SAUGERTIES, NY (July 20, 2012) – Summer show jumping got underway at HITS Saugerties this week as Schuyler Riley and M. Michael Meller’s Waterloo clinched first place in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Riley of Wellington, Florida and Meller’s nine-year-old Warmblood topped a four-horse jump-off and posted the only double clear round of the day for the win.
Olaf Petersen, Sr. of Paehl, Germany set a first round, which offered a dynamic 13-obstacle course with several bending lines and rollbacks in between. The first of two combinations was a double at four, which proved to be a challenge for many, dashing any hope of a fault-free round for over half the field.
“This was a really nice size course and it offered a lot of different questions,” said Riley. “Once I picked a track and committed, it rode beautifully.”
Riley was second to go in the jump-off and posted the Great American Time to Beat at 47.05 seconds. She and Waterloo set their sights on the win by covering ground, leaving out a stride in both the first and the last lines of the course.
“[Waterloo] has a big step and is an average turner, but he turned extra well today and put together a neat, smooth round,” said Riley. “He has all the scope and talent to go to the top, but we have been working a lot on rideability and he seems to be coming together.”
Meller of Tiverton, Rhode Island not only currently owns Waterloo, but also bred the gelding. He looked on from the berms of the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium at HITS-on-the-Hudson, satisfied that his horse had finally arrived.
“It’s been a long road,” he said. “After nine years of hard work, he [Waterloo] is really starting to prove himself.”
Preceding Riley in the jump-off was Allison Pras of Colts Neck, New Jersey and her own Drake. The pair was first to ride in the class and got things started with a clear round, but had a rail at the seventh fence of the jump-off to pick up four faults in a time of 50.13 seconds. Pras and Drake finished in fourth.
Third in the jump-off was Mark Bluman of Weston, Florida in the irons of Gustavo Mirabal’s G & C Blue. They posted the fastest round of the day in 45.26 seconds, but clipped the back rail of fence four to finish in second with four faults. Last in the jump-off was Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania aboard his own Mark Q. They rode to four faults in 45.84 second for third.
Rounding out the top five was Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, New Jersey and Mary Chapot’s Umberto. They missed the cut for the jump-off, but were the fastest of the four faulters in the first round.
The SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, was the first of six remaining Pfizer Million qualifiers during the next three weeks of shows at HITS Saugerties. Riders will again be challenged by course designer Olaf Petersen, Sr. on Sunday in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health – the next stop on the road to HITS Championship Weekend. The following two weeks will include two more $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, a $75,000 Chartis Grand Prix and a $100,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, all presented by Pfizer Animal Health.
$10,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome
Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, Florida was two-for-two in the $10,000 Brook Ledge open Welcome at HITS Saugerties on Wednesday. He piloted Mirabal’s G & C Lepanto and G & C Leroy to a one-two finish.
Rounding out the top five in the Brook Ledge was Chapot with a sweep of the third, fourth and fifth spots. She led with Quointreau Un Prince, co-owned by her and McLain Ward, followed by Umberto and Mary Chapot’s Shooting Star.
About SmartPak Equine
Founded in 1999, SmartPak Equine is the country’s largest online and catalog retailer serving the needs of the active and engaged horse owner. The patented SmartPak supplement feeding system has simplified the process of feeding horse supplements and medications, making it easier for thousands of riders to keep their horses healthier by ensuring their supplements are being fed correctly. SmartPak’s diverse and expansive product offering includes its own line of supplements, tack, and horse blankets as well as an extensive selection of leading brands of equine health, apparel, tack, and equipment. SmartPak is a six-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree and is the only equine company ever named to the Inc 500 list. SmartPak is backed by Waltham, Massachusetts-based North Bridge Growth Equity.
$25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health
|Place||Horse||Owner||Rider||Prize $||Rd 1 Faults||JO Faults||JO Time|
|1||Waterloo||M. Michael Meller||Schuyler Riley||$7,500||0||0||47.05|
|2||G & C Blue||Gustavo Mirabal||Mark Bluman||$5,500||0||4||45.26|
|3||Mark Q||Kevin Babington||Kevin Babington||$3,250||0||4||45.84|
|4||Drake||Allison Pras||Allison Pras||$2,000||0||4||50.13|
|5||Umberto||Mary Chapot||Laura Chapot||$1,500||4||–||–|
|6||Shooting Star||Mary Chapot||Laura Chapot||$1,250||4||–||–|
|7||Quointreau Un Prince||Laura Chapot & McLain Ward||Laura Chapot||$1,000||4||–||–|
|8||Indiana 127||Davenport Incorporated||Peter Lutz||$750||4||–||–|
|9||Seventh Fee||Michael Dorman||Michael Dorman||$750||4||–||–|
|10||Alberia||Millcreek Stables||Tonya Henning||$500||4||–||–|
|11||Wieminka B||Patricia Griffith||Patricia Griffith||$500||4||–||–|
|12||Capall Zidane||Ronan McGuigan||Ronan McGuigan||$500||8||–||–|