Big Nickel wins big at HITS Ocala
Big Nickel took home circuit champion in the Thoroughbred Jumper division during the 2020 HITS Ocala season with his junior rider Vivienne Heider.
Vivienne purchased Big Nickel in winter 2019 from Jenny Jelen Equestrian, with her family Laurel and Jens Heider of Richmond Hill, GA, and her trainer Ben Merritt of Ocala, Fl.
Competing against professionals and adults alike, Vivi and Nick accumulated the most points over the 9 week circuit to claim the champion title. On top of their recent success at HITS, Vivi and Big Nickel also hold the distinction of currently being ranked Zone 4’s #1 Thoroughbred by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA). This puts them in a very good position to make the National Finals this September in Lexington, KY. The division sponsor for finals is the Take2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program who is offering $20,000.00 in prize money to the top finishers.
"Vivienne and Nickel had a fantastic circuit," Ben the trainer, said. "I am proud with how they have grown as a team. Vivienne has worked extremely hard and taken her role as a rider very seriously. This is evident in both the quality of her riding and results. To see them improve with every week is what a trainer hopes for. These two have a very bright future together.”
Nick absolutely loves his life as a show jumper, and is enjoying living full time in Florida. During his time with Jenny, he competed mostly in eventing, but is clearly meant for the jumper ring.
Jenny could not be happier to have met the Heider family through the sale of Nick. She is so grateful she can continue to be part of his life, and has made some lifelong friends in the process while watching this very special grey horse make dreams come true.