February 19, 2013--Jared Petersen and Hayley Waters both shined as up-and-coming junior riders and are beginning to leave their mark on grand prix competition as well. Petersen and Waters went one-two in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, this weekend. Success at the highest levels runs in their families and the pair seems to be following in the footsteps of their accomplished parents, with Jared the son of Derek Petersen and Hayley the daughter of Chuck Waters, who both competed at the inaugural Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix in 2010.
Petersen, of Archer, Florida, was clear with Titus 2:11 in four grand prix prior to yesterday's win and boasted several strong finishes, including a second place ribbon in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Ocala II. Germany's Martin Otto designed Sunday's track and 35 horse and rider combinations rode the first-round course, but only five returned
for the jump-off.
"When I walked the course, I knew it was going to be perfect for me and my horse - the lines were set up so that we could leave strides out in a lot of places and he [Titus 2:11] has the biggest step of any horse I have ever been on, so we are able to leave them out whenever we need to," said Petersen. He has been riding Titus 2:11, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding, for about a year and a half and has big plans. "I know that he has what it takes for the [Zoetis] Million, I just hope that I can be ready for it," said Petersen with a laugh.
Australian native Scott Keach, now of Ocala, Florida and
Anne Quanbeck's CoCo were the first to compete in the jump-off. Keach and CoCo had just came off a victory Thursday in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, and were on track for back-to-back wins. Unfortunately, Keach went off course, jumping an extra fence, and settled for fifth place. .
David Tromp returned next looking for his first win of the HITS Ocala Winter circuit. Tromp, a New York native now of Morriston, Florida, and Zidane Z, owned by David Tromp Show Stables, Inc. set the early pace with eight faults in 47.23 seconds. Adrienne Iverson of Califon, New Jersey and her own Sweetheart also suffered eight faults, and finished in a time of 48.68 seconds. The pair was fourth.
Petersen and Titus 2:11 produced the only double-clear effort of the day and set the Great American Time To Beat at 45.92 seconds with only Waters left to go.
"I tried as hard as I could to put a little pressure on Hayley because I knew that she could go clean and do it fast," said Petersen.
Waters, a junior rider from Sparr, Florida and her mount Tao Tao 3, owned by Chuck & Dana Waters, unfortunately had a rail come out of the cups at the first fence of the in-and-out. The four-fault round in 50.17 seconds was good enough for second, leaving Petersen's lead intact and bumping Tromp to third.
With young talent prevalent on the HITS Winter Circuits this year, the 2013 Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix may shape up to be a battle that pits grand prix veterans against the sport's rising stars. Qualifying for the richest class in show jumping at HITS Championship Weekend in Saugerties, New York this fall will continue at HITS Ocala and will offer eight more opportunities, including the $100,000 Sullivan GMC Truck Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group March 17.