Opening Day of USEF National Junior Hunter Championships – East Coast Crowns Winners in ASPCA Maclay, WIHS Equitation Classic and USEF/Pessoa Medals

©ESI Photography. Kendell Adelberger and Redfield Farm’s Werner took home the top honors in Monday's ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal.

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (August 2, 2011) — This week, HITS-on-the-Hudson is host to some of the best junior riders in the country as it welcomes the USEF National Junior Hunter Championship – East Coast to the Saugerties show grounds.

Action got underway yesterday with four equitation classes and will continue through Wednesday as Small Juniors 15 and Under, Large Juniors 15 and Under, Small Juniors 16-17, and Large Juniors 16-17 will compete for the National Championship as well as a Wild Card berth in the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII this September.

“The Junior Hunter National Championships have been a highlight of the HITS-on-the-Hudson Summer Series and we are pleased to welcome the event back to Saugerties,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “We felt strongly that this year’s Champions deserve a spot in the Hunter Prix Final and we hope this will help to contribute some additional excitement and attention to the Junior Hunter Finals.”

ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal
Kendell Adelberger of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania kicked off three days of Hunter competition with a win in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Medal, aboard Redfield Farm’s Werner. Adelberger is trained by Emil Spadone and topped a field of 15 to capture the blue. The group faced a technical course in HITS’ Hunter Stadium and then their equitation was put to the test on the flat.

“My initial reaction to the course when I walked it was that it was going to be tricky. My horse is green, so I was a little nervous about the roll-top and the big oxer,” said Adelberger. “I was so excited when we won – I have won Maclays before, but never one this big.”

Joining her in the ribbons was Isabella Tillman of Beverly Hills, Wisconsin in the irons of Sergio Campos’ Vector Do Jacare in second and Brook Banks aboard Katy Hughes’ World Cup Von Het Lindehof in third. Rounding out the top five was Lexi Sellforff of Farmington, Connecticut riding Stone Horse Farm, LLC’s Selena in fourth and Tina Michelle McNerney of Mahwah, New Jersey aboard Redfield Farm’s Pindar in fifth.

Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic
Equitation riders were welcomed into the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium to compete in the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic. With 61 entries, the Hunter Phase was split into two sections. At the end of the two phases, Allison Toffolon of Bronxville, New York claimed the overall win in the A section and Hasbrouck Donovan of Gainesville, Florida won the overall in the B Section.

©ESI Photography. Allison Toffolon won Section A overall of the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic Hunter Phase in the irons of her own Class Action.

Toffolon also won one section of the Hunter Phase with a score of 94, while Schaeffer Raposa of Wellington, Florida, won the other section with a score of 95.

“This course was made for my horse,” said Toffolon. “[Class Action] has a big stride and he was able to use it in this ring. The lines rode nicely, and lucky for us, this class was all about pace.”

This was Toffolon’s first appearance at the Junior Hunter Finals and hopes this win will give her and Class Action enough momentum to stay in the ribbons throughout the rest of the week.

Don Stewart and his group of junior riders have been present at the Saugerties over the last several days with one thing on their mind – this championship. Their patience paid off as Donovan rode to victory in the Jumper Phase of the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic. She took the blue aboard her own Wagner, posting a score of 88.

Sarah Milliren of Sapula, Oklahoma on Don Stewart’s War Eagle finished second overall in Section A, while Victoria Colvin of Loxchatchee, Florida finished third overall in Section A aboard Scott Stewart’s Vip Z. Megan Difano of Austin, Texas finished second overall in Section B aboard Walstib Stables LLC’s Terrapin Station, while Meg O’Mara of Rumson, New Jersey finished third overall in Section B aboard Alexandra Pirro’s Rue Royale.

USEF/Pessoa Medal
Serving as the capstone to the first day of championship action, the USEF/Pessoa Medal welcomed 50 riders back to the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium. Split into two sections, riders were tested over a first-round course and then tested over five fences to reveal Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, Maryland on Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Pioneer the winner of Section A and Milliren returned to the ribbons aboard her own CR Moet in the Section B.

“It was awesome,” said Milliren of her round. “I’m happy to have won a class this big. Our rounds were smooth and we held the right-lead canter to the fourth fence for the test really well.”

©ESI Photography. Samantha Schaefer on Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Pioneer on course in Section A of the USEF/ Pessoa Medal.

As part of their test, riders were asked to re-jump five fences of the original course, including a counter-canter to one and a sitting trot away from another. The right lead counter-canter introduced trouble to several riders, dropping them down in the final ribbons.

Christina Gellos of Greenwich, Connecticut finished second in Section A aboard Wendy Collins’ Delorean, followed by Hannah Speigler of Mechanicsville, Virginia on Don Stewart’s Califernia. Finishing out the top five were Sydney Smith of Madisson, Connecticut on her own Calimero in fourth and Alyssa Bokor of Williamsville, New York aboard Redfield Farm’s Carafino in fifth.

In Section B, Madeleine Swem of Duxbury, Massachusetts finished with the red on Don Stewart’s Eisenhower and Lilly Ulrich of Rochester, New York was third on Up The Creek Farm’s Nureev du Houssoit. Alexandra Carlton of Madisson, Connecticut was fourth aboard her own Signature and Meg O’Mara Rumson, New Jersey cleaned up the top five in the irons of John Rooney’s Casanova B.

The highly anticipated USEF National Junior Hunter Championship – East Coast will continue for the next two days and will feature the USHJA/Essex Classics Hunterdon Equitation Cup and over $50,000 in prize money as these young stars ride to make a name for themselves.

A complete list of results from the USEF National Junior Hunter Championships – East Coast is available online at

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
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