©ESI Photography. Cornetto Royal may be new to the Hunter ring, but he carried Heather Caristo-Williams to a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.
SAUGERTIES, NY (May 26, 2014) – Heather Caristo-Williams has her sight firmly on redemption in this year’s $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final after an unlucky rail in the first round of the 2013 Final. A Saugerties local, Caristo-Williams and Cornetto Royal are back in top contention after winning the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix qualifier this weekend.
“Cornetto Royal’s first experience in the hunter ring was during last year’s hunter prix qualifiers,” said Caristo-Williams of the eight-year-old Westphalian gelding she owns with her parents Ralph and Holly Caristo.
After an early career in the jumper ring, Cornetto Royal was Performance Hunter 3’3” Circuit Champion this winter in Florida and is living up to his Cornetto Obelinsky breeding. “He was a brilliant jumper, but so beautiful over the fences – we had to try him in the hunter ring,” she said. The young horse’s bloodlines run deep as his half-brother Cornet d’Amour carried Daniel Deusser to a 2014 World Cup Final win for Germany.
The Devoucoux Hunter Prix was hosted on the Outside Course at HITS-on-the-Hudson. Caristo-Williams led both rounds with an 89 in the first and 90 in the second. “I look forward to getting back in this ring and competing each season and elated it all came together here.”
2013 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final Champion Jimmy Torano of SW Ranches, Florida showcased Double H Farm’s HH Himself on the Outside Course and jumped to second with scores of 87 and 85. David Wilbur of Simsbury, Connecticut rounded out the top three on Sara O’Connell’s Silvio Song after posting an 86 and 84.
Natalie D’Elia of Middletown, Connecticut was fourth with her own Fanfare after scores of 81 and 82, while Tricia O’Connor of Williston, Florida and Cloverleaf Farm, Inc.’s Inferno capped rounded out the top five on with an 84 and 78.5.
This weekend’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix kicked off northern qualifying at HITS Saugerties and Culpeper for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. Qualifiers will be offered weekly during the two circuits.
With her win, Caristo-Williams has bright hopes for the HITS Championship this year. “Over the past year [Cornetto Royal] learned how to be a perfect hunter, and became consistent in the ring,” she noted. “He’s the perfect hunter ride – soft, correct, and lovely in the air. He’s a special one.”
Devoucoux, makers of fine French saddles, is proud to be the title sponsor of each and every qualifying Hunter Prix leading up to the phenomenal Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. Devoucoux offers a wide range of saddles in many colors and sizes and matching accessories. Devoucoux craftsmen are devoted to creating beautiful products that reflect their obsession with quality and lovingly finished work. For more information on Devoucoux, visit devoucoux.com.
$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Kimberly Maloomian of Needham Massachusetts competed in four qualifiers for the Platinum Performance $250,000 Hunter Prix Final during the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit and pocketed her fifth with a bang this weekend. She and Terry S. Maloomian’s Urlala dominated both rounds with scores of 86 and 84 to win by more than ten points.
“We came to Saugerties to get more experience on the Outside Course – it’s not something we get to see anywhere else,” said Maloomian. “Urlala jumped off the bank perfectly both times and that was a big accomplishment for us – winning was icing on the cake.”
Maloomian has been in the irons of Urlala for three years and will return to HITS-on-the-Hudson this September to compete in the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final during the HITS Championship. “It’s great to have something this prestigious for children’s and adult riders to shoot for at the 3’ level,” she said. “The qualifiers are always very competitive because we are all here for one purpose – to make it to the Championship.”
Lena Reeb of Danbury, Connecticut rode Jamie Ringel’s Private Ryan to second with consistent scores of 76 and 77. Meghan Keegan posted scores of 80 and 72 with Meghan Ringel’s Umberto III for third, while Jessica Connor and Dawn Beckman’s Santana rode to 75 and 75.5 for fourth. Hannah Mueller and Montreal, owned by Cazenovia College, received scores of 69 and 81 to cap the top five.
About Platinum Performance
Platinum Performance provides more than 10 supplements essential to your horse’s health and conditioning in just one scoop. Platinum Performance Equine addresses a horse’s total body health from joint and hoof care to athletic performance and coat health, and is the 2014 sponsor of the $250,000 Hunter Prix Final and all qualifiers. For more information on Platinum Performance, visit platinumperformance.com.