HITS Saugerties Set to Welcome Back the 2007 USEF National Junior Hunter Championship-East Coast
RELEASE: August 3, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chris Mayone
There will be no break in the action between Weeks V and VI at HITS-on-the-Hudson as the 2007 United States Equestrian Federation National Junior Hunter Championship-East Coast, presented by Stacey and Tom Siebel, returns August 6-8, 2007.
The annual competition is designed to encourage and promote the basic training and development of junior hunters. Divided into four sections, the finals feature competition for Small Juniors 15 and Under, Large Juniors 15 and Under, Small Juniors 16-17 and Large Juniors 16-17.
The finals have been held at HITS' state of the art equestrian facility in Saugerties, NY, for the past two years. All competition will be held in either the Grand Prix Stadium or the Main Hunter Stadium, the two feature rings of the property. In addition to the 23 various awards and countless ribbons, there's also a whopping $50,000 in prize money waiting to be awarded.
"We are pleased and honored to have been selected to host the finals for the third year in a row," said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. "It was a great event the past two years, and I have no doubt that this year will be even better."
"Tom (Struzzieri) has the place looking terrific," said trainer Don Stewart, who has 11 horses competing in the finals. "The footing is in excellent condition, and everyone is looking forward to a great event."
In 2006, it was Jennifer Waxman and Sister Parish who earned the title of Grand Junior Hunter Champion-East Coast as the pair edged out the competition with an overall score of 85.17. Grand Junior Hunter Reserve Champion was awarded to Megan Massaro and Intermezzo.
It's a long road to the finals. Junior hunters from all over the East Coast qualify by winning a championship or reserve championship in an A-rated junior hunter section between July 2, 2006, and July 1, 2007. In addition, any horse that is in the top ten in their zone in any of the four junior hunter sections as of July 1, 2007, using points accumulated during the qualification period, will also be qualified for the finals.
"The Junior Hunter Finals are different, so they are fun," said trainer Susie Schoellkopf. "It takes a lot for a rider to get to the finals, and Tom (Struzzieri) has put a lot of effort into making it a first-class event for the kids. With over $50,000 in prize money at stake, its great incentive for the kids to work hard and do well."
Also on the schedule is the United States Hunter Jumper Association's (USHJA) Hunterdon Cup sponsored by World Equestrian Brands. Last year, Addison Phillips took the lead over friend and neighbor Brianne Goutal. A score of 90 in the first round followed by an astonishing 91 in the second round gave Phillips a commanding lead even before the final round. Phillips returns again this year along with 29 other riders to take their best shot for the USHJA Hunterdon Cup, which will be held on Tuesday, August 7.
For more information on the 2007 East Coast USEF National Junior Hunter Championships and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com