Category Archives: HITS

Entries for the USEF National Junior Hunter Championship – East Coast Close Today and Marks the Return of the Event to Saugerties

©Lili Weik Photography. Danielle Cooper and Frank Madden enjoy a moment in the winner's circle after Amalfi and Cooper were named the 2009 Grand Champion.

Saugerties, NY (July 13, 2011) – Junior riders will make an anticipated return to Saugerties, New York this summer to compete in the USEF National Junior Hunter Championship – East Coast. The three-day event will kick off August 1 and entries must be post-marked by today.

Young talent from all corners of the country will meet at the HITS-on-the-Hudson show grounds to compete for almost $50,000 in prize money as well as a chance to earn a wild card spot in the first ever Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, coming to Saugerties this fall. The Champion Rider from each of the four sections of the Junior Hunter Final will be given a Wild Card berth in the inaugural Hunter Prix Final – a chance to compete for a record-breaking $150,000 winner’s purse.

The Championship features competition for Small Juniors 15 and Under, Large Juniors 15 and Under, Small Juniors 16-17, and Large Juniors 16-17 in the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium at HITS-on-the-Hudson.

The Championships will also feature the prestigious USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Equitation Cup Classic. Since its inception, the Hunterdon Cup has grown in importance and has become one of the most coveted titles for junior equitation riders. Equitation classes will consist of the USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal, the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Class and the WIHS Equitation Classic.

HITS will roll out the red carpet for the championships and will treat these up-and-coming equestrian stars VIP treatment with gourmet catering. Giuseppe Napoli, Executive Chef at the new Diamond Mills Hotel scheduled to open in Saugerties this fall, will spearhead the catering efforts.

Continue reading Entries for the USEF National Junior Hunter Championship – East Coast Close Today and Marks the Return of the Event to Saugerties

Kevin Babington and Mark Q Capture the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper

© ESI Photography. Kevin Babington and Mark Q on course in the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix.

CULPEPER, VA (July 11, 2011) — With all new footing in the Grand Prix ring and beautiful weather, the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia, was well suited to highlight the Showday National. Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, could not have asked for much more, as he captured the first place honors aboard his own Mark Q.

Sunday’s course was designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida. Four riders went clean, including standout junior and Grand Prix newcomer Hasbrouck Donovan of Gainesville, Florida. Donovan went third in the order, posting her clear round early aboard her own Delilah. Babington showed sixth in the order and earned the second clear round of the class to secure a jump-off.

“I thought it was a great class,” said Babington. “I really enjoyed this show. Today’s class had a nice turnout, and the new footing was fantastic. We had some rain earlier in the week that gave it a good test and it passed with flying colors.”

Babington, like so many others, has circled the Pfizer Million on his calendar this year. “The Pfizer Million is one of my main goals this year since it’s such a great opportunity to jump for that much prize money. This is a new horse that I didn’t realize would be such a strong contender for the Million but I think we’ll be ready.”

Babington plans to return to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties to help cement his spot in the Pfizer Million lineup. “I will be in Saugerties for three weeks and will hopefully get six qualifiers in then,” he said. “This was my third one so I should be in good shape after Saugerties.”

Continue reading Kevin Babington and Mark Q Capture the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper

Artist Jane Gaston and Lumiere Draw Up a Victory in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

©ESI Photography. Jane Gaston and Lumiere in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Culpeper.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (July 11, 2011) — Two of the leaders in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final Rider Rankings dueled it out in Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix with amateur rider Jane Gaston and her own Lumiere coming out on top to highlight the Showday National at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia.

Gaston, a well known artist, especially in the equine world, entered Saturday’s class ranked third in the current Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Rider Rankings and continues to prove that she is one of the favorites to win it all in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final.

“This horse is just great,” said Gaston of The Plains, Virginia. “He got his start at HITS Culpeper five years ago as a baby and has won both Devoucoux classes so far here this year, so I feel like this is his home.

“But I am looking forward to going to Saugerties! The place is just beautiful. I have been there as a spectator, but I have never shown there,” said Gaston, looking forward to making her debut at HITS-on-the-Hudson this fall.

Gaston has made it clear that qualifying for the Diamond Mills Final is one of her goals this year. “I love the concept of this class. It really levels the playing field because it eliminates things like riders having multiple rides. And yes, I would say we are one of the favorites in the Final – as long as I stay out of his way!”

Continue reading Artist Jane Gaston and Lumiere Draw Up a Victory in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Pfizer Animal Health Presents the First-Ever Culpeper Horse Owners’ Event on July 8!

© ESI Photography. Aaron Vale and Paparazzi 10 won the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS Culpeper in 2010.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 22, 2011) — HITS is proud to announce the debut of the first-ever Culpeper Horse Owners’ Event, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, which will take place at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia on July 8, from 4:30pm – 9pm, during Pfizer Animal Health Weekend. Commonwealth Park is located at 13256 Commonwealth Parkway.

Prior to the start of the event, guests will be able to watch the some of the top High-Performance riders in the country compete in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix, which will take place in the Grand Prix ring on Friday, located directly in front of the HITS Restaurant, where the event will take place.

All show exhibitors, horse owners and horsemen alike from the local and surrounding communities are invited to attend this exciting event, free of charge. The main presentation will be a featured lecture on Strategic Deworming by renowned veterinarian Mark Crisman, DVM, MS, Diplomate, ACVIM, Equine Veterinary Service on behalf of Pfizer Animal Health. Dr. Crisman’s presentation will be followed by a country cook-out featuring all the favorite fixings and a live music performance by the Gold Top County Ramblers. Also, all guests attending the lecture will be eligible to fill out entry forms for some fun give-aways at the end of the evening.

The Culpeper Horse Owners’ Event will be a great opportunity to learn about new innovative strategies to maintaining the overall health and care of your horses. In an effort to promote this inaugural event, the Culpeper Horse Owners’ Association has expressed their deepest support and admiration. “As an organization dedicated to the promotion of the horse industry in Culpeper, we are really excited that HITS and Pfizer Animal Health are putting on the Culpeper Horse Owners’ Event and inviting the surrounding horse community,” said Gardiner Mulford, President of the Culpeper Horse Owners’ Association (CHOA). “What a great opportunity to get to the show, watch exciting show jumping, learn from an expert in the field of equine health and enjoy the company of fellow horsemen and horsewomen while listening to great music at the country cook out.” He continued, “We are delighted that HITS and Pfizer Animal Health have invited the Culpeper community and CHOA to this event. We are looking forward to it!”

Continue reading Pfizer Animal Health Presents the First-Ever Culpeper Horse Owners’ Event on July 8!

Olympians Clinch Grand Prix Wins, Local Families Enjoy HITS-on-the-Hudson, and Devoucoux Hunter Prix Riders Gain Momentum as the Race to Pfizer Million Weekend Continues

© ESI Photography. Patricia Griffith on course with Lexi Maounis' Platinum in Saturday's $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

SAUGERTIES, NY (June 17, 2011) — The HITS-on-the-Hudson show grounds in Saugerties, New York were bustling for three weeks straight as entries poured in, barns were at capacity and the weather cooperated for a successful spring show series – a momentum that should transition to HITS Culpeper at Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia July 6-17.

Grand Prix classes welcome Olympic medalists
Olympic riders proved why they have medals in their trophy cases, winning four out of the six Grand Prix classes offered during the three weeks of competition. McLain Ward of Brewster, New York rode to victory three times in the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium, capturing Grand Prix purses of $25,000, $50,000 and $75,000. Margie Engle of West Palm Beach, Florida, lauded as the winningest female rider in the world, started her time in Saugerties off on the right foot by winning the $10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome. She went on to win the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, during week II.

Joining the ranks of Ward and Engle was Danielle Torano of Southwest Ranches, Florida, who kicked off the spring Grand Prix circuit with a win in the first $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, during week I. Also making his mark on the high-performance world was Hector Florentino of the Dominican Republic, who made his HITS Saugerties debut in style with a win in the $100,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, during the final hours of competition in week III.

Continue reading Olympians Clinch Grand Prix Wins, Local Families Enjoy HITS-on-the-Hudson, and Devoucoux Hunter Prix Riders Gain Momentum as the Race to Pfizer Million Weekend Continues

Patricia Griffith Dominates the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix to Highlight the Hunters at HITS-on-the-Hudson III in Saugerties, New York

© ESI Photography. Patricia Griffith on course with Lexi Maounis' Platinum in Saturday's $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 12, 2011) — Patricia Griffith made the most of her time at HITS-on-the-Hudson this week when she took first and second place against a field of 61 starters in Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. She finished first aboard Platinum and second aboard Sienna, both owned by Lexi Maounis.

“I thought it was a perfect course,” said Griffith of Katonah, New York, who is a professional at Heritage Farm. “Rian [Beals] did a great job with the course. It had a perfect mix of single and bending lines that all rode very nicely.”

Griffith had two horses in the second round, which saw the top 12 with the highest scores from the first round return. She showed first aboard Sienna and took over the lead, previously held by Jenny Fischer and Stormy Good’s Freedom’s Storm. Fischer and Freedom’s Storm, the winners of last week’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, finished third in the ribbons this week.

“After I showed Sienna I thought my score would be really hard to beat,” Griffith explained. “I was surprised when I returned again last on Platinum that I was able to beat my own score. This horse has been fantastic though and I’m very proud of the win.”

Continue reading Patricia Griffith Dominates the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix to Highlight the Hunters at HITS-on-the-Hudson III in Saugerties, New York

Margie Engle Returns to HITS Saugerties and Captures the $10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome and $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

© ESI Photography. Margie Engle and Ashland Farms' Lord Spezi on course in Friday's $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 11, 2011) — Margie Engle made a triumphant return to HITS Saugerties this week and reignited her winning streak in the Strongid C 2X Stadium when she captured both the $10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome on Wednesday and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard Ashland Farms’ Lord Spezi on Friday.

On Wednesday, Engle of West Palm Beach, Florida and Lord Spezi beat out 38 starters in the Brook Ledge Open Welcome, with Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Florida and Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables Inc.’s Sweetheart in second, followed by Richard Moloney of Wellington, Florida with Equinimity LLC’s Alsvid in third.

In Friday’s feature class, Engle, Minikus and Moloney were at it again as three of 42 starters on a course designed by International Course Designer Olaf Petersen Jr. of Muenchen, Germany. After the first round, ten horse-and-rider combinations returned to navigate the short course in an exciting jump-off.

Nicholas Dello Joio of Wellington, Florida returned first in the jump-off aboard his own Geledimar and set the Great American Time to Beat at 41.479 seconds. Dello Joio was joined in the jump-off by his father, Norman Dello Joio aboard Thelma Romero-Cloud’s Notre Star De La Nutria. Father and son finished third and fourth, respectively.

Continue reading Margie Engle Returns to HITS Saugerties and Captures the $10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome and $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

HITS-on-the-Hudson Invites Local Children to Annual Purina Mills Kids Day

$100,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, brings riders one step closer to famed Pfizer $1 Million

© HITS Staff. Whoopsy Daisy the Clown participating in last year's horseless horse show with a young visitor.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 7, 2011) — Kids of all ages are welcome at HITS-on-the-Hudson’s annual Kids Day, sponsored by Purina Mills, Sunday, June 12, 2011. The HITS horse show grounds on Washington Avenue Extension in Saugerties, New York will transform into a fiesta of sorts from noon to 2 p.m. where the youngest of visitors will be the guests of honor.

One of the more popular events at HITS-on-the-Hudson, Purina Mills Kids Day welcomes visitors to the grounds to enjoy family-friendly activities including pony rides by Vertical Limit Stables of Saugerties, an appearance by Whoopsy Daisy the Clown, autograph sessions with acclaimed Grand Prix equestrians, arts and crafts, and much more.

The Horseless Horseshow, sponsored by Beval Saddlery, is a returning crowd favorite and will encourage visiting children to get into the spirit of the show and showcase their riding skills. No horse? No problem – competitors will go it alone in this horse show and the top three competitors will receive prizes.

Continue reading HITS-on-the-Hudson Invites Local Children to Annual Purina Mills Kids Day

Sunday’s $75,000 Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties Hands McLain Ward His Third Grand Prix Victory in a Row

© ESI Photography. McLain Ward and Oh' D Eole on course in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 6, 2011) — McLain Ward, aboard Oh’ D Eole, has taken HITS-on-the-Hudson by storm, capturing Sunday’s $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and earning his third consecutive Grand Prix victory. Ward also clinched the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson I on his own Oh’ D Eole last Sunday, and Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix aboard Blue Chip Bloodstock’s Domino.

The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist of Brewster, New York, outshined 28 starters on Sunday’s course designed by Danny Foster of Canada.

“It’s been incredible. [Oh’ D Eole] is really gaining a lot of momentum in the Grand Prix ring and this circuit has been great for us so far,” said Ward. “Danny [Foster] has always been consistent with building good courses and proved that again today with a really nice track.”

Foster’s first-round course proved difficult as nearly half the 28-entry class fell victim to his double and triple combinations. The course did not see a clear round until the eighth go, when Ward posted a time of 87.380 seconds – 4.619 seconds faster than the time allowed. Overall, the course only produced three clear rounds. Isabelle LaPierre of Breakeyville, Quebec, Canada in the irons of La Chaudiere Farm’s Vicki Vale joined Ward and posted the second clear round after 13 unsuccessful trips. Darragh Kerins of Wellington, Florida on Miranda Fischer’s Hot Wheels joined Ward and LaPierre in the jump-off after posting the third and final clear ride in the first round.

Continue reading Sunday’s $75,000 Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties Hands McLain Ward His Third Grand Prix Victory in a Row

Jenny Fischer and Freedom’s Storm Beat Out 70 Starters to Capture the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Saugerties

© ESI Photography. Jenny Fischer and Freedom's Storm on course in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Saugerties.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 5, 2011) — For the second week in a row the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix has been the top draw on the schedule at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York, proving once again that the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final has ignited a new level of excitement in the sport of hunters. A record high of 70 starters competed in Saturday’s feature class for hunters with Jenny Fischer of Montgomery, New York taking top honors aboard Stormy Good’s Freedom’s Storm.

“I still need a few more Devoucoux classes before I’m eligible to be on the point list,” said Fischer, who now has two of the five classes needed to become eligible for the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final. “Winning today’s class with so many in it is a huge step in the right direction. HITS Saugerties is basically my home this spring and summer, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to qualify to compete for $500,000.”

Ten show rings were in action yesterday, as picture-perfect weather had exhibitors out competing in full force. Rian Beals of Saugerties, New York set a stunning course for the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix which, in addition to drawing record entries, also drew a large crowd of spectators.

Continue reading Jenny Fischer and Freedom’s Storm Beat Out 70 Starters to Capture the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Saugerties