Caroline Sykes Captures the $1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix
OCALA, FL (February 20, 2012) – Kate Conover and Redfield Farm’s Peron captured the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix on Sunday. Conover, a professional rider for Emil Spadone, finished in third place last September at the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. As one of the most talented riders in the sport today, Conover is once again on the path towards America’s richest hunter class.
Excitement was in the air as 61 entries navigated a first round course designed by Doug Russell of Ocala, Florida. The second round featured the 12 top professionals of the day, eager to secure the blue ribbon with the best overall two-round score.
Conover had the lead score in both rounds, posting a pair of 88 points for a 176 total and the win. Second place was awarded to Martien Van der Hoeven of The Woodlands, Texas aboard Augusta Pines’ Black Label and third place went to Claire Kellner of Lutz, Florida aboard Mary McNeel’s Gamaliel.
“This is a really great class,” said Conover. “I hope to be doing the [Diamond Mills] $500,000 [Hunter Prix Final] again this year and do better than the third I got last year. Third was such a great accomplishment, but this year I really hope to go there and win it.”
“[Today’s] course was really nice to ride. This is a young horse I’m riding, and if I still have him by the time the $500,000 class comes around, I’d like to ride him. He is seven years old and owned by Emil Spadone and Sandy Lobel. I’ve had him for three years and we’ve worked hard to get where we are and, hopefully, we’ll be together at the 500,000.”
Rounding out the top five ribbons were Debbie McCarthy of Ridgefield, Connecticut aboard Carma, owned by Chloe Stables, LLC, in fourth place and Hunt Tosh of Alpharetta, Georgia aboard Persistence, owned by KAC Horses, LLC, in fifth place.
The Devoucoux Hunter Prix is offered each Sunday at HITS Ocala and is a qualifier for America’s richest hunter class, the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, which will take place September 7-9, alongside the $250,000 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix Final and the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix as part of HITS Championship Weekend.
$1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix
The $1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix took place on Saturday as Caroline Sykes of Garrison, New York captured the blue ribbon aboard Violet Fludzinski’s Aston Martin. Saturday’s class was the biggest starting field to date in a qualifier for the newly minted $250,000 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix Final with 42 eager competitors of the Junior and Amateur ranks.
“This is a really fun class to compete in,” said Sykes. “It’s a very competitive group of riders at this level and I think it certainly makes us feel special to have an event to look forward to.”
Sykes is eager to qualify for the $250,000 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York, September 7-9.
“My family and I always enjoy showing in Saugerties and it would be great to be part of the [$250,000] Final this year.”
Jodi Czaplick of Ocala, Florida, a consistent top place finisher each week, captured the second-place ribbon aboard her own Untold, and Sarah Keyser of Newton, Pennsylvania took the third-place honors aboard her own Under Cover.
To view complete results from the $1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix, click here.
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.