OCALA, Fla.--Canada’s Francois Lamontagne on Chanel Du Calvaire the $50,000 Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on Sunday, Jan. 22.
In a seven-horse jump-off, Lamontagne won by a full second over second placed Sharn Wordley on Mick Jagger, while Hunter Holloway on Dana De Kerglenn was third.
“I got Chanel Du Calvaire when she was 5 years old, and she’s 15 now, so it’s been a long partnership and I know her by heart,” said Lamontagne. “She’s very competitive; she’s a warrior. She’s careful but brave at the same time. Usually, you get one or the other, but she’s got both. She’s always going to try, and I know what I can ask and where I can save some time compared to other horses.”
Holloway, first to go in the jump-off, finished in 33.910 seconds.
Wordley finished clean in 33.878 seconds, but his lead would only hold for a short time, as Lamontagne finished in 32.919 seconds to win.
“IT WAS beatable, but at the same time, I didn't want to do something stupid today,” said Lamontagne. “It's the first week and the last time we showed was in September, so you never really know!”
Lamontagne traveled from Quebec, Canada to compete at HITS Ocala and was excited to be back in Florida.
“When I come back here for the winter I feel like a kid going back to summer camp to see his friends,” he said. “I like the spirit, the staff, and the people feel like family. Even the competitors – they all want to go for the win, but there's a big respect between all of the riders. I was really excited when I saw the new ring – with all the improvements HITS is fantastic!”
On Friday in the $25,000 Grand Prix, Dorothy Douglas won in a 12-horse jump-off on MTM Caepten while also placing third with MTM Cedrick, and Vicente Guillen on Cornut GP was second.