Category Archives: HITS

Horseshows In The Sun

Competition Continues during Week II at HITS Ocala

(C) ESI Photography. Tracy Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis

Ocala, FL (January 28, 2017): The second week of horse shows at HITS Post Time farm is in full swing and riders and horses are hunting for the win in all of the classes the Ocala Winter Circuit has to offer. On Wednesday and Thursday, riders tested their skills in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, but only one pair could go home with the win in each class.

$5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome

David Jennings and Carmina, owned by Woodrun, took home the first, featured win of Week II with a victory in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome. It was a competitive jump-off, with 12 exhibitors scoring double-clear rounds, leaving the winning round all up to speed.

Jennings and Carmina captured the win with a clear jump-off in 41.157. Following behind in second place was Emanuel Andrade aboard Inne Van De Plantaan. They clocked in exactly .01 seconds behind Jennings in 41.167. Andrade would also garner fifth place aboard U.

Harold Chopping and Basje, owned by Kendra Bullington, were third in the ribbons with a clear round in 42.392 seconds. Fourth place was Francois Lamontagne piloting Chanel Du Calvaire with a clear round in 42.958 seconds.

Tracy Fenney Wins $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix

The popular SmartPak Grand Prix proved to be a very challenging class for the 36 horses and riders that were in attendance, and everyone was hunting for a slice of the prize.

Course designer Tim Hott of Cummings, Iowa designed a terrific course of 15 jumping efforts for Thursday’s Grand Prix, but only one would go home victorious – and that was Flower Mound, Texas equestrian Tracy Fenney aboard her winning mount MTM Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm.

In a 10-horse jump-off, they powered to the finish to win the class with a 39.621-second jump-off round to follow their successful showing in last Sunday’s $50,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix where they placed third.

Manuel Torres and Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro, placed second among their peers, stopping the clock in 41.886 with all of the rails up. Third place was Kyle Timm riding Can Fly 12, owned by Apex Equestrian Center. They flew passed the timers in 43.031.

Isabelle Lapierre captured fourth place in the standings with her mare, Cesha M, and rounding out the top five was Juan Manuel Gallego riding Coulash Van De Broy Z.

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The 2017 FEI Nations Cup CSIO-4* at HITS Ocala Is Drawing Near

(C) ESI Photography.

Ocala, FL (January 5, 2017): HITS, Inc. is pleased to officially announce that the Ocala Winter Circuit will once again play host to the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO-4* for the third consecutive year. The inclusive show schedule will continue to give additional opportunities to National and International competitors during February 14-19, 2017, the fifth week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26.

“We are honored to host the Nations Cup for the third straight year,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “It truly speaks for the quality of the event in Ocala for the past two years. We are very excited to have the support of the community to further evolve the event for spectators and teams alike in the Horse Capital of the World.”

Ocala Main Street, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) are coordinating “Jump Downtown” — a special event featuring the Annual Parade of Nations Horse Celebration on the Downtown Square in Ocala on Wednesday, February 15th at 6 PM.

The Parade of Nations will honor and welcome this year’s teams and equestrians from around the world that are in Ocala to compete in the extremely prestigious Nations Cup, and showcase many of the breeds that make Ocala the Horse Capital of the World. Sponsored by the City of Ocala, this family-friendly event is free and open to the public, making it a can’t-miss opportunity to cheer on world-class athletes and enjoy the equine side of the community.

“With loyal support from Marion County and the City of Ocala, in addition to Ocala Main Street, IHMS and the CEP, HITS will once again welcome show jumping’s biggest players to Ocala to exemplify our continued commitment to growing the sport for exhibitors and spectators alike,” continued Struzzieri.

The Nations Cup Jumping series is equestrian sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge, with national teams from around the globe competing for one of the most coveted prizes in this Olympic-level discipline.

Last year, the 2016 Nations Cup at HITS Ocala garnered over 5,000 on-site spectators, as well as an unprecedented figure of national and international media attention. The 2015 event was ranked as the second highest in national and international media interest for its overall division in the official 2015 FEI Nations Cup™ Media Report.

“Now, with two years of experience, we can continue to make Nations Cup Week an extraordinarily special week for both the exhibitor and the loyal spectators of Marion County,” continued Struzzieri.  “They say the third time’s the charm – and we are certain the 2017 event will live up to the expectation of excellence that HITS is recognized for.”

Throughout the Nations Cup Week at HITS Post Time Farm, HITS will offer an upgraded hospitality experience in the Overlook VIP Club featuring ringside seating, as well as beer and wine service and the culinary art of Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli of The Tavern at Diamond Mills in Saugerties, New York. VIP tables are expected to sell out and reservations are encouraged.

For Overlook VIP Club information and bookings, contact Chris Mayone at Chris@HitsShows.com. Day VIP will also be available for purchase which includes reserved, ringside seating, lunch with beer and wine service. To purchase Day VIP, please contact HITS at 845-246-8833.

The Ocala Winter Circuit runs for 10 weeks, January 17 – March 26. A total of two FEI events will be held, including the Nations Cup, from February 7 – March 5. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26. The Circuit culminates with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 26. For the complete schedule, please click here.

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Andrew Kocher Dominates in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix and $10,000 Open Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Andrew Kocher and USA Today.

Ocala, FL (December 19, 2016): As the curtain closed on the two-week HITS Holiday Series at HITS Post Time Farm, riders gathered to compete in the finale of the series, the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.

The rider to beat would be Andy Kocher of Lake St. Louis, Missouri riding USA Today, owned by MKO Equestrian. Kocher won the $10,000 Open Prix the day prior to Sunday’s class, as well as the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in the first week of the series, along with several other top five prizes.

“I really like the Holiday Series; it’s a great few weeks to practice and get the horses out there, and the prize money is great for even the smaller weeks,” said Kocher. “I thought Ken Krome did a good job all week in designing the courses. He put the jumps in the right spots and utilized the ring well to challenge some rails here and there, but he had a nice number clean in the jump-offs.”

Eight horses and riders would advance over the first round course, designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland, to vie for the win in the jump-off – where half of the lot would gain clear rounds again.

“This was my first show with USA Today; he’s a really great horse and is a seasoned competitor,” said Kocher. “He’s very experienced and has shown all over the world. I had just sold what was my best horse in the last year or so, so last week I was bummed out, but we brought out our new horses and had a great week, so I’ve changed my outlook for the upcoming winter.”

The first to compete over the shortened course was Christina Kelly of Aiken, South Carolina and The Kingdom, owned by Andrea O’Brien. They flew through the course, laying down a solid, clear round in 37.266 to set the tone for the remaining field. When the class was finished, they would take home the second-place prize.

Next to garner a clear round as the third trip in the jump-off were the victors, Kocher and USA Today. They shaved a full two seconds off of Kelly’s time to move up the leaderboard with a time of 35.070, where the lead would remain.

“The jump-off was fast, and not knowing this horse as well, I just sent him quick to really see what he had in him,” said Kocher. “After seeing Christina go, and she rode really well, I saw her horse had more jump ability then mine but I thought I could be quicker across the ground, so I went for it from the wire to the first jump.”

Ontario equestrian Kim Farlinger entered fifth in the jump-off order to give the crowd another clean round. She piloted Charming Force B, owned by Kim Farlinger Stables Ltd., through the timers in 38.563, a round that would settle them into third place.

Matthias Hollberg, riding out of Middleburg, Virginia, was the final rider in the jump-off and the last to snag a clear round. Hollberg rode Aletta, owned by Hollberg Equestrian, to the finish clocking in at 39.363, just a second shy of Farlinger for fourth place.

The final five rounded out with Margie Engle and Indigo, owned by Gladewinds Farm, Inc. Coming off a victory in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, the two were prepped for success, but a heart-breaking rail at the final fence of the jump-off settled them in fifth in 35.797.

$10,000 Open Prix at HITS Holiday Series

Andy Kocher and Coconut, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC, have been inching their way up the placings over the two-week Holiday Series, and on Saturday, they pulled off the win. Kocher would also grab two more places in the ribbons, fifth and ninth.

“I really like this class and it’s nice if you have a young horse that’s just not quite ready for the Grand Prix,” said Kocher. “Coconut is an eight-year-old that I’ve been producing since he was about six; last year I wasn’t sure if he could be a Grand Prix horse but now I’m thinking he has the potential. He knows where his legs are and is just a very honest horse.”

In a four horse jump-off where all of the trips were clear, Kocher and Coconut sealed the victory as the quickest and most agile team by three full seconds.

First to contend the shortened course was hometown equestrian, Aaron Vale and Stakko, owned by Thinkslikeahorse. They put down a clean trip in 40.260 to set the tone for their peers, ultimately giving them the third-place prize.

Jennifer Jones of Marion, South Carolina followed Vale with Benedetto, owned by Andy Kocher. They shaved two seconds off Vale’s time, stopping the clock with all of the rails up in 38.083, eventually earning them second place.

The rounds kept getting quicker as Kocher entered the ring with Coconut. They zoomed through the course to finish in a lightning-fast 35.254.

The final contenders in the jump-off were Florida equestrian Hayley Waters and Uppie de Lis, owned by Chuck Waters. They mastered the course with all of the rails up, but were not quite fast enough to conquer the trips before them, clocking in at 42.856 for fourth.

Fifth place belonged to Kocher and Carlos, owned by Andrew Kocher & MCM Farm. They were foiled by one mere time fault in the first round.  Kocher also finished in ninth place with E Pleasure, owned by Angelo Danza.

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Holiday Series II Kicks Off with $2,500 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome

(C) ESI Photography. Derek Petersen and Redeemed.

Ocala, FL (December 16, 2015): The Ocala Holiday Classic kicked off as the second week of the HITS Holiday Series. Equestrians returned to HITS Post Time Farm for another week of competition after a brief hiatus to dine, play and explore the city of Ocala, Florida.

Derek Petersen of Archer, Florida walked away with the blue ribbon in the first featured class of the week, the $2,500 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome. The win came aboard Redeemed, a seven-year-old Warmblood gelding.

Four would jump clear to advance to the immediate jump-off, where three would go double clear in contingency for the victory.

Petersen was the first to show and the first to produce a double-clear round to set the tone for the class. He and Redeemed clocked in at 40.983, a round that would remain unsurpassed.

Next to conquer the shortened course was Lexington, Kentucky equestrian Lauren Hester and Clueless P, owned by Hester Equestrian, LLC. They stopped the clock just one second behind Petersen in 41.501 for the eventual second-place prize.

The final pair to go clear in the jump-off was Debbie McCarthy Connor of Patterson, New York and Zim, owned by Connor & Ebetino Jumpers, LLC. The pair won this class in the first week of the Holiday Series. They crossed the finish in 47.140 to secure third place.

Fourth place went to Hayden Morresey riding Cequila, owned by Margaret Bopp, LLC. The final spot in the top five belonged to Ocala rider Allen T. Nabors piloting Cool N’Cavalier, owned by Cassie Bakus.

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Coaches from Five NCAA Collegiate Teams Attend the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final

(C) ESI Photography. Ana Bertozzi.

Culpeper, VA (October 6, 2016): HITS Culpeper was chosen to host the top riders from the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Ranking List to compete in the inaugural East Coast NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final. The East Coast NCEA Medal Final allowed pre-college equestrians to compete in the spotlight, increasing their exposure for collegiate equestrian scholarships. There were five NCAA Collegiate Equestrian coaches in attendance to watch the junior riders compete.

“We were incredibly thankful for the support we received from HITS and the sponsors,” said Executive Director of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, Dr. Leah Fiorentino. The riders were so excited to ride in the bracket format on brand new horses. It was one of the highlights that they all spoke about. Looking ahead, we’re quite excited for the West Coast finals; there were many riders engaged in the NCEA Medal classes on the west coast, so we’re hopeful that the Finals at HITS in November will have a good turnout.”

“It was a wonderful event; it was a lot of fun to watch the riders in the finals compete over the head-to-head courses,” said University of Auburn Women’s Equestrian Head Coach, Greg Williams. “It was a great test for the riders, and from what I overheard from the coaches and the riders, everyone really liked that part of the format. I absolutely see an upside to this event in the future.”

The West Coast Final will be hosted at HITS National Sunshine Series in Thermal, California on November 9-13. Junior riders on the West Coast will have the same opportunity to compete in front of collegiate team coaches.

“This opportunity is fantastic for the riders coming out of the junior ranks and into the college program,” said Showplace Productions owner and manager, Pat Boyle, whose daughter rides on the No. 1 Auburn University Equestrian Team.

Boyle continued to compliment the NCEA Medal Final, saying, “The number of collegiate scholarships available for these riders is growing, and with the notoriety of the program and of this class, I think it will really add to the knowledge of the sport. The overall competition level of the riders was also very impressive going into the NCEA.”

Maryland-based trainer Patty Foster, who is also a parent to a collegiate equestrian athlete, also praised the program. “The NCEA Medal Final, and the format of the class, really gives the riders an idea of what competing on a team is like before they actually get to that level.”

“HITS was honored to host the East Coast NCEA Medal Final at HITS Culpeper; it was a successful event, and we’re looking forward to hosting it again on the West Coast at the National Sunshine Series in November,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri.

Last weekend on the East Coast, Ana Bertozzi of Leesburg, Virginia topped the field of riders to win the Championship, with the Reserve Champion going to Hannah Matts of Oakland, New Jersey. Third place went to Lauren Rachuba of Woodbine, Maryland and rounding out the top four was Emily Leins from McLean, Virginia.

“Thank you to everyone at HITS for supporting this great class and our two Finals both East and West coasts,” said NCEA National Advisory Board member, Tom O’Mara. “Additionally, so many great sponsors have offered to support this event, including Horseware Ireland, One-K Helmets, EquiFit Boots, Fabbri Boots, ECE Equestrian Shirts, Threadneedle, Go Girl Energy drinks and Perry Communications.  Thanks all for making our inaugural year a huge success.”

Riders met for a riders meeting the morning of the class to draw for the order of go, where they also enjoyed a breakfast buffet, compliments of Marshall & Sterling Insurance League.

The Finals consisted of three-phases: Over Fences phase, Flat phase and a Bracket phase, judged by Frank Willard of Oak Ridge, North Carolina and Kim Dorfman of Aiken, South Carolina.  Riders competed over a 3’3” course designed by Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City, in hopes of claiming the prestigious title.

Riders competed under a unique format, which combined a Medal-style course and a flat phase, with the bracket-style competition used at NCAA competitions. The riders that moved onto the bracket phase were determined by their combined jumping and flat scores, where they came back to compete head-to-head on a neutral horse – this gave the riders a taste of the competition format faced when riding for an NCAA team.

Under the bracket format, the first place rider competes with the fourth place rider in a head-to-head round on the same horse over a new course, as do the second place against third place riders. The winners of the two semi-final brackets compete again over fences on a neutral horse to determine the first-ever, NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal – East Coast Champion. Third and fourth place riders are determined by their combined scores in the jumping, flat, and semi-final bracket phases. The fifth through tenth place riders are determined based on the jumping and flat phase.

It all came down to the ride-off between Ana Bertozzi and Hannah Matts to determine the overall winner. The judges critiqued each rider in their craft, carefully accessing the horsemanship and equitation skills of each equestrian as they rode for the win: Matts competed first, followed by Bertozzi. It was a close match as Bertozzi prevailed, edging out Matts’s score by just one point.

“The original course gave the riders a lot of different options and questions, and the two test rounds rode really well,” said Michael Bertozzi, father and trainer to Ana. “Ana has been able to do a fair bit of catch-riding and practicing on different animals, which helped her prepare for the class. The idea of the class is a very good one.”

The NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals will make its first stop on the West Coast at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California, during the National Sunshine Series.

Click here for more information on the West Coast NCEA Medal Finals.

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Gavin Moylan Grabs the Victory in the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix at Culpeper

(C) ESI Photography. Gavin Moylan and Pernod.

Culpeper, VA (October 4, 2016): The curtain closed on the 2016 HITS Culpeper season on Sunday with the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix. Riders and horses laid it all on the line to pursue the last big victory in the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Commonwealth Park.

The team to reign supreme was Gavin Moylan of Middleburg, Virginia aboard Pernod, owned by Alpha Omega Farm. The battle for the blue came down to a race against the clock, with the top three separated by only tenths of a second. This victory marked Moylan and Pernod’s second Grand Prix win of the season at HITS Culpeper, in addition to impressively claiming a number of ribbons in other Culpeper Grand Prix classes.

“I am thrilled with Pernod’s performance; every time I’ve taken him in the ring, I feel like I had a chance to win,” said Moylan.  “I’d like to say thank you to Bart and Abby Frye, who I co-own this horse with.”

Five advanced to the jump-off set by course designer Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City. The first to contend the shortened course was Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas and MTM Reve Du Paradis.

Fenney and Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm, won the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix on Friday, and they had their eyes on another prize. They put down a quick, clear round in 36.129 to set the tone for the remaining field. They would take home the second place prize when the class was finished.

The victors, Moylan and Pernod, immediately followed Fenney, knowing their round would need to be solid to edge her out and also stay strong with three more trips left. They crossed the timers in a lightning-fast 36.098, overcoming Fenney by just fractions of a second.

“The course was definitely challenging and it was a very fast class,” said Moylan. “Tracy, Dorothy and I were all separated by just a tenth of a second give or take, so to be able to compete against those guys, who are so competitive, and come out on top was great.”

Dorothy Douglas, also of Flower Mound, Texas, was next to challenge the shortened course, piloting S&L Elite, owned by MTM Farm. They powered through the course, stopping the clock at 36.202, to ultimately take home third place.

Only two remained in the jump-off. Fenney returned with her second ride for another shot at topping the leaderboard. She rode MTM Como No, owned by MTM Farm, through the course, but a rail at a mid-course fence before the combination thwarted their chance of the win – ultimately settling them in fourth place with a 39.470-second round.

Last to contend the jump-off round was Matthias Hollberg riding out of Middleburg, Virginia aboard Czechmate, owned by Courtney Ramsay. They would turn in eight faults as they crossed the finish in 37.711, rounding out the top five in fifth.

$15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic – 1.45m

The winner of the High Jr/A-O Classic at HITS Culpeper was Myrto Iliadis of Waterford, Virginia riding Voila He, owned by Daphne Iliadis. The equestrian and her mount bested a field of their peers as the only clear round of the three-horse jump-off.

Second place went to Tamara Morse and Ravenna, co-owned with Stuart Morse. Third went home with Felicia Russell and her own Habsurg 2.

$10,000 Pyranha Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low Classic – 1.35m

Nikki Prokopchak of Barnesville, Maryland took home the blue in the Low Jr/A-O Classic on Sunday. Prokopchak piloted Agropoint Cassius to the victory in a two horse jump-off.

Califon, New Jersey equestrian Darby Toben was second place aboard D’Artagnan, owned by Doreen Toben. They earned one time fault in the jump-off with Prokopchak for the placing.

Third in the ribbons was Jocelyn Albaugh of McLean, Virginia and Axei Springs, owned by Lyle Albaugh. The pair claimed their spot in the top three with the fastest four-fault trip in the first round.

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Hunter Riders Turn Out for the Blue at the Culpeper Finals

(C) ESI Photography. David Wilbur and Adore.

Culpeper, VA (October 2, 2016): Exhibitors from the East Coast and beyond traveled to HITS Commonwealth Park for the final weekend of competition, but only one winner could be crowned in each Hunter Prix: the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
The top five riders would claim multiple ribbons in the class, but a HITS Champion returned to the ring in Culpeper to once again claim a winning title. After staking claim to the second-annual Stal Hendrix Pre-Green Futurity at the HITS Championship in September, David Wilbur piloted Adore, owned by Stephanie Ray, to another blue ribbon.

The Ocala, Florida equestrian rode the stunning grey mare to an impressive first-round score of 88, the highest of the round. After the top 12 returned for the second round of the classic, Wilbur and Adore once again swept the competition with an 88, totaling 176 for the victory.

Wilbur also captured the final spot in the top five aboard Fila, owned by Taylor Lampert. They earned an 84.5 in the first round, and a 79 in the second round for a total of 153.5 for fifth place.

Second in the ribbons belonged to Caitlin Venezia-White of Marston’s Mills, Massachusetts piloting Waterfall, owned by Jennifer Combs. Together the pair earned a first-round score of 86, followed by an 88 in the second-round to total 174.

Venezia-White would also garner fourth place with Spottless, owned by Heather Georges. They earned scores of 82 and 84, respectively, for a total of 166.

Melissa Feller of Flemington, New Jersey took Shameless to the third place ribbon with a first-round score of 85.5 and a second-round score of 85 for a total of 170.5. Feller would also earn a second ribbon in sixth place aboard Chanel, owned by Sloan Hodges.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Junior and amateur riders put it all on the line for a shot at the winning spotlight in Saturday’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

The team to beat was Emily Smith of Bethesda, Maryland riding Validictorian. They claimed the highest score of the round with an 82, for the victory.

Second in the ribbons was Emma Koeppen of Frederick, Maryland riding Portrait, owned by Julie Teitel. They scored just behind Smith with an 80 for their efforts.

Emily Simon of Virginia Beach, Virginia took home third place honors piloting Thor’s Hammer, owned by Debra Teets; they turned in a score of 75.

Radnor, Pennsylvania equestrian Jessa Kinney was fourth riding her own gelding, World Power. Rounding out the top five was Payton Lawrence of Leesburg, Virginia and Fair Game, owned by Liam Fell.

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Tracy Fenney Grabs First and Third in $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Tracy Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis.

Culpeper, VA (October 1, 2016): Exhibitors turned out for the final week of the Culpeper Show Series at HITS Commonwealth Park and the weekend kicked off with the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix on Friday afternoon.  Everyone was hungry for the winner’s share and the top five contenders would be separated by only fractions of a second for an exciting race against the clock.

It was a good day for MTM Farm. Tracy Fenney not only walked away with the victory, but with the third-place prize as well.  Her winning mount, MTM Reve Du Paradis, brought home the blue over the course set by Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City. Fenney garnered third with MTM Como No.

The Flower Mound, Texas equestrian was the first to enter the ring and put down a clear round to set the tone for the remaining order right off the bat with third-place mount, MTM Como No. They stopped the clock in 33.707.

Following Fenney was Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland aboard Bling Bling, owned by Rolling Acres. They put down a solid round right behind Fenney, and edged her ride by mere fractions with her 33.175-second round. Leffler would take home the second place prize when the class was finished.

Dorothy Douglas, also of Flower Mound, Texas, went ninth in the order, laying down a fault-free trip with S&L Elite in 33.817. Their round would earn them fourth place, sealing the third top-five finish for MTM Farm.

Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis followed Douglas to put down the quickest of the eight that went clear to contest the immediate jump-off. Their speedy time of 32.212 with no faults conquered the rest of the field to take home the blue.

The top five rounded out with Ocala, Florida rider Ian Silitch and Cordovo, owned by Gaston Family Investments. They passed the timers in 37.571 with all of the rails up to seal the final spot in the top five.

Fenny and Douglas have had a successful fall competing with HITS. Both Douglas and Fenney finished in the prestigious top four at the HITS Championship recently in Saugerties, New York. In the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix, Fenney captured third place and Douglas finished fourth.

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Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals: Part I

(C) ESI Photography. Cora Schiavone and Annabelle.

Saugerties, NY (September 17, 2016): The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals returned to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York on Wednesday, September 14. Competition was underway for the nation’s most decorated up-and-coming Children’s and Adult Hunter, Jumper and Equitation riders.

Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Adult Medal Final
Thirty-four tested the ten-fence course designed by Rian Beals in hopes of taking home the Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Adult Medal Final title. The rider to beat was Cora Schiavone of Oldwick, New Jersey, scoring a consistent 81 in both rounds, claiming the highest score in the second round after returning with the top 4 riders. Their triumphant total of 162 earned them the blue ribbon.

Second place went to Nathaniel VanDoren of Cortland, New York, scoring an 82 after a majestic first round, entering the final round at the top of the pack. VanDoren navigated his way to a second round score of 77, which gave him a total of 159.

Next in the ribbons was Harleyville, Pennsylvania equestrian, Lauren Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald entered the second round in third place after earning a first round score of 80. A 55 in the second round gave her a total of 135 when the class was done for the third-place prize.

Grace Bankowski of Nazareth, Pennsylvania took home fourth place honors with Lily Langtree, owned by Kassidy Danley. They rounded out the top four with scores of 77 and 51, respectively, for a total of 128.

$7,500 Adult Jumper Classic
Stacy Mahoney of New York, New York and Charisma Blue bested a field of their peers for the blue ribbon and the $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic win. They took the lead by one second, crossing the timers in a cool, clear 41.928 for the victory.

Second place went to East Islip, New York equestrian, Colm McGuckian, riding Rivercat. They stopped the clock fault-free in 42.865, just a second behind Mahoney for the ultimate second-place prize.

Kimberly Beattie of Mahwah, New Jersey returned to HITS-on-the-Hudson after having success as part of the Zone II winning team in the USHJA Children’s/Adult-Amateur Jumper Championships at HITS Saugerties week VII. Piloting the same mount, Charmander, Beattie rode to a clear round in 43.085, which would be good enough for third place.

Next place in the ribbons was earned by Courtney Becher of Chester, Connecticut and I Am What I Am, owned by Frederick Becher. Their time of 43.737 was just fractions of a second shy of Beattie’s, settling them in fourth.

Rounding out the top five was Margaret Cobb from Denellon, Florida piloting G. Padre Pio. They would earn the last clear round over the shortened course with a time of 46.285 for the fifth place prize.

$7,500 Children’s Jumper Classic
It was Carley McInerney’s time to shine in the $7,500 Children’s Jumper Classic and aboard her own Cittorio M. The Randolph, New Jersey equestrian did just that, taking home first place and a $2,250 check for the victory.

One of three competitors to go clear, McInerney stole the show with a lightning-fast round to capture the win by more than seven seconds over the abbreviated course. Carefully and thoughtfully, she and her mount left the course intact and crossed the timers in a time of 41.959.

Second place went to Annelise Silverstein of Boonton, New Jersey, riding her own Phoenix Rising. Conquering each fence and staying cool under pressure, the pair clocked in fault-free, but their time of 48.509 would ultimately not be fast enough to contend with McInerney’s.

Third place was awarded to Bailey Doloff of Sykesville, Maryland aboard Wishlea Star Dasher. They too would advance to the jump-off after a clear first round, but two unfortunate rails in the jump-off would settle them in third place.

Clifford Bell rode Prized Native to fourth place, with Anthony Merolillo aboard his own Perseus finishing in fifth place.

$1,500 Bit O’ Straw Hunter Classic
Day two of the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals was a good day for Mary Ann Zeira of Morristown, New Jersey and Take Five, owned by Hope Schwartz-Leeper. Besting a sizeable class of 67 competitors from up and down the East Coast, they steered their way to a $1,500 Bit O’ Straw Hunter Classic win with scores of 84 and 83, the highest in both rounds, for a winning total of 167.

Round one competition was challenging and most who found themselves in the top 12 to move on to round two, earned it with preliminary scores in the 80s and upper 70s.

Cora Schiavone rode to another prestigious ribbon, after taking the victory in Wednesday’s M&S 2’6” Adult Medal Final. She and her own Annabelle entered the second round with the second highest score of 82, earning an 81 in the final round for a total of 163, giving them the second-place prize.

Coming in just behind Schiavone was Kristin Dolan, who took home the final spot in the top five in Wednesday’s M&S Adult Medal Final. Dolan rode Nimmerot, owned by Meadow Creek Farm, to a first round score of 80, bringing them into the second round in fourth place. They pushed their way up the leaderboard by improving to an 82 in the final round for a total of 162, earning them third place.

Kimberly Pokstis of Warwick, New York and Hopes N Dreams, owned by Karen Ufret, brought home fourth place honors, and the top five finished with Anne Boyd of South Salem, New York aboard Rio Cirque De Soleil.

HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Professional
Melissa Feller and Serafino, owned by Elisabeth McFadden, were the HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Professional Champions, having received one blue ribbon Over Fences and second in the Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Jennifer Gurney aboard Norwegian Wood.

HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Non-Professional
Jessica Connor piloted Rio Cirque du Soleil, owned by Anne Boyd, to the HITS Working Hunter 2’6” Non-Professional Championship, having earned blue ribbons in both of the Over Fences classes and third in the Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Elspeth Roake and Uptown Girl, owned by Dawn Von Bernuth.

HITS Working Hunter 2’
The HITS Working Hunter 2’ Champion was Cara McFadden riding T. H. Johnny Bravo, owned by Green Hills Farm. They were first and third Over Fences. Reserve Champion was Annika Srivastava aboard Patriot, owned by Leslie Kogos.

Adequan Working Hunter
Leann Kelly and Escapade HS, owned by Jack Shainman, were crowned the Adequan Working Hunter Champions after placing first and second Over Fences and third in the Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Leah Cruciani and her own Gombole.

Adult Working Hunter
Samantha Karp and Zentina B were the Champions of the Adult Working Hunter after placing fourth and first Over Fences and first Under Saddle. Reserve Champion was Contina, owned and ridden by Jacquelyn Maggiore.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

The 2017 Nations Cup CSIO-4* Returns to HITS Ocala Winter Circuit for Third Year

Ocala, FL (September 3, 2016): HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the USEF Board of Directors has selected the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit as the host of the Nations Cup CSIO-4* for the third consecutive year. The inclusive show schedule will continue to give additional opportunities to National and International competitors during February 14-19, 2017, the fifth week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.

“Hosting the Nations Cup for the third straight year is an honor that we do not take lightly,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “It truly speaks for the quality of the event in Ocala for the past two years, and to be given the opportunity to host the Nations Cup again is very exciting for us.”

The Nations Cup Jumping series is equestrian sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge, with national teams from around the globe competing for one of the most coveted prizes in this Olympic discipline.

HITS has already begun working with the Ocala and Marion County local government, councils, and related groups to ensure that the event garners the same level of attention and support that it has in previous years.

“With loyal support from Marion County and the City of Ocala, HITS will once again welcome show jumping’s biggest players to the Horse Capital of the World to exemplify our continued commitment to growing the sport for exhibitors and spectators alike,” continued Struzzieri.

Consideration to host the prestigious event is reviewed by relevant USEF committees and the International Disciplines Council before advancing to the Board of Directors for the final decision.  HITS believes the success of the event the last two years, both in terms of rider reviews, and local support was key to USEF’s decision to bring the event to HITS Ocala again.

Last year, the 2016 Nations Cup at HITS Ocala garnered over 5,000 on-site spectators, as well as an unprecedented figure of national and international media attention. The 2015 event was ranked as the second highest in national and international media interest for its overall division in the official 2015 FEI Nations Cup™ Media Report.

“Now, with two years of experience, we can continue to make Nations Cup Week an extraordinarily special week for both the exhibitor and the loyal spectators of Marion County,” continued Struzzieri.  “They say the third time’s the charm – and we are certain the 2017 event will live up to the expectation of excellence that HITS is recognized for.”

Throughout the Nations Cup Week at HITS Post Time Farm, HITS will offer an upgraded hospitality experience in the Overlook VIP Club featuring ringside seating, as well as beer and wine service and the culinary art of Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli of The Tavern at Diamond Mills in Saugerties, New York. VIP tables are expected to sell out and reservations are encouraged. For Overlook VIP Club information and bookings, contact Chris Mayone at Chris@HitsShows.com.

HITS Ocala will host 12 USEF-rated shows during the 2016-2017 season, with the Ocala Holiday Series running for two weeks, December 1-4 and 14-18, 2016, and the Ocala Winter Circuit running for 10 weeks, January 17 – March 26. A total of four FEI events will be held, including the Nations Cup, from February 7 – March 5. The Circuit culminates with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 26.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com