Home Stretch to Qualify for 20th Annual Marshall and Sterling Finals

Sponsor Mary Moeller of Marshall & Sterling Insurance presents the award to the Winners of the Children Pony Medal at the 2009 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. Photo © Lili Weik Photography.

Saugerties, New York – June 21, 2010 – The Marshall & Sterling League is pleased to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. School is out for summer, and there has never been a better time to qualify for what will undoubtedly be the most exciting Marshall & Sterling National Finals competitors have ever seen.

Founded 20 years ago, the Marshall & Sterling League has continuously offered our nation’s diverse population of horses and riders at all levels an opportunity to qualify for and compete at the prestigious Marshall & Sterling National Finals, to be held this year September 15-19, 2010 at the exquisite HITS-on-the-Hudson facility in Saugerties, NY.

Marshall & Sterling League Coordinator Patti Guerriero has been with HITS since 2003 and during that time has been the League’s administrator managing membership for both equestrians and horse shows. “When the League started 20 years ago, we had 10 member horse shows. In 2003 when I started there were three hundred, today we have 1,300 member shows. We have incredible members and many wonderful show partners around the country. I think the success and longevity of this type of grassroots organization is directly tied to our commitment to this audience of riders and our continued desire to bring new and exciting divisions and offerings into the mix over the years.”

Throughout the year, 1,300 Marshall & Sterling League member horse shows provide a vast array of qualifying classes for Marshall & Sterling members. Opportunities for hunter riders include the brand new 3’3″ Devoucoux Hunter Derby, as well as Children’s Hunter, Children’s Hunter Pony, Adequan Hunter, HITS 2’6″ Hunter, Adult Hunter, and the Bit O Straw Hunter Classic. Jumper riders also have their fair share of opportunities to partake in with Children’s Jumpers, Adult Jumpers, and Pony Jumpers, while equitation riders can take advantage of the Marshall & Sterling Junior Medal, Adult Medal, Children’s Medal and Children’s Pony Medal, which, beginning in 2010, will be divided into two sections – Small/Medium and Large.

The 3’3″ Devoucoux Derbies are offered at every HITS-on-the-Hudson show throughout the summer, and also at additional horse shows during the off-weeks of HITS. Given this convenient set-up, riders have the opportunity to compete in a 3’3″ Devoucoux Derby every week throughout the summer months. Keeping up with the latest in hunter competition, HITS wanted to offer horses and riders stepping up to the big Derbies an opportunity to gain invaluable experience at a lower height. Thus, emerged the 3’3″ Devoucoux Derby you won’t want to miss out on!

“This time of year is always the most crucial for the League,” said Guerriero. “As school ends the participation and competition really heats up. It’s a great chance to earn some crucial points toward securing a spot in the National Finals. The competition is fierce, making the qualifying process all that more exciting. This is really the heart of the season!”

September 5, 2010 marks the deadline for the 2010 Marshall & Sterling qualifying season, and as the date rapidly approaches, many opportunities to qualify still remain. HITS-on-the Hudson will offer the entire roster of Marshall & Sterling classes during Weeks IV, V, and VI.  In addition to the opportunities to qualify at HITS-on-the-Hudson, The Fairfield County Horse Show in Westport, CT, June 22-26, as well as the Briarwood Farm Horse Show in Flemington, NJ, July 13, and the North Hampton Horse Show in North Hampton, MA, August 11-15 are all horse shows that not only offer the traditional Marshall & Sterling classes, but also the 3’3″ Devoucoux Hunter Derbies.

If September 5, 2010 is fast approaching, and you’re not entirely certain whether you are into the Finals or not, don’t take any chances! Come out to the beautiful HITS-on-the-Hudson Horse Show, Weeks VII (September 1-5) and VIII (September 8-12), to secure a Wild Card spot that will get you a bye into the finals. For almost every section of the Marshall & Sterling League, , the top two finishers everyone ach Wild Card class, who are not already qualified for the Finals will then have the chance of a lifetime to compete at the 20th Anniversary Marshall & Sterling Finals, September 15-19, 2010.

The Marshall & Sterling League recently announce the number of competitors that each division will allow for during the National Finals:

Children’s Hunter Horse – 45
Children’s Hunter Pony – 45
Adult Hunter – 30
Adequan Hunter – 25
Bit O’ Straw Hunter – 45
Devoucoux Derby – 50
HITS 2’6″ Hunter – 30

Children’s Jumpers – 35
Adult Jumpers – 25
Pony Jumpers – 10
M&S Junior Medal – 50
M&S Children’s Horse Medal – 60
M&S Children’s Pony Medal Large – 30
M&S Children’s Pony Medal S/M – 30
M&S Adult Medal – 40

On September 12, 2010 HITS-on-the-Hudson will host the unprecedented Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix as well as a live concert by rock and roll legend John Fogerty and competitors of HITS Weeks VII and VIII will receive complementary vouchers to both of these remarkable events.

Membership for the 2010 Marshall & Sterling League is $40 and applications are available at all member horse shows, as well as online at the Marshall & Sterling League Website. The 2010 Marshall & Sterling Prize List is currently in production and is expected to mail in July. To request a prize list, please visit www.HitsShows.com or call 845.246.8833.

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 20th 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 in order to qualify for the Marshall & Sterling League Finals, which will be held this year from September 15-19 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

For more information on the Marshall & Sterling League, contact Patti Guerriero, League Coordinator, at patti@hitsshows.com.

Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc., founded in 1864, is 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 has been recognized by IIABA as one of the nation’s top “Best Practice Agencies.” The company maintains a national presence and is licensed in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information contact Mary Moeller at 800-836-3046, extension 224.

HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS will take the industry to new heights when it hosts the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties on September 12.

Media Contact: Mason Phelps
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389  fax 561.753.3386

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