Tag Archives: HITS

HITS Ocala Hunters Take Center Stage

(C) ESI PHOTOGRAPHY. Dorothy Douglas and S&L Just A Cobbler.

Ocala, FL (January 22, 2017): The first week of qualifying opportunities for the Diamond Mills Hunter Final and the Platinum Performance Hunter Final, which takes place at the HITS Championship in Saugerties each September, commenced this weekend at HITS Post Time Farm. Horses and riders descended on the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium for a chance to qualify in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Dorothy Douglas of Flower Mound, Texas took home the first Devoucoux Hunter Prix win of the season aboard S&L Just A Cobbler, owned by S&L Farms. They were rewarded with the highest scores in both rounds of the Prix, 85 and 87, respectively, for a winning total of 172.

Second through fifth place were each separated by only one point, proving how high the talent level was in Saturday’s event.

The red ribbon went to Brian Moggre riding MTM Inquisitive, owned by Girling Farm, LLC. Moggre is known best for his success in the Jumper ring, having won the $250,000 Black Barn Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix at the HITS Championship last September. He and MTM Inquisitive scored an 81 in the first round, improving to an 86 in the second round for a total of 167.

Amanda Steege garnered both third and fourth place. Third place came aboard Zidane, owned by Susan Darragh, with a final score of 166. Fourth place was with Loxley, owned by Finale Partners, LLC — they earned a final score of 165.

Rounding out the Top Five was Sarah Barge riding Danturano, owned by Sydney Degrazia, scoring an 83 in the first round and an 81 in the second round for a total of 164.

(C) ESI Photography. Taylor Masters and Paisley

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

The team to beat in the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix was Taylor Masters and Paisley, owned by Redfield Farm. They scored a consistent 83 in both rounds to take home the win with a total of 166.

Alexa Bayko earned second place piloting Carero. They came in behind Masters with a total score of 163, combined by their scores of 84 and 79, respectively.

Third in the ribbons were Jacquelyn Maggiore and Contina. They received an 80 in the first round and a 78 in the second round for total of 158.

Sydney Degrazia took home fourth place among her peers with Reveille Z. Their combined scores of 85, the highest in the first round, and 72 gave them a total of 156.

Rounding out the Top Five was Maeve O’Donovan aboard India. They received consistent scores of 78 for a total of 155 and the fifth-place prize.

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The 2017 FEI Nations Cup CSIO-4* at HITS Ocala Is Drawing Near

(C) ESI Photography.

Ocala, FL (January 5, 2017): HITS, Inc. is pleased to officially announce that the Ocala Winter Circuit will once again play host to the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO-4* for the third consecutive year. The inclusive show schedule will continue to give additional opportunities to National and International competitors during February 14-19, 2017, the fifth week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26.

“We are honored to host the Nations Cup for the third straight year,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “It truly speaks for the quality of the event in Ocala for the past two years. We are very excited to have the support of the community to further evolve the event for spectators and teams alike in the Horse Capital of the World.”

Ocala Main Street, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) are coordinating “Jump Downtown” — a special event featuring the Annual Parade of Nations Horse Celebration on the Downtown Square in Ocala on Wednesday, February 15th at 6 PM.

The Parade of Nations will honor and welcome this year’s teams and equestrians from around the world that are in Ocala to compete in the extremely prestigious Nations Cup, and showcase many of the breeds that make Ocala the Horse Capital of the World. Sponsored by the City of Ocala, this family-friendly event is free and open to the public, making it a can’t-miss opportunity to cheer on world-class athletes and enjoy the equine side of the community.

“With loyal support from Marion County and the City of Ocala, in addition to Ocala Main Street, IHMS and the CEP, HITS will once again welcome show jumping’s biggest players to Ocala to exemplify our continued commitment to growing the sport for exhibitors and spectators alike,” continued Struzzieri.

The Nations Cup Jumping series is equestrian sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge, with national teams from around the globe competing for one of the most coveted prizes in this Olympic-level discipline.

Last year, the 2016 Nations Cup at HITS Ocala garnered over 5,000 on-site spectators, as well as an unprecedented figure of national and international media attention. The 2015 event was ranked as the second highest in national and international media interest for its overall division in the official 2015 FEI Nations Cup™ Media Report.

“Now, with two years of experience, we can continue to make Nations Cup Week an extraordinarily special week for both the exhibitor and the loyal spectators of Marion County,” continued Struzzieri.  “They say the third time’s the charm – and we are certain the 2017 event will live up to the expectation of excellence that HITS is recognized for.”

Throughout the Nations Cup Week at HITS Post Time Farm, HITS will offer an upgraded hospitality experience in the Overlook VIP Club featuring ringside seating, as well as beer and wine service and the culinary art of Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli of The Tavern at Diamond Mills in Saugerties, New York. VIP tables are expected to sell out and reservations are encouraged.

For Overlook VIP Club information and bookings, contact Chris Mayone at Chris@HitsShows.com. Day VIP will also be available for purchase which includes reserved, ringside seating, lunch with beer and wine service. To purchase Day VIP, please contact HITS at 845-246-8833.

The Ocala Winter Circuit runs for 10 weeks, January 17 – March 26. A total of two FEI events will be held, including the Nations Cup, from February 7 – March 5. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26. The Circuit culminates with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 26. For the complete schedule, please click here.

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Andrew Kocher Dominates in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix and $10,000 Open Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Andrew Kocher and USA Today.

Ocala, FL (December 19, 2016): As the curtain closed on the two-week HITS Holiday Series at HITS Post Time Farm, riders gathered to compete in the finale of the series, the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.

The rider to beat would be Andy Kocher of Lake St. Louis, Missouri riding USA Today, owned by MKO Equestrian. Kocher won the $10,000 Open Prix the day prior to Sunday’s class, as well as the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in the first week of the series, along with several other top five prizes.

“I really like the Holiday Series; it’s a great few weeks to practice and get the horses out there, and the prize money is great for even the smaller weeks,” said Kocher. “I thought Ken Krome did a good job all week in designing the courses. He put the jumps in the right spots and utilized the ring well to challenge some rails here and there, but he had a nice number clean in the jump-offs.”

Eight horses and riders would advance over the first round course, designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, Maryland, to vie for the win in the jump-off – where half of the lot would gain clear rounds again.

“This was my first show with USA Today; he’s a really great horse and is a seasoned competitor,” said Kocher. “He’s very experienced and has shown all over the world. I had just sold what was my best horse in the last year or so, so last week I was bummed out, but we brought out our new horses and had a great week, so I’ve changed my outlook for the upcoming winter.”

The first to compete over the shortened course was Christina Kelly of Aiken, South Carolina and The Kingdom, owned by Andrea O’Brien. They flew through the course, laying down a solid, clear round in 37.266 to set the tone for the remaining field. When the class was finished, they would take home the second-place prize.

Next to garner a clear round as the third trip in the jump-off were the victors, Kocher and USA Today. They shaved a full two seconds off of Kelly’s time to move up the leaderboard with a time of 35.070, where the lead would remain.

“The jump-off was fast, and not knowing this horse as well, I just sent him quick to really see what he had in him,” said Kocher. “After seeing Christina go, and she rode really well, I saw her horse had more jump ability then mine but I thought I could be quicker across the ground, so I went for it from the wire to the first jump.”

Ontario equestrian Kim Farlinger entered fifth in the jump-off order to give the crowd another clean round. She piloted Charming Force B, owned by Kim Farlinger Stables Ltd., through the timers in 38.563, a round that would settle them into third place.

Matthias Hollberg, riding out of Middleburg, Virginia, was the final rider in the jump-off and the last to snag a clear round. Hollberg rode Aletta, owned by Hollberg Equestrian, to the finish clocking in at 39.363, just a second shy of Farlinger for fourth place.

The final five rounded out with Margie Engle and Indigo, owned by Gladewinds Farm, Inc. Coming off a victory in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, the two were prepped for success, but a heart-breaking rail at the final fence of the jump-off settled them in fifth in 35.797.

$10,000 Open Prix at HITS Holiday Series

Andy Kocher and Coconut, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC, have been inching their way up the placings over the two-week Holiday Series, and on Saturday, they pulled off the win. Kocher would also grab two more places in the ribbons, fifth and ninth.

“I really like this class and it’s nice if you have a young horse that’s just not quite ready for the Grand Prix,” said Kocher. “Coconut is an eight-year-old that I’ve been producing since he was about six; last year I wasn’t sure if he could be a Grand Prix horse but now I’m thinking he has the potential. He knows where his legs are and is just a very honest horse.”

In a four horse jump-off where all of the trips were clear, Kocher and Coconut sealed the victory as the quickest and most agile team by three full seconds.

First to contend the shortened course was hometown equestrian, Aaron Vale and Stakko, owned by Thinkslikeahorse. They put down a clean trip in 40.260 to set the tone for their peers, ultimately giving them the third-place prize.

Jennifer Jones of Marion, South Carolina followed Vale with Benedetto, owned by Andy Kocher. They shaved two seconds off Vale’s time, stopping the clock with all of the rails up in 38.083, eventually earning them second place.

The rounds kept getting quicker as Kocher entered the ring with Coconut. They zoomed through the course to finish in a lightning-fast 35.254.

The final contenders in the jump-off were Florida equestrian Hayley Waters and Uppie de Lis, owned by Chuck Waters. They mastered the course with all of the rails up, but were not quite fast enough to conquer the trips before them, clocking in at 42.856 for fourth.

Fifth place belonged to Kocher and Carlos, owned by Andrew Kocher & MCM Farm. They were foiled by one mere time fault in the first round.  Kocher also finished in ninth place with E Pleasure, owned by Angelo Danza.

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Holiday Series II Kicks Off with $2,500 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome

(C) ESI Photography. Derek Petersen and Redeemed.

Ocala, FL (December 16, 2015): The Ocala Holiday Classic kicked off as the second week of the HITS Holiday Series. Equestrians returned to HITS Post Time Farm for another week of competition after a brief hiatus to dine, play and explore the city of Ocala, Florida.

Derek Petersen of Archer, Florida walked away with the blue ribbon in the first featured class of the week, the $2,500 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome. The win came aboard Redeemed, a seven-year-old Warmblood gelding.

Four would jump clear to advance to the immediate jump-off, where three would go double clear in contingency for the victory.

Petersen was the first to show and the first to produce a double-clear round to set the tone for the class. He and Redeemed clocked in at 40.983, a round that would remain unsurpassed.

Next to conquer the shortened course was Lexington, Kentucky equestrian Lauren Hester and Clueless P, owned by Hester Equestrian, LLC. They stopped the clock just one second behind Petersen in 41.501 for the eventual second-place prize.

The final pair to go clear in the jump-off was Debbie McCarthy Connor of Patterson, New York and Zim, owned by Connor & Ebetino Jumpers, LLC. The pair won this class in the first week of the Holiday Series. They crossed the finish in 47.140 to secure third place.

Fourth place went to Hayden Morresey riding Cequila, owned by Margaret Bopp, LLC. The final spot in the top five belonged to Ocala rider Allen T. Nabors piloting Cool N’Cavalier, owned by Cassie Bakus.

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Aaron Vale Tops the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix with First and Second

(C) ESI Photography. Aaron Vale and Carlo.

Ocala, FL (December 5, 2016):  Sunday marked the finale of the first week of the HITS Ocala Holiday Series, concluding with the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix. Exhibitors and spectators enjoyed a beautiful week to kick off the winter at HITS Post Time Farm with a swell of new features, including updated footing in Grand Prix ring and adjacent schooling area as well as other rings to emulate the very popular Ocala Horse Properties Stadium footing.

Thirty contenders vied for the top prize but only one horse and rider could take home the lion’s share over the course designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida.

The rider to beat proved to be hometown equestrian, Aaron Vale, who would not only take home the victory, but the second-place spot as well.

“Sunday’s course was a nice, balanced course with a good design and it gave a nice tour of the ring,” said Vale. “We’re happy to be here at HITS — the rings have always been very nice here and the footing in the Grand Prix ring felt great.”

Vale grabbed the top two spots with both mounts owned by North Face Farm, first place with Carlo, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, and second place with Quality On Top, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

The nine-horse jump-off was challenging, and as none would go clear over the shortened course, it all came down to speed.

Vale and Carlo went first in the jump-off, and it looked as though they would lay down a clear round, but they were fooled by a rail at the final fence as the pair clocked in at 44.941. Vale’s second-place trip aboard Quality On Top would be in 45.649 seconds, also with only one rail.

Derek Petersen of Archer, Florida would come in third behind Vale’s two rounds piloting Diamant’s Legacy after stopping the clock in 46.048 with one rail at a mid-course vertical prior to the combination.

Flower Mound, Texas equestrian, Tracy Fenney, climbed her way from eighth place in Friday’s Grand Prix to score the fourth-place prize with MTM Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm in a 46.529-second round. This pair is no stranger to success in the Grand Prix Ring at Post Time Farm. Their success in this week’s Grand Prix is in addition to Fenney’s recent third-place finish in the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix at the HITS Championship in September.

The final spot in the top five belonged to Ocala resident Kyle Dewar riding Gomez van de Withoeve. They snagged fifth place with one rail in 47.296 seconds.

Kady Abrahamson Wins the $7,500 U-Dump Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic

A talented group of Junior and Amateur riders turned out for the first feature Junior/Amateur-Owner class on the first Sunday of the two-week Holiday Series. Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, Ohio would come out on top of the leaderboard with Bugatti, owned by Abrahamson Equestrian, LLC, in a thrilling two-horse jump-off battle.

(C) ESI Photography. Kady Abrahamson and Bugatti
(C) ESI Photography. Kady Abrahamson and Bugatti

Abrahamson challenged Haley Waters of Sparr, Florida, a residual victor of several HITS Ocala Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics, Grand Prix and veteran winner of the 2015 $250,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Final.

First to contest the shortened course was Waters aboard Idalle van Doperheide, owned by Chuck and Dana Waters. Waters and her mount powered through the course to turn in a cool, clear round in 40.546.

Abrahamason knew what she had to beat to take the lead. She flew to the finish leaving every rail in the cups. The time of the clock was 39.537; a second fast enough for the victory.

Following Abrahamason’s ride, Young equestrian Jared Petersen garnered a third place time with Constantine, owned by Derek Petersen, with the quickest of the four-fault rounds.

Fourth place went to Hasbrouck Donovan and Spitfire-W and fifth place went to Alysson Siopes and Hagrid Van Ten Biesen, owned by AMS Sport Horses, LLC.

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Coaches from Five NCAA Collegiate Teams Attend the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final

(C) ESI Photography. Ana Bertozzi.

Culpeper, VA (October 6, 2016): HITS Culpeper was chosen to host the top riders from the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Ranking List to compete in the inaugural East Coast NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final. The East Coast NCEA Medal Final allowed pre-college equestrians to compete in the spotlight, increasing their exposure for collegiate equestrian scholarships. There were five NCAA Collegiate Equestrian coaches in attendance to watch the junior riders compete.

“We were incredibly thankful for the support we received from HITS and the sponsors,” said Executive Director of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, Dr. Leah Fiorentino. The riders were so excited to ride in the bracket format on brand new horses. It was one of the highlights that they all spoke about. Looking ahead, we’re quite excited for the West Coast finals; there were many riders engaged in the NCEA Medal classes on the west coast, so we’re hopeful that the Finals at HITS in November will have a good turnout.”

“It was a wonderful event; it was a lot of fun to watch the riders in the finals compete over the head-to-head courses,” said University of Auburn Women’s Equestrian Head Coach, Greg Williams. “It was a great test for the riders, and from what I overheard from the coaches and the riders, everyone really liked that part of the format. I absolutely see an upside to this event in the future.”

The West Coast Final will be hosted at HITS National Sunshine Series in Thermal, California on November 9-13. Junior riders on the West Coast will have the same opportunity to compete in front of collegiate team coaches.

“This opportunity is fantastic for the riders coming out of the junior ranks and into the college program,” said Showplace Productions owner and manager, Pat Boyle, whose daughter rides on the No. 1 Auburn University Equestrian Team.

Boyle continued to compliment the NCEA Medal Final, saying, “The number of collegiate scholarships available for these riders is growing, and with the notoriety of the program and of this class, I think it will really add to the knowledge of the sport. The overall competition level of the riders was also very impressive going into the NCEA.”

Maryland-based trainer Patty Foster, who is also a parent to a collegiate equestrian athlete, also praised the program. “The NCEA Medal Final, and the format of the class, really gives the riders an idea of what competing on a team is like before they actually get to that level.”

“HITS was honored to host the East Coast NCEA Medal Final at HITS Culpeper; it was a successful event, and we’re looking forward to hosting it again on the West Coast at the National Sunshine Series in November,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri.

Last weekend on the East Coast, Ana Bertozzi of Leesburg, Virginia topped the field of riders to win the Championship, with the Reserve Champion going to Hannah Matts of Oakland, New Jersey. Third place went to Lauren Rachuba of Woodbine, Maryland and rounding out the top four was Emily Leins from McLean, Virginia.

“Thank you to everyone at HITS for supporting this great class and our two Finals both East and West coasts,” said NCEA National Advisory Board member, Tom O’Mara. “Additionally, so many great sponsors have offered to support this event, including Horseware Ireland, One-K Helmets, EquiFit Boots, Fabbri Boots, ECE Equestrian Shirts, Threadneedle, Go Girl Energy drinks and Perry Communications.  Thanks all for making our inaugural year a huge success.”

Riders met for a riders meeting the morning of the class to draw for the order of go, where they also enjoyed a breakfast buffet, compliments of Marshall & Sterling Insurance League.

The Finals consisted of three-phases: Over Fences phase, Flat phase and a Bracket phase, judged by Frank Willard of Oak Ridge, North Carolina and Kim Dorfman of Aiken, South Carolina.  Riders competed over a 3’3” course designed by Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City, in hopes of claiming the prestigious title.

Riders competed under a unique format, which combined a Medal-style course and a flat phase, with the bracket-style competition used at NCAA competitions. The riders that moved onto the bracket phase were determined by their combined jumping and flat scores, where they came back to compete head-to-head on a neutral horse – this gave the riders a taste of the competition format faced when riding for an NCAA team.

Under the bracket format, the first place rider competes with the fourth place rider in a head-to-head round on the same horse over a new course, as do the second place against third place riders. The winners of the two semi-final brackets compete again over fences on a neutral horse to determine the first-ever, NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal – East Coast Champion. Third and fourth place riders are determined by their combined scores in the jumping, flat, and semi-final bracket phases. The fifth through tenth place riders are determined based on the jumping and flat phase.

It all came down to the ride-off between Ana Bertozzi and Hannah Matts to determine the overall winner. The judges critiqued each rider in their craft, carefully accessing the horsemanship and equitation skills of each equestrian as they rode for the win: Matts competed first, followed by Bertozzi. It was a close match as Bertozzi prevailed, edging out Matts’s score by just one point.

“The original course gave the riders a lot of different options and questions, and the two test rounds rode really well,” said Michael Bertozzi, father and trainer to Ana. “Ana has been able to do a fair bit of catch-riding and practicing on different animals, which helped her prepare for the class. The idea of the class is a very good one.”

The NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals will make its first stop on the West Coast at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California, during the National Sunshine Series.

Click here for more information on the West Coast NCEA Medal Finals.

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Gavin Moylan Grabs the Victory in the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix at Culpeper

(C) ESI Photography. Gavin Moylan and Pernod.

Culpeper, VA (October 4, 2016): The curtain closed on the 2016 HITS Culpeper season on Sunday with the $30,000 HITS Grand Prix. Riders and horses laid it all on the line to pursue the last big victory in the Grand Prix Ring at HITS Commonwealth Park.

The team to reign supreme was Gavin Moylan of Middleburg, Virginia aboard Pernod, owned by Alpha Omega Farm. The battle for the blue came down to a race against the clock, with the top three separated by only tenths of a second. This victory marked Moylan and Pernod’s second Grand Prix win of the season at HITS Culpeper, in addition to impressively claiming a number of ribbons in other Culpeper Grand Prix classes.

“I am thrilled with Pernod’s performance; every time I’ve taken him in the ring, I feel like I had a chance to win,” said Moylan.  “I’d like to say thank you to Bart and Abby Frye, who I co-own this horse with.”

Five advanced to the jump-off set by course designer Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City. The first to contend the shortened course was Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas and MTM Reve Du Paradis.

Fenney and Reve Du Paradis, owned by MTM Farm, won the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix on Friday, and they had their eyes on another prize. They put down a quick, clear round in 36.129 to set the tone for the remaining field. They would take home the second place prize when the class was finished.

The victors, Moylan and Pernod, immediately followed Fenney, knowing their round would need to be solid to edge her out and also stay strong with three more trips left. They crossed the timers in a lightning-fast 36.098, overcoming Fenney by just fractions of a second.

“The course was definitely challenging and it was a very fast class,” said Moylan. “Tracy, Dorothy and I were all separated by just a tenth of a second give or take, so to be able to compete against those guys, who are so competitive, and come out on top was great.”

Dorothy Douglas, also of Flower Mound, Texas, was next to challenge the shortened course, piloting S&L Elite, owned by MTM Farm. They powered through the course, stopping the clock at 36.202, to ultimately take home third place.

Only two remained in the jump-off. Fenney returned with her second ride for another shot at topping the leaderboard. She rode MTM Como No, owned by MTM Farm, through the course, but a rail at a mid-course fence before the combination thwarted their chance of the win – ultimately settling them in fourth place with a 39.470-second round.

Last to contend the jump-off round was Matthias Hollberg riding out of Middleburg, Virginia aboard Czechmate, owned by Courtney Ramsay. They would turn in eight faults as they crossed the finish in 37.711, rounding out the top five in fifth.

$15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic – 1.45m

The winner of the High Jr/A-O Classic at HITS Culpeper was Myrto Iliadis of Waterford, Virginia riding Voila He, owned by Daphne Iliadis. The equestrian and her mount bested a field of their peers as the only clear round of the three-horse jump-off.

Second place went to Tamara Morse and Ravenna, co-owned with Stuart Morse. Third went home with Felicia Russell and her own Habsurg 2.

$10,000 Pyranha Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low Classic – 1.35m

Nikki Prokopchak of Barnesville, Maryland took home the blue in the Low Jr/A-O Classic on Sunday. Prokopchak piloted Agropoint Cassius to the victory in a two horse jump-off.

Califon, New Jersey equestrian Darby Toben was second place aboard D’Artagnan, owned by Doreen Toben. They earned one time fault in the jump-off with Prokopchak for the placing.

Third in the ribbons was Jocelyn Albaugh of McLean, Virginia and Axei Springs, owned by Lyle Albaugh. The pair claimed their spot in the top three with the fastest four-fault trip in the first round.

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Hunter Riders Turn Out for the Blue at the Culpeper Finals

(C) ESI Photography. David Wilbur and Adore.

Culpeper, VA (October 2, 2016): Exhibitors from the East Coast and beyond traveled to HITS Commonwealth Park for the final weekend of competition, but only one winner could be crowned in each Hunter Prix: the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix
The top five riders would claim multiple ribbons in the class, but a HITS Champion returned to the ring in Culpeper to once again claim a winning title. After staking claim to the second-annual Stal Hendrix Pre-Green Futurity at the HITS Championship in September, David Wilbur piloted Adore, owned by Stephanie Ray, to another blue ribbon.

The Ocala, Florida equestrian rode the stunning grey mare to an impressive first-round score of 88, the highest of the round. After the top 12 returned for the second round of the classic, Wilbur and Adore once again swept the competition with an 88, totaling 176 for the victory.

Wilbur also captured the final spot in the top five aboard Fila, owned by Taylor Lampert. They earned an 84.5 in the first round, and a 79 in the second round for a total of 153.5 for fifth place.

Second in the ribbons belonged to Caitlin Venezia-White of Marston’s Mills, Massachusetts piloting Waterfall, owned by Jennifer Combs. Together the pair earned a first-round score of 86, followed by an 88 in the second-round to total 174.

Venezia-White would also garner fourth place with Spottless, owned by Heather Georges. They earned scores of 82 and 84, respectively, for a total of 166.

Melissa Feller of Flemington, New Jersey took Shameless to the third place ribbon with a first-round score of 85.5 and a second-round score of 85 for a total of 170.5. Feller would also earn a second ribbon in sixth place aboard Chanel, owned by Sloan Hodges.

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Junior and amateur riders put it all on the line for a shot at the winning spotlight in Saturday’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.

The team to beat was Emily Smith of Bethesda, Maryland riding Validictorian. They claimed the highest score of the round with an 82, for the victory.

Second in the ribbons was Emma Koeppen of Frederick, Maryland riding Portrait, owned by Julie Teitel. They scored just behind Smith with an 80 for their efforts.

Emily Simon of Virginia Beach, Virginia took home third place honors piloting Thor’s Hammer, owned by Debra Teets; they turned in a score of 75.

Radnor, Pennsylvania equestrian Jessa Kinney was fourth riding her own gelding, World Power. Rounding out the top five was Payton Lawrence of Leesburg, Virginia and Fair Game, owned by Liam Fell.

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Tracy Fenney Grabs First and Third in $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix

(C) ESI Photography. Tracy Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis.

Culpeper, VA (October 1, 2016): Exhibitors turned out for the final week of the Culpeper Show Series at HITS Commonwealth Park and the weekend kicked off with the $25,000 Brook Ledge Grand Prix on Friday afternoon.  Everyone was hungry for the winner’s share and the top five contenders would be separated by only fractions of a second for an exciting race against the clock.

It was a good day for MTM Farm. Tracy Fenney not only walked away with the victory, but with the third-place prize as well.  Her winning mount, MTM Reve Du Paradis, brought home the blue over the course set by Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City. Fenney garnered third with MTM Como No.

The Flower Mound, Texas equestrian was the first to enter the ring and put down a clear round to set the tone for the remaining order right off the bat with third-place mount, MTM Como No. They stopped the clock in 33.707.

Following Fenney was Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland aboard Bling Bling, owned by Rolling Acres. They put down a solid round right behind Fenney, and edged her ride by mere fractions with her 33.175-second round. Leffler would take home the second place prize when the class was finished.

Dorothy Douglas, also of Flower Mound, Texas, went ninth in the order, laying down a fault-free trip with S&L Elite in 33.817. Their round would earn them fourth place, sealing the third top-five finish for MTM Farm.

Fenney and MTM Reve Du Paradis followed Douglas to put down the quickest of the eight that went clear to contest the immediate jump-off. Their speedy time of 32.212 with no faults conquered the rest of the field to take home the blue.

The top five rounded out with Ocala, Florida rider Ian Silitch and Cordovo, owned by Gaston Family Investments. They passed the timers in 37.571 with all of the rails up to seal the final spot in the top five.

Fenny and Douglas have had a successful fall competing with HITS. Both Douglas and Fenney finished in the prestigious top four at the HITS Championship recently in Saugerties, New York. In the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix, Fenney captured third place and Douglas finished fourth.

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

Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals: Part II

(C) ESI Photography. Britta Lippert and Archie.

Saugerties, NY (September 20, 2016): Show jumping competition at HITS Saugerties continued throughout the weekend with the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals. Featuring specialty classes in Children’s and Adult Hunter, Jumper and Equitation, these unique finals gave a deserving group of riders their moment in the spotlight.

Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final
Britta Lippert of Sea Girt, New Jersey took home the coveted blue ribbon in Saturday’s Dover Saddlery Adult Medal Final. She topped a field of thirty with the highest first-round score of an 86, and then moved into the final round on top to score an 85 among the top 12 that returned. Her combined scores led her to a victorious total of 171.

Second place went to Marmora, New Jersey rider Kendall Casaccio. She finished the first round with a score of 81, putting her in fourth heading into the second round. Climbing her way up the leaderboard with the highest score in the second round, an 86, sealed her spot in the placings with a total of 167. Casaccio and her mount Wilhelm also earned the second place prize in the $1,250 Adult Working Hunter.

Cady MacPherson of Pembroke, Massachusetts went on to a third place finish with scores of 83 in the first round, and a 82.5 in the second round to finish just behind Casaccio with a total of 165.5.

Fourth place was awarded to Tracy Glicker. The equestrian also rounded out the M&S Finals with a fifth place ribbon in the $2,000 Adult Working Hunter Stake aboard Redford. The top five closed out with Matthew Lowe.

M&S Child Pony Medal Final – Small/Medium
Hailey Pendl of Westtown, New York gave a stellar performance worthy of the top prize in the Marshall & Sterling 2’6” Child Medal Finals. Boasting scores of 84 in both rounds, for a total of 168, she shined among her peers for the title win.

Thirty-two riders took their chance over the round one course designed by Rian Beals of Saugerties, New York. Testing the riders on their horsemanship skills, many competitors received scores in the mid-to-high seventies and low eighties – proving the field to be a competitive one.

The top twelve returned for round two and competition started on a high note with scores in the eighties for the first few entries. The rider to take home second place behind Pendl would ultimately be Maria Sabers of Stockton, New Jersey. She came into the second round in sixth place with a 79.5, making a tremendous comeback with the highest score of the final, an 85, to seal her place with a 164.5.

Alexa Lignelli brought in the third place prize just on the heels of second place, Sabers. Lignelli went into the second round with the leading score of 85, and her final round score of 79 gave her a total of 164, just behind Sabers by a half of a point.

Olivia Corwin took home fourth place, and the final five topped out with Hope Verschleiser.

Marshall & Sterling Junior Medal Final
MacKenzie Suffy of West Milford, New Jersey rocked the M&S Junior Medal Final with a fifteen point lead over the competition. She claimed the highest scores in both rounds, an 86 and 73, respectively, for the triumphant total of 159.

Coming into second place was Ashley Delise of Pittstown, New Jersey. She came into the final round in fourth place with a score of 75, and then she pushed her way up the rankings with a 69 in the second round for a 144-point total.

Hannah Matts claimed third place with scores of 77 and 65 for a total 142. Fourth place was awarded to Sarah Kessler and fifth place was Katy Merchant.

Marshall & Sterling Junior/Amateur Horsemanship Final
Neshanic Station, New Jersey rider, Katy Merchant, bested a field of her peers aboard Caracas for the top prize in the M&S Junior/Amateur Horsemanship Final. After a fifth place finish in the M&S Junior Medal Final, the duo rose to the top in the class immediately following on Sunday with a solid score of 87.

Katherine Driscoll earned second place with Fiorano Z with a total of 81. Driscoll moved up the rankings after a flat phase that proved him worthy of a higher spot in the ribbons. Third place went to Anabel Barnett riding Rockafella with an 84-point round. Barnett moved down behind Driscoll in the flat phase.

Fourth place went to Danielle Markey riding Anabel Barnett’s Gineon. They scored behind Barnett with a 78. The curtain closed on the top five with Eileen O’Leary riding Baham Boy, owned by Bre Pickens. O’Leary and Bahama Boy scored the Adult Individual Gold Medal at the USHJA Child/Adult-Amateur Individual Jumper Championships at HITS Saugerties earlier this season.

Marshall & Sterling Children’s Pony Medal Final – Large
Forty-three riders and large ponies turned out to compete in the M&S Children’s Large Pony Medal Final in the hopes of claiming first-place honors.

Julia Bonvino of Manhasset, New York was the rider to beat, claiming the top spot by nearly seven points. She came into the final round with an 82, which had her in second place; her score of 85 pulled her up for the win with a total of 167.

Second place honors belonged to Tempe Saltiello of Lebanon, New Jersey. She scored an 80.5 in the first round, followed by a solid 80 in the second round for a total of 160.5.

Madyson Diaz was next in the ribbons for third. She came in just behind Saltiello with a total of 160, with scores of 84 and 76, respectively.

Fourth place went to Annika Srivastava and Mae Gordon took fifth place.

Sore No-More Children’s Medal Final – Horses
Ella Holowesko stole the show in this special Sunday class among a talented and competitive field of 60. The top five all scored in the mid to high eighties, highlighting the challenge of scoring the leading round, which made the victory all the more sweet for Holowesko.

Holowesko earned a first round score of 86, bringing her into the second round in second place. Her final round score of 85 combined with their first round score gave her the winning total of 171.

Second place went to Annie Walsh. The equestrian also won the Child Hunter 14/U Reserve Championship. With scores of 87 and 80, she rode to a total of 167 for her spot on the leaderboard.

Devon Thomas took home third place honors. She scored an 85 in the first round, followed by an 81 in the final round for a total of 166.

Fourth place went to Raegan Landrum and the top five rounded out with Abigail Lefkowitz.

Grand Hunter Champion
The Grand Hunter Champion was Serafino, owned by Elisabeth McFadden and ridden by Melissa Feller. Reserve Champion was Rio Cirque du Soleil owned by Anne Boyd, and ridden by Jessica Connor.

Children’s Working Hunter – Pony Small
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Pony Hunter Small division were awarded to Jordyn Goldsmith aboard Crystal Acres Twinkle Toes. Reserve champion was Aerin Genatt riding Joe Currais’ Party Crasher.

Children’s Working Hunter – Pony Medium
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Hunter Medium Pony division were awarded to Clara Propp aboard Saltwood Tuscany.  Reserve Champion was, once again, Aerin Genatt riding Look at Me.

Children’s Working Hunter – Pony Large
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Hunter Large Pony division were awarded to Ella DiFazio aboard Pamina. Reserve Champion was Stella Propp riding News Day.

Children’s Working Hunter – Horse
The Champion honors in the Children’s Working Hunter Horse division were awarded to Lorelei Knadler aboard Huehuetenango. Reserve Champion was Hayden Wilkes riding Gatsby.

Best Junior Rider – Horse
The Best Junior Rider on a Horse was Annie Walsh.

Best Adult Rider
The Best Adult Rider was Samantha Karp.

Best Junior Rider – Pony
The Best Junior Rider on a Pony was Maria Sabers.

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