SAUGERTIES, NY (September 3, 2012) – Despite already being qualified for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, Therese Peck and her own MTM Off the Cuff sealed the deal after they rode to victory in Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix Wild Card at HITS Saugerties. Peck, who hails from Flower Mound, Texas, rides under the direction of Michael McCormick and is more than ready to make her second appearance at HITS Championship Weekend.
“Last year I rode a four-year-old in the final and I am really excited to ride him [MTM Off the Cuff]this year,” said Peck about the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding. “He is a real trooper and basically ready for anything.”
Peck’s win this weekend served as her 2012 Saugerties debut and first Devoucoux Hunter Prix victory of the year. She pocketed the win, however, on unfamiliar territory as it was her first time to see the new Outside Course at HITS-on-the-Hudson.
“The course was great,” she said. “We don’t get so see a lot of hills and banks and we had so much fun with it. I am really excited for next weekend.”
Riders will return to the Outside Course next weekend as the first two rounds of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final will take place there before moving to the Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium for the final two rounds.
Peck posted the high score in the first round of 85 and returned with 79 in the second round for a total of 164 and the win. Following her was Kristi Smith of Madison, Conecticut aboard Marianne Huss’ Cameron. The pair earned an overall score of 160 for second place. In third was Darren Graziano of Wellington, Florida in the irons of Paula Kennedy’s Monty Cristo with a final score of 159. Megan Edrick of Agoura, California was fourth on Liz Hudspeth’s Fairfax and posted a two-round total of 156.5. Rounding out the top five was David Oliynyk of Franklin, Massachusetts aboard Lori Gaudet’s Generous with a score of 155.5.
$1,500 HITS Hunter Prix
Tracie Schoelen of Toms River, New Jersey received a wild card berth into the first-ever HITS $250,000 Hunter Prix Final after her win in Sunday’s $1,500 HITS Hunter Prix at HITS Saugerties. Tracie piloted her own Redford to the second highest score of the day with an 83 in the first round. She then came back and posted an 82 in the second round for a total of 165 and the win.
Jessica Pletka of Manlius, New York rode her own Blue Monday to a score of 159.5 and second place. Third-place honors went to Allison Lauro of Hopewell Junction, New York and Reiner Niewisch’s Azur, who posted a final score of 151. In fourth was Jessica Rubin of East Windsor, New Jersey in the irons of her own Dinner Jacket. The pair received a final score of 148. Capping the top five was Elizabeth Plummer of Wellington, Florida and her own Belief with a two-round total of 147.
As horses and riders alike from all corners of the country converge on Saugerties, New York in the coming days, momentum will be building for the HITS Championship Weekend, scheduled for September 7-9, 2012. Qualified Diamond Mills and HITS Hunter Prix Final riders will be in the spotlight throughout the weekend as three rounds of competition leads up to historic prize money and newly crowned hunter champions.
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 second-annual Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final, which will take place September 8-9 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.
HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
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