Tag Archives: Harold Chopping

Harold Chopping Masters Hunter and Jumper Rings at HITS Culpeper

©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Basje put an exclamation point on the HITS Culpeper July series with a in the $40,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix.

CULPEPER, VA (July 14, 2014) – Improved footing, upgraded stabling and a barn full of talented horses was the perfect formula for Harold Chopping this weekend at Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia. The result was remarkable – blue ribbons in both the Main Hunter Ring and Grand Prix Ring over two days.

Chopping returned home to Southern Pines, North Carolina, today after winning the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix with Caroline Russell Howe’s Caramo, as well as the $40,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Pix presented by Zoetis aboard Kendra Bullington’s Basje this weekend.

Basje was not favored to win as the eight-year-old gelding is still getting acquainted with the grand prix ring. But as soon as the starting bell sounded, it was clear Basje was as brave, quick and scopey as any seasoned high-performance jumper.

“I’ve given him [Basje] many opportunities to develop,” said Chopping. “He’s young and on the small side but gives it all he has, every time. We planned his schedule carefully – there is so much jump in this horse we don’t want to use it up too soon.”

After placing second in last week’s $40,000 Strongid® C 2X™ at HITS Culpeper, Chopping returned this week with his sights firmly set on moving into first.

At the conclusion of the first round, Chopping was joined by four in the jump-off. Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland was focused and poised aboard Carlot for Rolling Acres, posting an early Great American Time to Beat at 37.98 seconds. Culpeper-native Brook Kemper and her own Classified showed second, but four faults knocked them from contention. Megan Moshontz-Bash of Hunting Valley, Ohio was quick to contest Leffler with Cleveland Equestrian’s Pourkoipa Fontaine, but fractions of a second kept her from the top spot with 38.52 seconds on the clock.

Chopping and Basje returned next with only one left to follow him. Basje was fast yet careful, his dazzling potential on display for all to see. They were clean into the two-stride and after landing, were the only ones to attempt an inside turn to the final fence.

The effort was flawless, saving them five strides and stopping the timers at 34.61 seconds, moving them into first with more than three seconds to spare.

“That turn made all the difference,” said Chopping. “We’re getting comfortable enough with each other that I can trust him to make turns like that.”

Ragan Roberts was clear in the final go with Quipit Group’s Quipit L.F., but a time of 40.28 seconds settled him in fourth ahead of Kemper. Moshontz-Bash claimed third and Leffler second.

$15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
Chopping and Basje hinted they were the pair to beat on Friday, topping a field of 17 in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix. One of six clear efforts, theirs was the fastest jump-off, collecting first.

Forshadowing Sunday’s performance, Leffler piloted Carlot to second, while Kama Godek of Fairfax Station, Virginia returned to familiar territory in the money with her own Air Force One. Sloane Coles of The Plains, Virginia finished fourth aboard Baloucat and Kemper picked up another prize money spot with Classified in fifth.

Brook Ledge Horse Transportation will continue to present a weekly jumper class throughout the HITS Culpeper summer and fall series. Aside from the winner’s purse, Brook Ledge Open Welcome riders also compete for the Brook Ledge Rider Bonus, which includes a $1,500 shipping credit for the rider who accumulates the most points in those classes throughout the circuit.

With million-dollar temptations quickly approaching this September, Chopping admits that moving Basje up to the sport’s top level is a delicate decision. The pair will not jump in the Zoetis Million in Saugerties, but the Great American Million at HITS Ocala just might be their number-one goal in 2015.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
Caroline Russell Howe’s Caramo has been anything but shy about sweeping Culpeper’s July qualifiers for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix with Chopping in the irons. The pair picked up their second $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix win in a row over the weekend.

“He’s remarkable and makes it all look so easy,” said Chopping, who carried scores of 87 and 85 to the winner’s circle. “The footing in both the schooling area and Main Hunter Ring is quite good – it’s nice to go into a class knowing that won’t be a factor.”

©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Caramo pocketed another $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Caramo pocketed another $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

With consistent ribbons, Caramo is making Howe proud and secured himself a permanent nameplate in her barn. “This horse is part of her family,” said Chopping. “She’ll never sell him. That was easy to see when she imported him as a six-year-old.

The now 12-year-old gelding got his start in the jumper ring in Europe and according to Chopping that experience has paid off over hunter courses. “He never looks twice,” said Chopping. “Liverpools are a breeze, bending lines no problem – he jumps anything beautifully.”

Winn Alden of Bristow, Virginia and Daddy’s Bentley, owned by Lauren Boldt, scored highest in the first round with an 88, coupled with and 83 in the second, for the red ribbon. Mary Lisa Leffler also served double duty over the weekend, finding success in the jumper ring and third-place in the Devoucoux Hunter Prix. Scores of 86 and 84 gave her and Kian Fiore’s Zivago to the top three.

Alden also piloted Peg Nara’s Ariel to fourth with scores of 84 and 82, while Elisa Ledsinger of Bethesda, Maryland rounded out the top five on her own Michigan Avenue.

Chopping returned home, ribbons and prize money in tow, to freshen his horses for the continuation of their summer season in Culpeper. “After two weeks of showing, the horses will get some time to unwind. They need to regroup just like their humans do.” With the grounds improvements at Commonwealth Park slated as a win in Chopping’s book, he and the Solo Show Stables team are eager to return for the Winston National and Constitution Classic in August.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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Harold Chopping and Caramo Win Devoucoux Hunter Prix

©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Caramo cruise to a $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix win at HITS Culpeper with hopes to impress in September’s Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final.

CULPEPER, VA (July 6, 2014) – Harold Chopping and Caramo got a sweet taste of high-stakes hunter competition in last year’s Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, where they finished 12th overall. The pair plans to return in 2014, ready to take a larger bite of the prize, and got off to an ideal start with Caroline Russell Howe’s Danish Warmblood Gelding, winning HITS Culpeper’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix this weekend.

Consistent, willing, poetic even – Caramo carried Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina to top scores in both rounds of the Hunter Prix, stealing the spotlight. An avid crowd gathered in plush seating in the newly installed Marshall & Sterling Lounge at the main hunter ring, and watched as Chopping pocketed an 83 in the first round. This set him up to return last in the second, where they scored an 85, giving the pair a total of 168 and the unchallenged win.

“At this point I feel lucky to have such a nice horse to ride – he couldn’t have been better today,” said Chopping. “Caramo is the best hunter I’ve ever ridden.”

Despite being Chopping’s go-to hunter, he admits that made hunters don’t develop overnight. “Caramo is 12 this year and proof that it takes time to build these horses up,” he added. “You always hope your 7-, 8-, and 9-year-olds are going to get it right, but when you see what an experienced horse can do consistently at every venue, it’s clear that it takes some work — and mileage.”

After dominating the Devoucoux Hunter Prix during the Commonwealth National in April, Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia piloted France Porter’s Limited Edition to second with scores of 80 and 82. Jonelle Mullen of Aldie, Virginia jumped to third aboard Heartthrob for Joseph Mullen with a 76 and 79.

Winn Alden of Bristow, Virginia collected a 78 and 74.5 in the irons of Chad Keenum’s Playmate for fourth while Grace Long rounded out the top five on DLV Valentine for Badger Hill Farm, LLC with a 73 and 76.

The abundance of recent grounds improvements at Commonwealth Park have been received with praise and appreciation. In addition to new barns, new footing has been installed, and the efforts of Tom Struzzieri and the HITS staff, according to Chopping, are welcome. “The new footing, updated facility and HITS’ series — just get better and better,” he said. “It was a really nice move for the facility, and a pleasure to show and win here today.”

©ESI Photography. Dudley Mac Farlane and All Carolina jump to a win in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
©ESI Photography. Dudley Mac Farlane and All Carolina jump to a win in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Dudley Mac Farlane of Darien, Connecticut has set her sights on the Platinum Performance $250,000 Hunter Prix Final highlighting competition at the HITS Championship in September. McFarlane is quickly turning her dream into a reality, as she and her own All Carolina jumped to a win Saturday’s Platinum Performance qualifier with scores of 81 and 74 for a 155 total and blue ribbon.

Jumping first in the class, Mac Farlane didn’t let “first-to-go” nerves get the best of her and was quick to post the top score of the round.

She would not go uncontested, however, as Brooke Cole of Rockville, Virginia and her two mounts were also chasing the top spot. Under the direction of trainer Winn Alden, Cole and her own Poetic Justice produced a 75 and 79.5 to finish a half point off the lead.

With a single point separating the top three spots, Cole was also third in the irons of her own Markelo with a 72 and 82. Elizabeth Wiley of The Plains, Virginia ended fourth aboard her own Say Again while Mac Farlane pulled out another top finish and jumped her own Roland Park to fifth after scores of 70 and 72.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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$10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic Puts Up Big Numbers, Welcomes Winn Alden to Winner’s Circle

©ESI Photography. Winn Alden and Esco on their way to the blue in the $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic.

CULPEPER, VA (October 3, 2013) – With a prize money tag of $10,000, the Pre-Green Hunter Classic at HTS Culpeper attracted an impressive start list, but it was Winn Alden who captured top honors. Alden piloted Alexis Hale’s Esco to the blue after they posted the third highest score in the first round with an 85.5, and returned to dominate the second with an 88.

“He’s a show-off,” said Alden of the five-year-old gelding they purchased from Emil Spadone. “He looks to see if people are watching him, and the more people watching the better he is. It’s nice to ride one that wants to win.”

Alden was one of nearly 30 competitors to compete over courses set by Course Designer Rian Beals of Saugerties, New York. “He [Esco] jumped great,” she added. “His lead changes are sometimes challenging, but they were perfect.”

While Esco is bursting with potential, according to Alden, she was still surprised at how well he fared against stiff competition. With the start list including horses piloted by the likes of Laura Linback and Tracy Fenney, Alden couldn’t have been happier with how her young horse performed.

Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia finished second behind Alden after riding to an 85 in the first round and returning to post an 86 in the second aboard Frances Porter’s Limited Edition. In third, Jennifer Jones of Ocala, Florida rode Redfield Farm’s Clear Sailing to the second highest score in the first round with an 85.75 and returned to collect an 85.

Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas posted the top score in the first round with and 86. She returned to pilot Michael McCormick’s MTM Inquisitive to an 84 for fourth place. Jones returned in the fifth spot in the irons of her own Clouseau. They combined scores of 84.5 and 85.

With major improvements planned for HITS Culpeper over the winter, Alden who lives 45 minutes form the show grounds, admits that she won’t miss a minute of the action in 2014. “What HITS has planned is really exciting and we are looking forward to Culpeper in 2014 – it is sure to attract bigger numbers and more competition.”

©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Caramo on course in the $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby
©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Caramo on course in the $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby

Harold Chopping Wins $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby
Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina ended the HITS Culpeper season on a high note with Caroline Russell Howe’s Caramo. The pair jumped their way to a win in the $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby during the celebrated final week of competition at Commonwealth Park.

Chopping and Howe’s 16.3, Danish-bred bay gelding Caramo led both rounds with an initial score of 177 to establish a commanding lead prior to the handy round. They returned to again dominate the second round with a score of 196. Their total of 373 firmly sat them at the top of the class and sent them home with the win.

“He is one of the most consistent, reliable horses I have ridden,” said Chopping, who has been riding Caramo for two years. “He’s just a great guy to ride. He can walk in any ring for the first time and jump well.”

Callan Solem of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania piloted Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC’s Balladeer to second after a final score of 343, while Morgan Ward of Milford, New Jersey rode Redfield Farm’s Comissario to third after posting a 337. Paul Mathews of Somerset, Virginia was fourth aboard Terry Morrison’s Carino with a score of 332, while Even O’Donnell of Ringoes, New Jersey capped the top five on Finale Partners, LLC’s Loxley with a score of 326.

The final week at HITS Culpeper offered impressive prize money to both hunters and jumpers of varying levels and closed the 2013 circuit with an impressive bang. “We are really proud of this week. It stands alone as our biggest offering of prize money and special classes in Culpeper,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “It’s a perfect stepping stone to the all-new Culpeper 2014.”

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Harold Chopping Dominates in Both Hunter and Grand Prix Rings at HITS Culpeper

©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Calando Z jump their way to a win in the $40,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix.

CULPEPER, VA (July 8, 2013) – After piloting Caroline Russell Howe’s Caramo to the blue in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix the previous day, Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, North Carolina rode to a win in the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Sunday with Paddy Ann Burns’ Calando Z.

Chopping and Calando Z led off in both rounds and topped 14 contenders over a course designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida. The 13-jump track presented 17 jumping efforts, including a double combination at fence six and a triple combination as the second-to-last obstacle.

“Winning against these guys in Virginia is never a given – they are quick,” said Chopping of the competition. “The track was fair, but consistently difficult all the way around. The approaches to the combinations were technical – there was a half stride to the double and a tricky approach to the triple. Honestly, the hardest part was going first in both rounds – I was just lucky that the rounds that were faster than mine ended up with faults.”

After posting the first clear round of the day, Chopping was joined by five others, presenting a six-horse jump-off. Chopping quickly put the Great American Time to Beat on the clock at 45.80 seconds as the first to go in the jump-off.

“He [Calando Z] is very good in the combination, so despite me making a plan and then changing once I was in the ring – he judged those approaches well,” said Chopping.

In pursuit, Dr. Fernando Cardenas of New Hill, North Carolina and his own Quincy Car were second to ride, but picked up four faults in 44.61 seconds. Kyle Timm of Apex, North Carolina and Apex Equestrian Center’s Platinum were third to go and had the speed with a final time of 44.05 seconds, but had two rails for eight faults.

Patty Stovel of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania and her own Carigor Z posted a clear round in 47.52 seconds, while Manuel Torres of Leesburg, Virginia followed close behind with the final double-clear effort of the day in 46.13 seconds. Capping the jump-off was Kama Godek of Farifax Station, Virginia and her own Air Force One. They finished in 50.35 seconds with four faults at the final jump of the course.

Behind Chopping, Torres finished second, Stovel third and Cardenas fourth. Godek capped the top five and Timm was sixth.

Chopping’s winning mount, a 13-year-old chestnut gelding, is an enjoyable ride. “He’s a very correct jumper – it is never difficult to get a good jump out of him,” said Chopping. “I always know that he is going to walk into the ring and do his job.” Grand prix competition will continue at HITS Culpeper with the $40,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Sunday July 14 and returns to HITS Saugerties for three weeks, July 17 – August 4.  Throughout the summer circuits in New York and Virginia, jumper riders will continue to ride for qualifying leverage in the preliminary Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix Rider Rankings for a chance to compete in the historic class this fall.

©ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Fidelina on their way to a win in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
©ESI Photography. Manuel Torres and Fidelina on their way to a win in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix

$15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix
Torres got high-performance jumper competition started on Friday with a win in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix aboard Fidelina. He bested all comers over the 1.45m course before moving on to second-place honors in Sunday’s grand prix.

Ragan Roberts of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania was second in the irons of Weslands Farm’s Vertigo. Third went to Silvio Mazzoni of Leesburg, Virginia and his own Remonta Habano. Rounding out the top five was Kyle Timm of Apex, North Carolina with Apex Equestrian Center’s Platinum in fourth, and Ian Silitch of Ocala, Florida with Vanita, owned by Gaston Family Investments, LLC, in fifth.

Brook Ledge Horse Transportation presents weekly jumper classes at HITS Culpeper. Aside from the winner’s purse, Brook Ledge Open Jumper riders also compete for the Brook Ledge Rider Bonus. The award, given at the conclusion of the circuit, includes a $1,500 shipping credit for the rider who accumulates the most points in those classes throughout the HITS Culpeper circuit.

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals. The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. It has more than 9,300 employees worldwide and a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information on the company, visit www.zoetis.com.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Harold Chopping and Caramo Win $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix as Summer Showing Starts at HITS Culpeper

©ESI Photography. Harold Chopping and Caramo jump their way to a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix.

Amy Zettler and Glad Rags are two-for-two in Virginia

CULPEPER, VA (July 8, 2013) – Harold Chopping celebrated Fourth of July weekend at HITS Culpeper with two big wins, first in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix on Saturday, then in the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, on Sunday.

Chopping, of Southern Pines, North Carolina led the way to victory in the hunter ring, piloting the 16.3, Danish-bred bay gelding Caramo, owned by Caroline Russell Howe, to a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix on Saturday.

Chopping and Caramo bested a field of 17 over a course designed by Rian Beals of Saugerties, New York. The pair led the first round with a score of 87 and returned in the second round to post an 85 for a total score of 172.

“This was his [Caramo] first time in the ring this week, but he is one of the most consistent, reliable horses I have ridden,” said Chopping, who has been riding Caramo for two years. “He’s just a great guy to ride. He can walk in any ring for the first time and jump fair.”

Nipping at the heels of Chopping and Caramo in the second round, Paul Mathews of Somerset, Virginia and Terry Morrison’s Carino combined a high score of 89 with a first-round score of 79.5 for a total of 168.5, to finish in second.

Third went to Katherine Newman of Wellington, Florida and Mimi Abel Smith’s Lofty. They rode to a pair of 84s for a final score of 168. Ian Silitch of Ocala, Florida rode Party Girl, also owned by Mimi Abel Smith, to fourth with a total score of 164. Silitch finished the first round one point behind Chopping with an 86 and pocketed a 78 in the second round. Denice Perry of The Plains, Virginia and Mr. & Mrs. Ernest M. Oare’s Tryonite rounded out the top five, posting scores of 81 and 79 for a final score of 160.

Before this weekend’s blue, Chopping and Caramo sat comfortably in the eighth spot in the preliminary Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final Rider Rankings. As qualifying for HITS Championship weekend and the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final kicks into high gear during the coming weeks, Chopping is confident that Caramo will make a respectable showing in the exciting year-end event.

”Some horses don’t do 3’3” well after being successful at 4’, but Caramo can come down and be great – he’s definitely headed for the final in September,” concluded Chopping.

$1,500 HITS Hunter Prix
After three HITS Hunter Prix wins during the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, a win at HITS Culpeper in April and another at HITS Culpeper this weekend, Amy Zettler and Glad Rags are officially on a roll in the $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix classes.

The Aldie, Virginia rider and her 10-year-old gelding, whom she affectionately calls “Primo”, currently lead the preliminary HITS Hunter Prix Rider Rankings by a sizable margin and are eager to make another appearance in the HITS $250,000 Hunter Prix Final this fall. Zettler, who trains with Peter Foley and Dale Crittenberger at Woodhall Farm in Northern Virginia, placed second in the inaugural HITS Hunter Prix Final in Saugerties, New York last year during HITS Championship Weekend.

©ESI Photography. Amy Zettler and Glad Rags kept their streak alive this weekend with another $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix victory
©ESI Photography. Amy Zettler and Glad Rags kept their streak alive this weekend with another $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix victory

Zettler and Glad Rags earned the top score of 83 in the first round and bested herself with a score of 87 in the second for a final score of 170 and the win.

“This horse is just fantastic and today was no different,” said Zettler after the class. “I love showing in Culpeper since it is so close to home for me. Our priority while we are here this summer is to qualify for the HITS Hunter Prix Final again – I plan my whole year around that class.”

Second place was awarded to Emma Fass of Newport News, Virginia and her own Son of a Soldier. They rode to scores of 74 and 77 for a two-round total of 151. Shelby Trible of McLean, Virginia and her own Costar were third after a 66 and an 84 for a final score of 150. Fourth place went to Dudley MacFarlane of Darien, Connecticut and her own Asante’ with a final score of 145, after earning a 65 and an 80. Allison May of Haymarket, Virginia and JLA May’s Milestone rode to fifth with a 76 and a 68 for a total of 144.

Riders in both the Devoucoux and HITS Hunter Prix with their sights set on qualifying for the Diamond Mills and HITS Hunter Prix Finals will have weekly opportunities to earn points as HITS Horse Shows continue in Culpeper, Virginia and return to Saugerties, New York July 17. Both finals will be highlighted during HITS Championship Weekend, September 4-8, in Saugerties. To stay current on all qualifying, visit HitsShows.com.

About Devoucoux
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 third-annual Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final, which will take place September 7-8 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.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
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Harold Chopping and Patent Pending Top the $15,000 Aiken Fall Festival Jumper Classic

Harold Chopping and Patent Pending. Shawn McMillen Photography

August 19, 2011 – Sunday marked the final day of the 2011 Aiken Fall Festival II.  It was an exciting action packed weekend filled with many special classes and events at Highfields Event Center in Aiken, SC.  Saturday evening featured the $15,000 Aiken Fall Festival Jumper Classic sponsored by Fenwick Equestrian along with Mexican Fiesta and Margaritas For Mutts in the VIP tent to benefit Danny and Ron’s Rescue.  Patrons also had the chance to bid on several silent auction items donated by Hot To Trot Boutique, Oak Manor Saddlery, Equine Divine, and The Gamboa Family.  Raffle tickets had also been sold throughout the week for several beautiful gift baskets with all proceeds going directly this wonderful charity.  Wendy Arndt and Team IEC sponsored the dinner and the sounds of New Holland Rd. entertained the crowd following the class.

A strong field of 22 competitors was on hand to try their luck at the challenging course designed by J. P. Godard. 6 entries out of the original field graduated to the jump off and with the double 5 AB giving the majority of the class trouble it came down to just two clear rounds.  Second to go in the jump off Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Kendra Bullington’s 8 year old mare Patent Pending turned in a fast and precise trip with a time of 33.129 establishing the time to beat.  Last week’s Open Welcome Stake winner Josh Dolan and his Skylands Con Chino Z were the last pair to enter the ring and gave Chopping a run for his money finishing with the only other clear round and a time of 33.939 just .810 seconds behind Chopping and Patent Pending who would end up the victors.  Karen Kerby’s T/Salemon and Daniel Geitner finished third, Tokade De Kalvarie and Natalie Johnson fourth, Marie Le Menestrel’s Aero and Dustin Ball were fifth, and rounding out the top 6 was George and owner rider Kitt Ritter.  The winners Chopping and Patent Pending received a trophy and Fenwick Equestrian High Performance Body Guard Cooler provided by Fenwick Equestrian.

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Kevin Babington and Mark Q Capture the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper

© ESI Photography. Kevin Babington and Mark Q on course in the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix.

CULPEPER, VA (July 11, 2011) — With all new footing in the Grand Prix ring and beautiful weather, the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia, was well suited to highlight the Showday National. Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, could not have asked for much more, as he captured the first place honors aboard his own Mark Q.

Sunday’s course was designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida. Four riders went clean, including standout junior and Grand Prix newcomer Hasbrouck Donovan of Gainesville, Florida. Donovan went third in the order, posting her clear round early aboard her own Delilah. Babington showed sixth in the order and earned the second clear round of the class to secure a jump-off.

“I thought it was a great class,” said Babington. “I really enjoyed this show. Today’s class had a nice turnout, and the new footing was fantastic. We had some rain earlier in the week that gave it a good test and it passed with flying colors.”

Babington, like so many others, has circled the Pfizer Million on his calendar this year. “The Pfizer Million is one of my main goals this year since it’s such a great opportunity to jump for that much prize money. This is a new horse that I didn’t realize would be such a strong contender for the Million but I think we’ll be ready.”

Babington plans to return to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties to help cement his spot in the Pfizer Million lineup. “I will be in Saugerties for three weeks and will hopefully get six qualifiers in then,” he said. “This was my third one so I should be in good shape after Saugerties.”

Continue reading Kevin Babington and Mark Q Capture the $40,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper