SAUGERTIES, NY (November 27, 2012) – HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has selected HITS-on-the-Hudson as the host site for the 2013 Junior Hunter National Championships – East Coast. The 2013 Championships will mark the seventh time the event has been held at the HITS facility in Saugerties, New York and will take place July 29-31, between HITS-on-the-Hudson V and VI.
The Championships will feature competition for all four sections of Junior Hunters, including Small Juniors 15 and Under, Large Juniors 15 and Under, Small Juniors 16-17 and Large Juniors 16-17. Each section will include three phases, beginning with the Classic Over Fences round and the Under Saddle phase on Tuesday, July 30. The final phase, the Handy Hunter Over Fences, will take place Wednesday, July 31 before the overall Champions are crowned.
Also scheduled to highlight the three-day competition is the popular Hunterdon Cup, which offers a prestigious equitation championship for junior riders. The Hunterdon Cup will take place following the Junior Hunter Classic rounds on Tuesday.
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 17, 2012) – Children’s Working Hunter riders, their horses and their ponies were the center of attention in the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium this weekend during Marshall & Sterling League National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson. While year-end award winners were crowned during the annual awards ceremony at Diamond Mills Hotel and Tavern, Children’s Working Hunters took to the saddle and rode for even more ribbons over two days.
Children’s Working Hunter – Small Pony
Kayla Ryan of New York, New York led the charge as she and Lochmoor Stables’ First Dibs clinched the small pony title. Ryan rode to an impressive score of 80 to finish second in the first over-fences class. She also piloted First Dibs to second place under saddle to rack up enough points for Champion honors.
Sophee Stenbeck of Clarksburg, New Jersey used a high-score of 82 over fences to win the first class and ride to Reserve Champion. She and her own Coconut Creek also earned fifth place in the stake and were third in the under saddle.
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 14, 2012) – Whirlaway Acres, LLC’s Woodrow was only imported from Europe a year ago, but has delivered several Champion and Reserve Champion titles to rider BJ Ehrhardt since, including yesterday’s Adequan Working Hunter Championship at Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. After a successful season at HITS-on-the-Hudson, Ehrhardt of Goshen, New York capped her summer season with a Championship on the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding.
“He hasn’t been in the country very long, but he is doing wonderfully,” said Ehrhardt. “He is super brave with a big stride, so this ring suits him. He is always pleasant to the jumps and performed perfectly.”
After a third-place ribbon in the Adequan Working Hunter class on Wednesday, Ehrhardt and Woodrow returned to the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium to put up a score of 85 in the stake class. She also rode to second place under saddle to secure the Championship.
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 12, 2012) – The first day of the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson hinted at an exciting week forthcoming. Competition got underway this morning in the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium as HITS Working Hunters, both Professional and Non-Professional strutted their stuff.
Heather Caristo comes off a big week to win the HITS Working Hunter – Professional After riding in last week’s Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final at HITS Saugerties, Heather Caristo of Saugerties, New York didn’t slow down one bit, returning to the ring today to take Champion in the HITS Working Hunter – Professional division.
Caristo pocketed a pair of 84s in each of two over fences classes and rode to first place in the under saddle to sweep the blues and easily earn championship honors. She piloted Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Caristo’s six-year-old Hanoverian gelding Splash to the top spot.
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 12, 2012) – On the heels of HITS Championship Weekend at HITS-on-the-Hudson, another wave of horses and riders arrived in Saugerties, New York this week for the 2012 finale of the Marshall & Sterling League. The Marshall & Sterling League National Finals will celebrate its 22nd year as qualified riders of all ages – professionals, amateurs and juniors alike – will compete this week at HITS-on-the-Hudson for year-end champion titles.
After its inception in 1991, The Marshall & Sterling League is thriving as a grassroots league which takes pride in developing what some consider the future of the hunter/jumper discipline. Competition gets underway today in the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium as Marshall & Sterling riders take to the same ring where equestrian stars from around the world jumped Olympic-level spreads just days before.
“People are so excited to be here – the show was buzzing well before 8am yesterday as riders prepared for the week,” said Joe Norick of Marshall & Sterling Insurance. “We are thrilled to be here and experience the National Finals with riders from all over the country.”
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 8, 2012) – Today Lillie Keenan proved, as she often does, that age isn’t always indicative of skill or experience. The 15-year-old from New York, New York piloted Chansonette Farm, LLC’s C Coast Z to the top of an impressive group of 66 qualified riders in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final.
“This is my go-to horse and this course was really about knowing your horse,” said Keenan. “It’s great to have another final like this with so much support – it brings a lot of excitement to the ring.”
Keenan combined a first round score of 180 with a notable 186 in the second round to sit in first place with an overall score of 366. All bets are off tomorrow, however, as scores are wiped clean and competition moves from the Outside Course to the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium where the top 25 will compete in the third round before the top four scores move to the final round and the winner is crowned.
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 8, 2012) – The National PHA Junior Medal Final took to the all-new indoor arena at HITS-on-the-Hudson last night and welcomed 39 riders. It was Meg O’Mara who first earned a score of 87.5 and returned to out-test five riders with a perfect ride and earn the blue.
This week marked the debut of the indoor arena at HITS-on-the-Hudson, which was delivered to Saugerties, New York especially for HITS Championship Weekend. O’Mara, of Rumson, New Jersey rode to medal final glory aboard Elvenstar Farm’s Vancouver who has only just arrived at the show grounds Thursday evening.
“He was perfect. Competing inside is spooky for a lot of horses, but I just got him in front of my leg and he was so soft and smooth over the whole course,” said O’Mara of Vancouver’s performance.
The PHA Junior Medal was not the first victory for O’Mara and Vancouver – the pair also rode to a win in yesterday’s Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Medal at HITS Saugerties to go undefeated together.
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 3, 2012) – Canadian Olympian and show jumping star and HITS Thermal regular John Pearce brought his talents to the East Coast once again as he pursues the coveted Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. Pearce arrived for HITS-on-the-Hudson VII and easily gained his footing in the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium with a win in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, on Sunday aboard Allison Moore’s Chianto.
Sunday’s course was designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida and 27 horse-and-rider combinations attempted to challenge the track. At the end of the first round, the playing field was trimmed to five, and set up an exciting jump-off with a mix of some of the best athletes coast-to-coast.
“I thought today’s course was good – it had some different lines and the jump-off was quite a challenge. I pretty much had to throw all caution to the wind to leave out the strides and go fast enough to win,” said Pearce. “Chianto jumped great today and he is in perfect condition for the [Pfizer] Million.”
SAUGERTIES, NY (August 31, 2012) – After winning four in a row during Weeks V and VI at HITS Saugerties this summer, Laura Chapot is off to another great start as she and Mary Chapot’s Umberto rode to a win in today’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. They topped a field of 30 horses who rode over Jerry Dougherty’s track and pocketed the last $25,000 grand prix before HITS Championship Weekend arrives September 7-9.
Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida set a 13-obstacle course, which included 16 jumping efforts. He tripped up most riders with a one-stride to a two-stride triple combination at fence eight and a tight one-stride double at fence eleven. The two combinations alone ruined all hope for clear rounds for nine riders, while eleven persevered to the jump-off.
“You never know what you are going to get on Friday because the field is so mixed – there are a lot of young horses here and there are a lot of horses who are in it to prepare for Sunday’s grand prix,” said Chapot of Neshanic Station, New Jersey. “But, all-in-all, I think the course was really nice and I was very pleased with how my horses jumped it.”
SAUGERTIES, NY (August 8, 2012) – The inaugural HITS Children’s Hunter Pony Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson was a resounding success and great addition to the thriving summer series. Lena Rae Reeb of Weston, Connecticut and Leslie Kogos’ large pony Patriot were crowned the overall champions of the two-day spectacular.
Reeb showed as part of a tremendous performance by riders and ponies of all sizes to earn this impressive victory. On Saturday, Reeb and Patriot received the seventh-place ribbon in the Model Phase and the twelfth-place ribbon in the Under-Saddle Phase. Then on Sunday, their blue ribbon in the Over Fences sky-rocketed them to the Championship of the Large section and the Overall Championship of the Final.
The Children’s Hunter Pony Final was designed to give children’s pony riders an unprecedented opportunity to compete, prepare and gain experience in a true Pony Finals platform. The two-day, three-phase event included a Model and Under Saddle phase on Saturday, with the scores counting 20% and 30% towards the overall respectively. The second day featured an Over Fences phase with scores counting 50% of the overall score. A panel of three judges was selected to determine the ribbons amongst a pool of over 60 talented pony-rider combinations.