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Emily Irene Wins Bit o’ Straw Hunter Classic at Marshall & Sterling

©ESI Photography. Emily Irene and Take Five shine on their way to winning the $1,500 Bit o’ Straw Hunter Classic.

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 12, 2014) – The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson continues, framed by lovely skies, picturesque views, with a hint of autumn in the air, riders nevertheless are battling it out for top honors and recognition after a year of qualifying events and heated competition.

Thursday classes resumed in the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium, where sixty two horses and riders showcased their talents in the 24th annual Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals Bit ‘O Straw Hunter Classic.

Named after HITS President and CEO Thomas Struzzieri’s favorite hunter when he was training riders and horses for rings like those he now runs, Bit ‘O Straw was the “Perfect Hunter” and gave generations of students blue ribbon memories. The class has become a favorite of competitors nationwide — and yesterday showcased the year’s top contenders.

Record-breaking numbers turned out to compete in the class and 12 were called back for a second round. Emily Irene who rides with Heritage Stables in Randolph, New Jersey, earned more than straw on Hope Leeper’s lovely dark hunter Take Five, with scores of 83 in the first round and 84 in the second, for a combined total of 167.

Second was Corina Grizib on Gleneayre Farm’s Second Thoughts, with scores of 81 and 83 for a total of 164. Third went to Kimberly Schultz riding her own Beyond Measure, scoring 77 and 85 over fences, for a combined 162. Rounding out the top five was My Oliver Twist, ridden and owned by Julie Pignataro, with a two-round total of 161 and Ellen Greiner riding her own Coastland, followed closely behind with 160.

©ESI Photography. Sarah Tyndal and Huckleberry Fin show their winning style in the Adequan Working Hunter division
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©ESI Photography. Sarah Tyndal and Huckleberry Fin show their winning style in the Adequan Working Hunter division

Sarah Tyndal and Huckleberry Finn Do the Right Thing and Win the Adequan Working Hunter Division at Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals

It was a close race between the top two, but Sarah Tyndal and Huckleberry Finn Edged out Brian Feigus and Vi Vi Velour, with firsts in both Adequan Hunter over fence classes, cashing in on the $650 and $1000 Stake money with scores of 80 in the first round and 79 in the second. They returned for fourth in the $350 under saddle class, bringing home the prestigious championship for owner Susan Huyett.

Taking Reserve Champion was Vi Vi Velour, owned by Laura Feigus and ridden by Brian Feigus, both from of Colts Neck, New Jersey. The pair placed 2nd in the $650 over fences class with a score of 79 and third in the $1000 stake, finishing 2nd with an elegant under saddle performance. This was Brian’s second year taking Reserve in the Adequan, as last year he rode Nicole Gillete’s Santo’s Wannabee to the same honors.

Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals continued today and throughout the weekend, showcasing Jumpers, Adults, Juniors and pony jocks, as they gear up for tough competition in the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix ring. Stay tuned!

About the Marshall & Sterling League

The Marshall & Sterling League was designed to enhance the level of competition for children and adult riders, with an opportunity to qualify for a prestigious National Finals competition. Now celebrating their 23rd year, the Marshall & Sterling League features 14 divisions of competition. Riders who are members of the League have the opportunity to earn points throughout the year by competing in Marshall & Sterling classes to qualify for the Marshall & Sterling League Finals, held at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

The Marshall & Sterling League is proudly sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc., founded in 1864 and among the largest privately owned insurance agencies in the United States. For more than a quarter century Marshall & Sterling has protected precious equine assets with unparalleled service and support, whether the family hunter, a champion racehorse or a commercial farm. An employee-owned company, Marshall & Sterling is recognized throughout the nation as a leader in providing exceptional service and support. The company maintains a national presence and licensed in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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!

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

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