SAUGERTIES, NY (January 26, 2011) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce it will host the 2011 National PHA Medal Final on Saturday, September 17 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York as part of the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. The joining of HITS and the National PHA Medal Finals is a perfect match since the HITS-on-the-Hudson venue is a show-jumping hub for the entire North East.
The Professional Horsemen’s Association of America, Inc., otherwise known as the PHA, is a self-contained benevolent organization and consists of 16 Chapters throughout the United States with over 900 Professional members. The PHA gives aid and sustenance to needy horsemen, and has a scholarship fund which provides financial assistance to further educate the children of professional members. The PHA also continues to promote and foster the care and protection of horses through education at the local, state and federal levels.
Originally, the National PHA Medal Class Champion was decided annually based on the number of points equitation riders accumulated throughout the year with awards going to the six highest scoring junior riders. Presentations were made at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. Back in 1984, HITS’ own Francesca Mazella was the PHA Medal Champion, based on points won in PHA Medal classes throughout the year. Starting in 1995 the format was changed to a Medal Final, where the top 30 junior riders who accumulate the most points during the season compete in the National PHA Medal Final. The Final features a course of eight or more fences at 3’6” in height, with at least one combination including an oxer and two changes of lead after the first fence. The judge will insert two tests into the original course (USEF Tests 1-18). Further testing of the top riders is optional. The top eight placed finalists receive scholarship awards, in addition to their ribbons and trophies. In 2010, Emma Schauder of Greenwich, Connecticut was the winner of the National PHA Medal Final held at Old Salem Farm.