(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.