CULPEPER, VA (April 23, 2012) – Accomplished duo Jane Gaston and her own Lumiere came out on top in Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix to highlight the Commonwealth National at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia.
Gaston, who was a ribbon winner in last year’s inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson, is on track for a return visit to the year-end spectacular for hunter riders this September. After competing in three Devoucoux classes this winter at HITS Ocala, Gaston now has banked four qualifying classes and will look to the July shows at HITS Culpeper to seal her position in the starting field for the return of the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final.
“I got a good start on qualifying at Ocala,” said Gaston of The Plains, Virginia. “My only regret is that I didn’t spend more time there. We were there for three weeks and it was such a pleasant place to show. Next winter, I plan on spending a lot more time there.”
Despite impressive riding, Gaston credits a lot of her success to the horse she rides.
“[Lumiere] is trooper. He is a very clean jumper and is very consistent,” said Gaston. “He got his start at HITS Culpeper about six years ago as a baby and has won a few Devoucoux classes here. I feel like this is his home.”
Gaston and Lumiere topped a competitive field in the first round with a score of 92 and were one of 12 to advance to the second round to again challenge a course set by Rian Beals, of Saugerties, New York. In round two, Gaston and Lumiere cemented the triumph when they scored an 89 for a total of 181.
Peg Seals, of Virginia Beach, Virginia had a total tally of 175 in the class to secure the red ribbon aboard Chelsea Ireland’s Surely.
“I am in Culpeper in order to qualify for the $500,000 class,” said Seals. “I have a good horse for the class, but I know that everything has to go right to win it.”
Rounding out the top three ribbons in the class was junior Tess Lee of Potomac, Maryland aboard her own Tinka’s Lad.
Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix was the first of five qualifiers that will be offered this season at HITS Culpeper for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, which will take place the weekend of September 7-9 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York as part of the all-new HITS Championship Weekend.
$1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix
Amy Zettler, of Norfolk, Virginia and her own Glad Rags captured the blue ribbon on Saturday in the $1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix, a qualifier for the $250,000 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix Final, which will take place alongside the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final during HITS Championship Weekend in September in Saugerties.
Zettler and Glad Rags were one of 17 that took to the main hunter ring as they scored a pair of 87s in the first and second round en route to their victory. Second place honors went to Chiara Parlagreco, of The Plains, Virginia and Skyland Farm’s Placido. Rounding out the top three awards was Lyndsey Brodhead of Doylestown, Pennsylvania aboard Elizabeth Orem’s Just for Fun.
“I want to thank Steve and Sally McVeigh for selling me such a great horse. I am blessed,” said Zettler. “Also, my trainers Dale Critenberger and Peter Foley for all of their hard work and the endless hours they spend towards the dedication to their horses and customers.”
For a complete list of results from the $1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix click here.
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. The Devoucoux Hunter Prix will be a featured event at all HITS horse shows this season as riders from around the country set out to qualify for the second-annual Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final, which will take place September 8-9 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
About Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern
Just 100 miles outside of New York City, nestled in the Village of Saugerties, Diamond Mills is a 30-room luxury hotel featuring stellar accommodations, fine-dining at The Tavern and full-service events at a state-of-the art Special Events Center. Diamond Mills is a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, an unsurpassed collection of over 520 luxury hotels around the world. Saugerties’ newest luxury hotel is also the proud sponsor of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, which will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson as part of the HITS Championship Weekend. For more information about Diamond Mills or the special VIP packages available to HITS-on-the-Hudson exhibitors, please visit DiamondMillsHotel.com or call 845.247.0700.