©ESI Photography. Patty Stovel and Kenya notched their second $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix win
OCALA, FL (February 25, 2013) – Patty Stovel of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania pocketed a $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix earlier in the season at HITS Ocala and returned to the winner’s circle for the second time this weekend. She and Michelle Durpetti’s Kenya rode to a score of 171 with Shachine Belle of Farmington, Connecticut pressuring her in second with a 170 aboard Mr. & Mrs. Ernest M. Oare’s Tryonite.
The Devoucoux Hunter Prix was held in the Hunter Stadium last week and returned to the popular Outside Course this week to present a track designed by Timmy Hott of Cumming Iowa.
“The Outside Course rides really well and all the options keep things interesting,” said Stovel of the newly designed ring. “The bank adds just enough difficulty to make the class fun.”
Stovel is no stranger to sitting atop Kenya as she sold the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood to his current owner and was asked to continue riding him. Durpetti and Stovel believe Kenya has what it takes to be competitive in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final during HITS Championship Weekend this fall in Saugerties, New York and are pointing the gelding toward qualifying and competing in the big-money event.
“He was great today and has a really good chance of being competitive in Saugerties,” said Stovel.
Belle, who has ridden to two Devoucoux Hunter Prix wins aboard Robin Swinderman’s INXS this season, rode two new top-five finishers this week. She and Tryonite led the first round with a score of 88 before earning an 82 in the second. Belle also rode Michael Renker’s Wicked to fourth. They combined an 84 and 82 for a total score of 166.
Therese Peck and Cammy Turgon’s Scoop finished third with a score of 167 and Megan Wexler stepped from the grand prix to the hunter ring for a fifth-place finish aboard Kathryn Mittauer’s Allawishus. They earned a pair of 82s for a 164 total.
Devoucoux, the makers of fine French saddles, will continue to present weekly hunter prix, which represent the only way for hunter riders to punch their ticket to the prestigious Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final during HITS Championship Weekend in Saugerties in September.
$5,000 3’ Hunter Prix
Amy Zettler of Aldie, Virginia admits that her number-one goal for HITS Ocala this year is to qualify for the HITS $250,000 Hunter Prix Final again in Saugerties and to place higher than she did last year. But, for Zettler, higher is winning. After finishing second in last year’s debut of the HITS Hunter Prix Final, she and her own Glad Rags are chasing down the blue in 2013 and are off to an impressive start with three top-five qualifying finishes so far this season, including today’s $5,000 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix win.
Lena Rae Reeb of Weston, Connecticut boasts four top-ten finishes in the HITS Hunter Prix this season at HITS Ocala. After riding to the top in the first-ever Children’s Hunter Pony Final in Saugerties last year, Reeb is now pointing Jamie Ringel’s Private Ryan at the HITS Hunter Prix Final. She earned an 81 and an 84 for a total of 165 and second place this weekend, and was also fourth aboard Sonia Ramirez’s Amsterdam with a 163.
Dorian Cieslak of Altamonte Springs, Florida rounded out the top three with her own VDL Uniek, and Nicolas Horgan was fifth on Winsor Farm Sales, Inc.’s Captain 33.
Zettler combined an 88 and a 79 for a 167 and the win this weekend. “Glad Rags is just a true winner,” she said of the 10-year-old Thoroughbred-Warmblood cross gelding that she has owned for three years. “He was coming off of a three-month break at the start of Ocala and he stepped back into the ring and started winning. We only jump him at horse shows and he loves doing it. He likes to be the center of attention.”
Glad Rags is Virginia-bred by Steve and Sally McVeigh of Middleburgh, who are still very involved with the gelding’s successes. “I call them after every class – it is so nice to have breeders who care about their horse,” said Zettler.
After finishing second last week in the Hunter Stadium, Zettler, trained by Peter Foley and Dale Crittenberger, was eager to return to HITS Ocala’s all-new Outside Course this weekend. She admits that the new ring is perfect practice for the setting of the final, which will take place on the popular Outside Course at HITS-on-the-Hudson during HITS Championship Weekend September 6-8.
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.