Callan Solem and Horion De Libersart Capture $25,000 Masters Golf Cars Grand Prix at HITS Ocala
Callan Solem will have two more reasons to smile this holiday season after capturing two of the top three spots during Sunday’s $25,000 Masters Golf Cars Grand Prix at HITS Ocala. Solem piloted Horion De Libersart to victory during the four-horse jump-off and placed third aboard her first mount in the tiebreaker, Essenar Crixus.
“[Horion De Libersart] jumps clear basically every class,” smiled Solem. “He’s such a great horse, and I’m so happy to have him. Essenar Crixus is the same – I’m so happy to have him. They’re both just such solid characters. Any day you get to ride either one of them is always going to be a good day. They’re just such good horses, and it really makes my job easy. I am grateful to Jamie Stryker and Elan Farm to have these horses.”
Tim Hott set the track for Sunday’s highlight event, testing riders during the first round with 13 obstacles, including a vertical-oxer double combination, an oxer-vertical double combination, and a final question with a vertical-vertical double combination followed by a bending line past the gate to the final oxer. Four horses had all the answers and advanced to the short course, which began with a rollback to the first double combination and finished with two tight turns to try and make up speed to the last oxer.
Kirk Webby was the first to return with Kaira VD Middelstede, setting the standard after completing the jump-off in a tidy 39.780 seconds with all the rails intact. Solem was next with Essenar Crixus, but their efforts to beat Webby’s time came at the expense of the penultimate fence for 4 faults in 39.658 seconds. Morgan Ward and Colourful S had the fastest time of the day in 36.812 seconds, but with 8 faults they would earn the fourth-place award. Solem saved the best for last, returning last with Horion De Libersart. Following a precise track, the duo dashed through the timers in a faultless 38.565 seconds to go straight to the top of the leaderboard.