Hunter Holloway and Pepita Con Spita Kick off the Season with a Grand Prix Victory
Hunter Holloway and Pepita Con Spita won the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix in Ocala to kick off the 2021 season. PC ESI Photography
It was déjà vu for Hunter Holloway as she clinched the top honors in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, kicking off the 2021 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit on a high note. Holloway, the youngest rider in the Grand Prix, won this same class last year with her mother's Grand Prix Horse, LUCKY STRIKE. As Hunter reminisced, she shared how exciting it was to win the first Grand Prix of the season aboard PEPITA CON SPITA, owned by Hays Investment Corp.
"This mare [Pepita] is awesome! She was imported about a year and a half ago by Hays Investment Corp. This is so exciting because last year we were just getting experience on her and getting miles, but now this year she's really ready to come in and win it so you get to go for it," said Holloway.
Holloway showed 'Pepita' at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit last year and explained that she was a bit more conservative to be sure to keep her confident and brave. "She's such a careful horse and a quick horse so you really want to take your time with those types," Holloway explained.
Seven jumped clean in the first round with Holloway being the first to return - generally, a tough spot to be on a young horse with many Grand Prix veterans to follow.Hunter set the pace, marking a quick time of 30.301 and holding on to the first position through the remaining jump-off rounds.
"For me, my plan never really changes too much, especially with a horse like her and at this point in her career where she is so quick and careful," Holloway said as she recapped her jump-off.
"Every time you go in that position, you're lucky because you can just go for it. It's not like she's a little young, like last year, where we were taking our time. This year it didn't matter if we went first, or last or in the middle because we were going to go for it either way."
The future is bright for the young mare and Holloway was excited to share that they have also just imported her [Pepita's] daughter and is really looking forward to seeing her come along. Watch for Holloway in upcoming competition at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.
"I'm really looking forward to the rest of the Circuit!" Holloway added. "We're like one big family and that's probably my favorite part about showing here."
2nd Place: Lamontagne & CHANEL DU CALVAIRE [30.747]
3rd Place: Dorothy Douglas & MTM FIONA 621 [32.407]