A whirlwind week of celebrating the Nations Cup in Ocala has come to an end and the entire team at Ocala Horse Properties and our friends at Edge Brewing Barcelona couldn’t be more pleased with each experience.
The week started with a bang at the kick off party at Adena Country Club, which was a huge fundraising success and served to introduced the Nations Cup community to our friends at Horses N Heroes of Marion County.
Activities throughout the week of the Nations Cup included the Adena welcome party as well as several other VIP parties at the HITS showgrounds. Of course the top attraction was the FEI show jumping action starting with the Furusiyya Nations Cup on Friday, followed by the $34,600 HITS Jumper Classic on Saturday and the $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix on Sunday!
There were 8 teams competing in the Nations Cup on Friday, with 4 teams representing the Americas using this event as their qualifier for the Nations Cup Final to be held in Barcelona Spain. In the end, the heavy hitting US team brought their A game, achieving their rightful place on the podium and the #1 spot towards qualifying for finals.
Excerpts from the HITS Press Release:
“The U.S. dream team including Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Todd Minikus, Lauren Hough, and led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, claimed a memorable victory at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSI04*, presented by Edge Brewing Barcelona, at HITS Post Time Farm on Friday, February 19. Not only winning the class and a piece of the $112,900 prize purse, but the U.S. team also secured a spot at the top of the 2016 FEI Nations Cup rankings for the Furusiyya Final in Barcelona later this year.”
The press release also featured an interview with the US team Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, who stated:
“We knew coming in that the competition was going to be tough. We had to bring our best team to be able to have a chance to win. It was definitely stressful and we did it a little bit differently than in the last few years. We had a habit of easing off in the first round, unintentionally, and come back in the second… We did come with our best and we were fortunate to come away with the win. We are fortunate to be where we are today.”
Ridland continued, acknowledging HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri for a superior event in the heart of horse country, “Tom, you and your staff at HITS, and of course the sponsors, did a tremendous job in putting this on. A beautiful course and an incredible crowd on a Friday afternoon, it couldn’t have been better.”
In addition, Amy Agricola, under the leadership of Tom Struzzieri, orchestrated a world class week celebrating international show jumping at HITS Ocala, yet another reason why Ocala Horse Properties is proud to be the Official Preferred Realtor of HITS Ocala!
This past week also gave our team at Ocala Horse Properties the opportunity to showcase our beautiful community to locals and members of the international equestrian scene. Partnering on events of this significance with people like presenting sponsors Kim and Christian Oliver of Edge Brewing Barcelona, is one of the reasons we’re so passionate about our community and our niche in the equestrian marketplace. The Olivers and Edge Brewing Barcelona, were instrumental in organizing many of the functions throughout the past week, and their support of the horse community here in Ocala is why so many people chose to relocate and call this amazing equestrian community home.