix, and I kept thinking that there was no way that this could ever happen. Some of the best riders in the world were competing here today and to come out on top is just surreal.”

Davis thanked her trainers, Gabby Salick, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and Marcus Beerbaum, for her profound success.

“Lucy is an amazing student,” said Salick. “She is a freakishly talented rider, but her best quality is that she is a wonderful person. I am so proud of her.”

In the March 13 “mega-grand prix,” Davis topped 52 starters that challenged a course set by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Munich, Germany. Five pairs advanced to the short course to battle it out for the $60,000 first-place check.

Rich Fellers accepts the 2011 Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider Award aboard Flexible from Tony Hitchcock.

Flying Horse Photos

Rich Fellers accepts the 2011 Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider Award aboard Flexible from Tony Hitchcock.

Setting the tone in the first round was Kirsten Coe (Johnson, S.C.) on Ilan Ferder’s Kilkenny Randall Z to a clear round nine trips into the feature class. Just three trips later, Davis and Nemo 119 showed the large crowd on a sun-kissed afternoon that they had better sit tight because there would be a jump-off. At the end of the first round, Rich Fellers, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and Jill Humphrey joined the list of riders who advanced.

Coe and Kilkenny Randall Z wasted no time setting the pace, coming home clear in 40.56 seconds. Coe, who is originally from California, came back to her roots to get a leg up on qualifying for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix that will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson on Sunday, Sept. 11. At the end of the class, she finished second and, with six of the eight grand prixes needed to become eligible, and she is looking like a lock to earn a spot in the Pfizer Million after scoring $44,000 in prize money.

Hannah Von Heidegger, riding Beckham, owned by HMG Farms, won the 2011 Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship.

Flying Horse Photos

Hannah Von Heidegger, riding Beckham, owned by HMG Farms, won the 2011 Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship.

Two trips later, after dropping a shoe, Davis and Nemo 119 were fast and clean crossing the timers in 38.75 seconds to take the lead and never look back. Davis’s trainer, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and Richard Michaels’, Kismet 50 held the last-to-go spot but failed to snag the victory from her star student with two rails downed to finish fourth.

Taking third place was Rich Fellers (Wilsonville, Ore.) aboard Harry and Mollie Chapman’s Flexible. Earlier in the afternoon, Fellers was named the Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider at HITS Thermal and won a magnificent timepiece courtesy of Catena, USA. During the 2011 HITS Desert Circuit, Fellers won four grand prix events.

Jill Humphrey (Sacramento) and Alicia Jonsson Foster’s Tao Tao 3 finished fifth with 12 faults and a time of 36.86 seconds to round out the top five in the class.

More Results: http://www.hitsshows.com/

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