March 30, 2015--Dorothy Douglas knew what she had to do. She went fourth in the first round, was the first to post a clear round and was the first to return in the six-horse jump-off during the $30,000 Walter Oil & Gas Grand Prix.
"It feels like for those 42 seconds I actually knew what I was doing!" said Douglas, whose winning jump-off time couldn't be caught.
The class was the featured event on March 28 during Week II of the 70th Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, presented by Irish Day Farm.
"I went early in the order, so the good thing about that was your mind doesn’t get muddled with what everyone else is doing," said Douglas. "You walk the course, you do the plan and that’s it. The same thing with the jump-off. I went in first, and Mike [McCormick] said, 'Do this, this and this,' and I did it."
A field of 29 started over Bob Ellis' 13-fence, 15 effort challenging track, and six managed to jump clean to qualify for the tiebreaker.
After posting a clear round in a speedy time of 42.88 seconds with S&L Elite, Douglas waited at the in-gate with trainers McCormick and Tracy Fenney to see where the chips would fall. In the end, Douglas led the victory gallop for her second grand prix win. Colleen Acosta and Diamond placed second, with Matt Cyphert and Lochinvar claiming third.
"For sure, the biggest thing is that it’s all Mike and Tracy," she said. "From what I do in the warm-up with Mike, to what Tracy says at the gate, it’s crazy the amount of information they give you. So you hope just by practice and mistakes, things do fall into place, and they did tonight."
Douglas and S&L Farms' S&L Elite, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood (by Action-Breaker), won their first grand prix at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center last November, so the victory tonight was particularly meaningful.
"I’ve never had a grand prix horse or jumper, and Mike and Tracy are the ones who have given me the opportunity," said Douglas, who has worked for MTM Farms for three years. "Like I said, it’s all Mike and Tracy; that’s why I’m able to do this."
Douglas, 27, of Flower Mound, Texas, traveled to Pin Oak on Tuesday after competing in the Great American $1 million Grand Prix at HITS Ocala (Florida).
"I was 21st in the million. I had two jumps down, but I was so happy," said a tearful Douglas. "I did my first grand prix a year ago, and now I’m doing the million and winning, too. This just doesn’t happen."
Douglas paused and added, "The tears are more because it doesn’t seem real. How did I just do that? You look up to all of these people: a) being in the class with them, and b) keeping the jumps up and riding fast. My problem has been that I don’t know how to do the jump-offs. I have rails, and I’m too slow. So tonight it all fell into place...I love my horse. He’s awesome!"