Category Archives: HITS

Horseshows In The Sun

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.

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

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

Manuel Torres Conquers the $30,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper

(C) ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Christofolini H.

Culpeper, VA (August 23, 2016): Riders and horses descended on the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Commonwealth Park for the main event of the Winston National, the $30,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix.

Only one horse and rider could go home with the win, but in this case, one deserving equestrian took home both the first and second prize. There was no slowing down Manuel Torres during the fourth week of competition at HITS Culpeper. Riding out of Waterford, Virginia, Torres garnered the blue and red ribbon in Sunday’s $30,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix after also snagging the victory in Friday’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix.

Sunday’s first-place payday came aboard Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro, and second came with Cruising Altitude, owned by Santa Catalina Farm.

Faults were spread evenly throughout the first-round course, with two trips earning one time fault each. Three went clear to advance to the second round jump-off course set by Oscar Soberon of Mexico.

Torres had two to contest the shortened course, entering first with winning mount Christofolini H. They powered through the course, laying down a 45.530 roundtrip that would hold up the victory with a colossal five-second lead.

Debbie McCarthy-Connor of Patterson, New York followed with Zim, owned by Connor and Ebetino Jumpers, LLC. McCarthy-Connor and Zim took home third place in Friday’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix and were hunting for the lead over Torres. They clocked in at 53.918 to ultimately secure the yellow ribbon for the weekend once again.

The blue ribbon was already set for Torres, but the winning horse had yet to be determined. He put in a solid, careful round with second-place horse Cruising Altitude, stopping the clock in at 50.557 for the second place prize.

Both fourth and fifth place went back-to-back in the first round, and left all of the rails up to only suffer one penalty on the clock. Kama Godek of Fairfax Station, Virginia brought home fourth place piloting Air Force One. Godek moved up the ranks from a twelfth-place ride on Friday, to yield a spot in the top five on Sunday to close out the week.

Rounding out the top five was Alexa Lowe-Wiseman of Upperville Virginia, and Synapse de Blondel, owned by Paillot Equine Consulting, LLC. The equestrian and her mount earned seventh place in Friday’s Grand Prix and also moved up the placings to secure fifth on Sunday.

Elite show jumping competition continues at HITS Culpeper this week with the Constitution Classic, August 24-28, featuring the USHJA Child & Adult Amateur Jumper Championship, the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix and Sunday’s $30,000 HITS Grand Prix.

Cindy McGrath Takes Home the Blue in the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic

Riders gathered to compete for the top prize in the $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic during the fourth week of competition, the Winston National, at HITS Culpeper.

Several put their best foot forward in hopes of bringing home the blue, but the team to beat was Cindy McGrath of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania and Caruso, owned by Wynnwood Farm. McGrath would also garner the final spot in the top five with Quinaro, owned by Mapledale Associates.

Five advanced to the jump-off with two going clear over in contingency for the win. First to re-enter the ring to challenge the shortened course was Sandra Zimmerli of Fairfax Station, Virginia and Calido’s Treasure, owned by Zimmerli Show Jumping, LLC. They clocked in at 44.410, but an unfortunate rail at the third fence of the course would ultimately earn them fourth place.

Next to contend was Toano, Virginia equestrian Malachi Hinton piloting F15. They followed Zimmerli’s round with a valiant effort, leaving all of the rails up, but the unforgiving clock earned them one time fault as they crossed the finish. They would make it out with the third place spot when the class was done.

(C) ESI Photography. Cindy McGrath and Caruso
(C) ESI Photography. Cindy McGrath and Caruso

McGrath and Quinaro followed suit. They galloped through the course, conquering the first two fences, but a rail at the third fence on course, as well as the penultimate fence, earned them eight faults as they passed the timers in 43.340.

Only two remained in the jump-off before the final placings would be set, and the battle would be won by only mere fractions of a second.

Myrto Iliadis of Brooklyn, New York entered next with her own Voila HE. They took each fence by storm, stopping the clock in a cool, clear 43.850 to take the temporary lead.

McGrath entered with her second mount of the jump-off, Caruso, with the final chance at stealing the top spot on the leaderboard. Saving the best for last, McGrath and her mount flew through the course, turning and burning at every chance they had to shave precious time of the clock. They crossed the finish in 43.500, less than three-tenths of a second quicker than Iliadis for the win.

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

Manuel Torres and Christofolini H Take the Blue in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Christofolini H.

Culpeper, VA (August 20, 2016): Horses and riders turned out for the fourth week of competition at HITS Culpeper this season for a shot at victory in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix.

Manuel Torres, riding out of Waterford, Virginia, claimed the blue ribbon aboard Christofilini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro. Torres has consistently been in the top five in the Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper this season, most recently claiming third in the Week III $30,000 HITS Grand Prix and fifth in that week’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix.

Three advanced over the first round course set by Oscar Soberon of Mexico City to contest the jump-off, and all challengers would go clear over the shortened course in a race against the clock. First to return to the ring for the jump-off was Glenmoore, Pennsylvania equestrian Callan Solem aboard VDL Wizard, owned by Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC.

Solem and her fiery, chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding took to the course no holds barred to lay down a cool, clear trip in 36.223, setting the tone for her competitors.

Following Solem was Debbie McCarthy Connor of Patterson, New York and Zim, owned by Connor and Ebetino Jumpers. Connor and Zim placed fourth in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix during the first week at HITS Culpeper back in April.

Connor and Zim stopped the clock with all of the rails up, but their time of 41.395 would not be quick enough to edge out Solem or compete with Torres’ round. They ultimately took home the third place prize for their efforts.

The final trip to return to the ring for the jump-off was Torres aboard Christofilini H. They powered through the course and laid down a lightning-fast trip. They clocked in with another fault-free trip in 35.368, pushing Solem’s round to second place and grabbing the blue-ribbon victory.

Although she would settle for second, Solem also took home fourth and fifth place, with the fastest of the four-fault rounds. She finished fourth with VDL Torlando, owned by the Torlando Group, and fifth with Davidson, owned by Five Star Partners.

Show jumping continues at HITS Commonwealth Park this Sunday with the $30,000 Purina Grand Prix. HITS will also offer an additional back-to-back week of top-notch competition and prize money August 24-28 featuring two Grand Prix.

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

Hunters Close the Curtain on Week III HITS Culpeper

(C) ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Most of All.

Culpeper, VA (June 19, 2016): Hunter exhibitors brought their A-Game to the final weekend of shows at HITS Culpeper until they return in August. The $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix served as Virginia’s third qualifying opportunities for the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix and the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina has been dominating the Grand Prix ring all season at HITS Commonwealth Park as well as top placings in the Hunter ring. This week, Chopping garnered first and second place in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix aboard Most of All, owned by Four Tall Oaks, Inc. and Caramo, owned by Caroline Russell Howe.

Chopping and Most of All went home with third place in last week’s class, and returned this week to earn scores of 86 and 86 for a winning total of 178.

“Most of All is a mare that we had in training just before we went to Florida,” said Chopping. “We’ve been very happy with her performance – she’s gone beautifully in the Classic the last few weeks.”

Chopping’s red-ribbon mount, Caramo, who placed eighth last week, rose up the ranking for second place this week with scores of 84 and 85 for a total of 169.

“Caramo has won several Devoucoux Hunter Prix as well as International Hunter Derbies in his career, he went out there and did his thing, and I was pleased with his scores,” said Chopping of his second place mount. “If I’m in the Top 20 qualified, I’m hoping to take both Most of All and Caramo to the finals at the HITS Championship in September.”

Third place went to Dreamliner, owned and ridden by Kama Godek of Fairfax Station, Virginia. They came in just two points behind Chopping with a first-round score of 85 and a second-round score of 82, for a total of 167.

Next in the ribbons was Opulent, ridden by Gavin Moylan and co-owned by Moylan’s wife, Alden. The Middleburg, Virginia equestrian and his mount captured the victory in Week II’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. This week, they earned a 75 in the first round, but laid down an impressive second round trip for a score of 84 and at total of 159 to move into fourth place.

The top five rounded out with Tess Lee of Potomac, Maryland and Tinka’s Lad, with scores of 83 and 75.5 for a total of 158.5.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Junior and amateur hunter riders lined up for a shot at the winning title in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, but the team to beat proved to be Victoria Clarke and Corleone, owned by Bethany Garrison.

(C) ESI Photography. Victoria Clarke and Corleone
(C) ESI Photography. Victoria Clarke and Corleone

Clarke, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, sealed the victory with a first-round score of 84 combined with a second-round score of 83, for the winning total of 167.

Second in the ribbons went to Kate Phillips of Montpelier, Virginia aboard Chino, owned by Derek Reed. Their scores of 75 in the first round and 68 in the second gave them a total of 143 for their efforts.

Sgt. Pepper took home third place with owner and rider Connie McRill of Woodbine, Maryland. McRill and her mount brought home second place in last week’s class. This week, they earned scores of 78 and 63, respectively, for a total of 141.

Coming in behind McRill was Katelyn Dugan of Baltimore, Maryland and Sir Winston. The final pair in the top five was Devan Graham, also of Chevy Chase, Maryland, piloting Dear Heart, owned by Andrea Woodner.

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

Maryann Charles Garners the Blue in the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper

(C) ESI Photography. Maryann Charles and FVF Sailor Man.

Culpeper, VA (July 19, 2016): As the third week of competition at HITS Culpeper came to an end, riders descended on the Grand Prix ring at HITS Commonwealth Park to vie for a victory in the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix.

Maryann Charles of Southern Pines, North Carolina and FVF Sailor Man, owned by Fox View Farm, have been knocking on the door all season at HITS Culpeper. They have brought home two third place ribbons in the Week II and Week III $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix combined, as well as third in last Sunday’s $30,000 HITS Grand Prix. This Sunday, that knock blew the door down as they captured the coveted blue ribbon and the biggest slice of the prize purse.

Eight advanced to challenge the jump-off over the course set by Bernardo Cabral of Lisbon, Portugal with five producing clear jump-off rounds in a race to the top of the leaderboard.

First to challenge the shortened course was Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina and Contefino 6, owned by Caroline Russell Howe and Lisa Tolnitch. Chopping has consistently been in the top placings at HITS Culpeper since Week I in April, in addition to winning Friday’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix with another mount. They laid down a speedy, clear trip to set the tone for the class in 38.999. The round would eventually earn them fourth place.

Following Chopping was Manuel Torres riding out of Waterford, Virginia and Christofolini H, owned by Andrea Torres Guerreiro. Torres rode the powerhouse bay gelding through the timers in 38.846, just fractions of a second quicker than Chopping to move up in the rankings. They would ultimately earn the third place prize.

Another clear jump-off round appeared for the crowd with Kevin McCarthy and Analyze This, owned by Kimberly Jakubowski. The North Salem, New York equestrian conquered each fence, and clocked in fault-free in 43.474 – which would eventually give him and his mount the final spot in the top five for their efforts.

Hometown rider Brook Kemper of Culpeper, Virginia entered the ring next aboard Classified. Kemper and classified have been moving up the placings this season at HITS Culpeper, with a sixth place finish in Week I’s $30,000 HITS Grand Prix, and fourth place finish in Week III’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix. They put down a dynamite round in 37.719, shaving a full second off of the leading time. The round would come close to the victory for the eventual second place prize.

Thaisa Erwin followed Kemper with Matilda. A heart-breaking rail at the last fence would keep them out of the top five, but would earn them seventh in the ribbons.

The victors, Maryann Charles and FVF Sailor Man were next to contend. They took to the shortened course with speed and precision, clocking in fault-free with a lightning-fast round in 36.736 for the win.

Two more contenders were left in the order after Charles’ leading round. Mary Lisa Leffler and Carlot, owned by Rolling Acres, put down a valiant effort, but a refusal at the second fence would ultimately earn them eighth place in 53.583.

Harold Chopping and Basje, winners of Friday’s $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix, were the final pair to test the jump-off. The crowd cheered as they went in no-holds-barred across the course. They flew towards the timers with a win on the horizon, but a heart-breaking rail at the last fence would keep them from the victory. They clocked in at 34.280 with four faults for sixth.

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Hunters Bring Their A-Game after Returning to HITS Culpeper Summer Series

(C) ESI Photography. Gavin Moylan and Opulent.

Culpeper, VA (July 11, 2016): Competition continued at HITS Commonwealth Park during the Showday National, the first of the two-week July series at HITS Culpeper with the second qualifying opportunities for the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix and $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix  to be held at the HITS Championship in September.  The $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix took the stage in the Main Hunter Ring on Saturday afternoon.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Riders and horses pulled out all the stops for a chance at the winning title, but it was Gavin Moylan of Middleburg, Virginia who stole the show in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix aboard Opulent, co-owned with Moylan’s wife, Alden.

“We just purchased Opulent with our last group of sale horses imported from Europe, and this was his very first week of showing in the United States — he really exceeded my expectations; it was wonderful,” said Moylan joyfully. “Our plan for him is to continue what we’re doing and possibly show in the same classes this upcoming week.”

Moylan and Opulent snagged the highest score in both rounds of the two-round classic with a consistent 87, totaling 174 for the blue ribbon.

Following in the ribbons for second place was Southern Pines, North Carolina equestrian Harold Chopping and Cambridge Inn, owned by Elizabeth Cozart. Having won the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix during the Commonwealth National at Culpeper in April, Chopping and Cambridge Inn were hunting for another title. They scored consistently in both rounds with a pair of 86s, totaling 172 just behind Moylan.

Chopping also took home third place piloting Most of All, owned by Four Tall Oaks, Inc. They earned a first-round score of 86.5, combined with a second-round score of 85 for a total of 171.5, just a half-point behind his own score.

Louisa, Virginia equestrian Jill Wilson and Odds Are, owned by Twin Oaks Farm, LLC, came in fourth place with scores of 84 and 83, respectively, for a total of 167.

The top five rounded out with Nina Butler, of Mechanicsville, Virginia, and MTM Bazinga. They earned a first-round score of 82 and a second-round score of 74 for a total of 156 for their efforts.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

Junior and Amateur riders turned out to compete in the second qualifying opportunity to show in the $250,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September.

(C) ESI Photography. Kathryn Luke and Brazos
(C) ESI Photography. Kathryn Luke and Brazos

The rider to rise above was Kathryn Luke, of Arlington, Virginia, and Brazos. The equestrian and her bay Hanoverian gelding earned a first-round score of 84, combined with an 83 in the second round for a winning total of 167.

Sgt. Pepper captured the second place spot with owner and rider Connie McRill of Woodbine, Maryland. They earned scores of 83 and 82, respectively, to earn a total of 165 for their efforts.

Third in the ribbons was Shannan Gossman, of Mitchells, Virginia, and Castanio, owned by Turning Pointe Ventures, LLC. Gossman and Castanio secured a win in this class during Culpeper Week I in April. They earned a 77 in the first round, improving to an 86 in the second for a total of 163.

Leesburg, Virginia equestrian Makayla Benjamin took home the fourth place prize with Dorado, owned by Sweet Briar College. They earned a first-round score of 85, a second-round score of 70 and a total of 155 for their efforts.

The top five concluded with Valentina and owner and rider Amelia Lucas of Columbia, Maryland. They earned a 75 in the first round, improving to a 76 in the second round for a total of 151.

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845.246.8833 Tel • info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Leslie Burr Howard Claims the Win in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Leslie Burr Howard and Up and Blue Chapelle.

Saugerties, NY (May 30, 2016): The grand finale of an exciting first week at HITS-on-the-Hudson commenced with the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix.

A talented field of exhibitors tested the course designed by Marina Azevedo of Campinas, Brazil, but only two would advance to the jump-off to compete for the blue. The victor would prove to be Leslie Burr Howard of Darien, Connecticut and Up and Blue Chappelle, owned by Peter and Gabriel Guerra Howard.

“The course designer, Marina, has been doing a great job this week,” said Howard. “This course was laid out thoughtfully; today wasn’t too big but it was tricky enough, especially for this amount of prize money, which is great to jump for. All the classes have been super – it’s not too big, not too little, and it’s planned well in where the jumps were placed.”

Sarah Segal of Flemington, New Jersey was first to challenge the first round of jumping efforts with Ubris, owned by Chartwell. A rail at the vertical immediately following the mid-course triple combination kept them out of the jump-off, but as the fastest pair with four faults in 77.209, they ultimately landed in third place.

Three trips passed before Wellington, Florida equestrian Jimmy Torano piloted Daydream, co-owned with Danielle Torano, to the first fault-free trip of the first-round, proving the course could be conquered.

Following Torano’s first round, several valiant rides took their chance at the course, including fourth place Matthew Williams of Fort Lauderdale, Florida aboard Cuchica, owned by Wyndmont, Inc. Williams clocked in with four faults in 78.840.

Christine McCrea of East Windsor, Connecticut also made the top five piloting Wannick WH, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, Inc. They passed the timers with four faults in 79.025 just behind Williams for the fifth place prize.

It looked as though Torano had it in the bag with a clear round, until Howard took her turn at the course. The crowd cheered with excitement when they clocked in clear, providing the class with a jump-off.

It was down to Torano and Howard, both seasoned competitors with a plethora of grand prix wins and titles under their belts. Howard, an Olympic Gold and Silver medalist, and Torano, with two prestigious rides in the 1999 and 2000 FEI World Cup Final, would battle it out for the win.

Torano returned first, navigating the course efficiently as he and Daydream crossed the timers in 41.43.

Howard followed suit, knowing she and her mount needed to be clear and just a hair faster to take home the $22,500 winner’s share.

“My plan at first was just to watch Jimmy and if he was super-fast, I was not going to jump-off and just settle for second because she is young,” said Howard of her plan with Up and Blue Chapelle. “He was careful but not too quick – she was great.”

It was certainly a rewarding choice. Howard and her mount blazed through the timers fault-free in 39.884 to capture the win.

“She is a super mare,” said Howard after her victory. “She is very powerful and is settling into her prime. This was a great win.”

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Harold Chopping Goes 1-2 in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Basje.

Culpeper, VA (April 25, 2016): Harold Chopping, of Southern Pines, North Carolina, made a statement to kick off the HITS Culpeper Summer Series, finishing first and second in the $25,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix held on Friday.

Chopping claimed the blue with Basje, owned by Kendra Bullington, and finished a close second with Contefino 6, owned by Caroline Russell Howe.

Five returned for the jump-off in a battle against the clock, with Chopping returning both first and last in the order. Chopping returned first aboard the eight-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding, Contefino 6.

“Contefino has been doing the 1.40m and 1.45m, and this is his first top three placing in a class of this caliber,” said Chopping. “My plan with him in the jump-off was to stay on the most efficient track within his abilities. I didn’t want to push too much; I just wanted to be efficient with him.”

They took to the shortened course of eight jumping efforts designed by Marina Azevedo of Campinas, Brazil, clocking in with a fault-free round in 42.926 seconds. With a speedy round that set the tone for the jump-off, the remaining field of competitors knew that Chopping was the one to chase.

Next to contest the shortened course was Ali Ramsay of Victoria, British Columbia, piloting her own Hermelien VD Hooghoeve. They put down a clear, quick round in a valiant effort to steal the lead from Chopping, but their time of 43.086, just fractions behind, would ultimately earn them the third place spot.

Ocala, Florida equestrian Ian Silitch followed Ramsay with Cordovo, owned by Gaston Family Investments LLC. Silitch and Cordovo zoomed through the course at a full-out gallop, but an unfortunate rail at the second fence, followed by a rail at A of the mid-course combination would ultimately land them with the fifth place prize as they finished in 42.107.

Each trip had yet to edge out Chopping for the top spot. Debbie McCarthy Connor and Zim, owned by Connor & Ebetino Jumpers, LLC, entered with the last opportunity to steal away with the win. Opting for a more careful track, they clocked in fault-free in 49.768.

Chopping’s name was set at the top of the leaderboard as he entered with his second mount, Basje. The seasoned Dutch Warmblood gelding powered through the course, claiming the blue ribbon with each step of his massive stride. They put down a cool, clear round, coming in at 42.159 just behind his own time.

“I was not necessarily trying to catch up to my first time; Basje is quite experienced and he covers the ground quickly with his long stride, so it just happens to be that he came in little faster,” said Chopping of his winning mount. “He moves away from the jumps nicely; I just stay out of his way and let him do his thing.”

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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