SAUGERTIES, NY (January 26, 2011) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce it will host the 2011 National PHA Medal Final on Saturday, September 17 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York as part of the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. The joining of HITS and the National PHA Medal Finals is a perfect match since the HITS-on-the-Hudson venue is a show-jumping hub for the entire North East.
The Professional Horsemen’s Association of America, Inc., otherwise known as the PHA, is a self-contained benevolent organization and consists of 16 Chapters throughout the United States with over 900 Professional members. The PHA gives aid and sustenance to needy horsemen, and has a scholarship fund which provides financial assistance to further educate the children of professional members. The PHA also continues to promote and foster the care and protection of horses through education at the local, state and federal levels.
Originally, the National PHA Medal Class Champion was decided annually based on the number of points equitation riders accumulated throughout the year with awards going to the six highest scoring junior riders. Presentations were made at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. Back in 1984, HITS’ own Francesca Mazella was the PHA Medal Champion, based on points won in PHA Medal classes throughout the year. Starting in 1995 the format was changed to a Medal Final, where the top 30 junior riders who accumulate the most points during the season compete in the National PHA Medal Final. The Final features a course of eight or more fences at 3’6” in height, with at least one combination including an oxer and two changes of lead after the first fence. The judge will insert two tests into the original course (USEF Tests 1-18). Further testing of the top riders is optional. The top eight placed finalists receive scholarship awards, in addition to their ribbons and trophies. In 2010, Emma Schauder of Greenwich, Connecticut was the winner of the National PHA Medal Final held at Old Salem Farm.
OCALA, FL (January 24, 2011) – The Ocala January Classic came to an end on Sunday and was highlighted by the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, the first qualifiers of 2011 for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and the Diamond Mills $500,000 3’3″ Hunter Prix Final, respectively.
Andres Rodriguez of Boca Raton, Florida, and Andres Olivares’ Davinci took home the victory in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. The class saw 33 starters take the field on a course designed by Jerry Dougherty of Bokeelia, Florida, that produced six clear rounds for the jump-off.
The first clear round of the class came early, when Paul Halpern of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Amanda Weaver’s Sevastian K, second in the order, jumped clean. Two trips later, eventual winner Rodriguez and Davinci forced a jump-off with a clear effort of their own. The next 20 trips saw team after team fail to overcome the course with rails down across the field.
SAUGERTIES, NY (January 24, 2011) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that submissions from Cynthia Mulvaney and Dory Tuohey were selected to be the cover art for the 2011 HITS Thermal and HITS Ocala Official Show Programs.
Each year HITS issues an open call for artists to submit their equine-themed work to be considered for the program covers. This year’s submission produced lots of exceptional artwork to choose from, with Mulvaney’s and Tuohey’s work, winning out over 50 submissions.
Mulvaney’s ‘A League of Its Own’, an original oil painting on linen, was selected as the artwork for the HITS Thermal Official Show Program. This highly-detailed piece captures the power, energy and movement of a horse cantering while turned out, providing a beautifully realistic image for the cover of this year’s show program.
SAUGERTIES, NY (January 12, 2011) — HITS is pleased to announce that long-time sponsor FarmVet will return as a nationwide sponsor of HITS Horse Shows for the 2011 show jumping season that is set to kick off in the next couple of weeks at HITS Ocala, HITS Thermal and HITS Arizona.
This season, FarmVet will again be the title sponsor of the FarmVet Level 5 Jumper Division and has expanded its sponsorship to each HITS venue. This popular jumper division features fences set at 3’11” which is perfect for riders to move their horses up through the ranks.
Last winter, the FarmVet Level 5 Jumper Division featured some of the top jumper riders in the country, including Aaron Vale who was Reserve Circuit Champion at HITS Ocala. “The FarmVet Level 5 Jumper Division is crucial to the development of young horses and up-and-coming riders,” said HITS’ Account Executive for Corporate Sponsorship Lisa Engel. “We appreciate FarmVet’s support of HITS and its commitment to the development of both horses and riders in this important division.”
THERMAL, CA (January 10, 2011) — In two weeks time, show jumping action returns to Thermal, California for the 20th Anniversary of the HITS Desert Circuit. As entries continue to flood the corporate office, HITS is looking forward to welcoming international show jumping icon and California native Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum “home” to Thermal for the 2011 show season.
Michaels-Beerbaum is a three-time World Cup Champion and 2010 WEG Team Gold Medalist with a very long resume of show jumping achievements. Her first trip to Thermal was in 2009 when she led a riding clinic for the West Coast Active Riders in Thermal’s beautiful indoor arena. That trip left an impression on the California native and this season will be her first competing at the circuit. She will be traveling to Thermal with her husband Markus Beerbaum and their beautiful daughter Brianne Victoria, who will celebrate her first birthday on February 27 during the circuit.
“I’m very excited to come back to California and see my family, some old friends, and colleagues,” said Michaels-Beerbaum, who hasn’t competed on the West Coast since leaving more than 20 years ago. “Markus and I have a couple of students from California competing in Thermal who asked us to join them. After considering the options, we decided to come for the entire circuit and to bring some of our young horses to help develop them and prepare for the European summer schedule. I love doing something new and different, so I’m looking forward to being based out of Thermal for the winter. It will be a great opportunity for me, my family and our students.”
THERMAL, CA (December 17, 2010) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the 2011 Desert Circuit in Thermal, California will host three qualifying events for the 2011 European Youngster Cup Jumper Series’ new Super Final, which will be held in Leipzig, Germany during the FEI World Cup Finals this coming April.
The European Youngster Cup, also known as the EY-Cup, is a series for ambitious, top young riders born after January 1, 1985 that culminates in a Finals held each December in Germany. This is the first time that riders will have the opportunity to compete at a Super Final during FEI World Cup Finals and the first time that the United States will host qualifiers for the event.
The United States Equestrian Federation has just finalized the qualifying specifications for this highly-popular international show jumping event and has selected HITS Thermal to produce one of the four qualified North American riders that will be eligible to compete at the EY-Cup Super Final.
SAUGERTIES, NY (December 15, 2010) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that long-time sponsor SmartPak, makers of simplified solutions for equine supplements and medications, has expanded its sponsorship of HITS horse shows for the 2011 season.
In addition to having on-site SmartPak Delivery Place locations at both the HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California and the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Ocala, Florida, they will also be the title sponsor of six $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at both locations. Each $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, will be a qualifier for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix that will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson on Sunday, September 11, making the SmartPak-sponsored classes in Thermal and Ocala vital stops on the road to this year’s Pfizer Million.
“We are thrilled to be renewing our relationship with HITS for the fourth consecutive year,” said Colby Balazs, Vice President of Marketing at SmartPak Equine LLC. “At SmartPak, the core of our business is promoting smarter horse care. Whether it’s through our revolutionary supplement feeding system or our unrivaled customer service, we are always striving to find new ways to help our customers get more out of the time they spend with their horses. As riders and competitors ourselves, we know just how much work goes into supporting an equine athlete. By sponsoring HITS, we are supporting world-class horse shows where our customers can show off the fruits of their labor, and enjoy the sense of camaraderie that can only come from a true partnership with your horse.”
OCALA, FL (December 13, 2010) — HITS, Inc. is proud to announce that The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center, one of the premier equine rehabilitation centers in the nation, will sponsor the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit for the third consecutive year.
The Sanctuary is an outstanding facility known for its world-class rehabilitation and conditioning services, and is conveniently located just minutes down the road from HITS Post Time Farm. In addition to being HITS Ocala’s Official Equine Sports Therapy Center, The Sanctuary will also sponsor a new weekly award, The Sanctuary Reserve, and will be the Official Host of the For the Love of Your Horse Event this upcoming show season!
The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will begin Wednesday, January 19, for two consecutive weeks of unrated competition. The AA-rated, six-week circuit begins Tuesday, February 8, and will culminate on Sunday, March 20, highlighted by the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group. High-Performance on the road to the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix will have 14 qualifiers to get on-board the Eligible Rider Rankings and five Devoucoux Hunter Prix qualifiers for the inaugural $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final, which will take place the same weekend as the Pfizer Million at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York, September 10-11.
SAUGERTIES, NY (November 9, 2010) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the qualifying specifications for the world’s richest hunter class have been finalized and are now available on-line at HitsShows.com.
The $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final will take place the weekend of September 10-11, and will be featured alongside the second annual $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. This unprecedented Hunter Prix Final will be the culmination of more than 30 qualifying events that will take place at each of the five HITS horse show circuits starting in January 2011.
The Devoucoux Hunter Prix will be the official qualifying class for the $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final and will be offered as a weekly event at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Ocala, Florida; HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California; HITS Arizona Winter Circuit in Tucson, Arizona; HITS Culpeper Show Series in Culpeper, Virginia and HITS Saugerties Show Series in Saugerties, New York. Each Devoucoux Hunter Prix held through September 4 will count toward the 2011 HITS Hunter Prix Final Rider Rankings. In addition, HITS will host one Wild Card class at HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII, September 7-11, from which the winner, if not already qualified, will earn a spot in the Final.
Canadian Silver Medalist Jill Henselwood calls Pfizer Course “Most beautiful course in North America”
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 14, 2010) — Two-time US Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, New York and his majestic, “million-dollar” mare, Sapphire, owned by McLain Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, won the inaugural Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, September 12 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
The legendary duo of Ward and Sapphire proudly added their names to the show jumping history books once more when they bested a field of 43 High-Performance riders before an energetic and enthusiastic crowd of thousands that lined all four berms surrounding the Strongid Stadium. Sunday’s line-up featured some of the best and most promising athletes and horses in the sport, including some of America’s brightest up-and-coming stars and several American and International Olympians.