Sloane Coles and Autumn Rhythm claimed the first $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Culpeper, April 22, with scores of 85 and 84 to total 169.
“It was a nice class,” said Coles. “Autumn Rhythm, my second-year horse, performed beautifully. He did everything he was asked.”
In the first round, going third-to-last, Coles and the 9-year-old gelding, owned by Nilani Trent, handily earned the top score.
Coles and Autumn Rhythm returned last in the second round, earning a score of 84, which was not the top score of the round—that went to third-placed finisher Winn Alden and Spirit, owned by E.S. Equine Broker LLC, who earned an 85—but Coles and Autumn Rhythm’s combined total was enough to place them first. Alden and Spirit had a score of 80 in the first round, for a two-round total of 165.
Second-placed finisher Jeffrey Ayers and Romantik, owned by Nina Leopold, received scores of 83 and 82.5 to total 165.5.
Coles continued, “There were some nice bending lines. A normal, nice hunter course with some extra fences. It was well presented.”
The Devoucoux Hunter Prix is a qualifier for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final at the HITS Championship, September 2-6 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
Coles’ goal is to qualify Autumn Rhythm for the Final. “I’m working on my schedule so I can get qualified,” she said.