HITS Saugerties Wraps up a Fantastic Spring Circuit
RELEASE: July 2, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chris Mayone
Thousands of exhibitors flocked to upstate New York for three exciting weeks of competition in the beautiful Hudson Valley for the HITS Saugerties Spring Circuit from Wednesday, May 28, to Sunday, June 15.
Aside from boasting six grand prix classes, the HITS Saugerties Spring Circuit offered more than 250 different classes each week, and approximately a half a million dollars in prize money. "The horse show offers a lot of different divisions for our customers, especially the adult novices," said Monty Kelly of Stepping Stone Farm. "And, even though there are a lot of horses here, there is plenty of room on the show grounds and it doesn't feel like we are on top of each other."
The spring circuit featured many facility enhancements including jumps from Olaf Petersen, similar to what was used at HITS Ocala and brand-new temporary stalls and tents. "I am a big HITS fan. I go to all their shows and a big reason for that is the way they treat my clients and me," said Emil Spadone of Redfield Farm. Grand Prix Galore
The order-of-go for the grand prix classes was like a who's-who of the show jumping world as HITS Saugerties saw some of the top equestrians in the world pass through the in-gate. Topping the list were former members of the United States Olympic Team McLain Ward, Margie Engle, Nona Garson, and Todd Minikus. International Olympians Federico Sztyrle, Kevin Babington, and Manuel Torres also competed in the featured classes at HITS-on-the-Hudson.
Kicking things off was Stepping Stone Farm's Amy Momrow of Loudonville, NY and her mount Summer Storm. They stole the show at the first $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix of the season. Then, Hillary Dobbs rolled into town. Fresh off an impressive run at Devon, Dobbs and Corlette cruised to victory in the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix to close out Week I. During Week II, Miranda Fischer and Hot Wheels captured the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix. Fischer trains with accomplished rider Darragh Kerins. As it turned out, Kerins went on to take first place later in the week aboard Night Train during the $50,000 Waldorf-Astoria Collection Grand Prix.
Week III was all about Todd Minikus, as he took home the blue ribbons in both the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix and the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix. First, Minikus and Ultimo Van Der Moude beat out 38 other pairs in the Ariat Grand Prix, then on Father's Day, Minikus and his mount Presidente took first in the star-studded field.New York City's Isabel Ryan Headlines a List of Champions
The Overall and Reserve Circuit Champions in 68 divisions were awarded during a special Parade of Champions celebration in the grand prix ring to cap off three exciting weeks of competition.
It was New York City's Isabel Ryan who stole the show as she was awarded the Short Stirrup Hunter Circuit Championship and the Short Stirrup Equitation Circuit Championship aboard her mount Dot Com.
Ryan, who rides at Southampton Riding Club under trainer Bobby Ginsberg, will look to use the points she earned this spring en route to being named an Overall Circuit Champion during HITS-on-the-Hudson VII.Get Out and Have Some Fun
The social calendar during the HITS Saugerties Spring Circuit was filled with great activities outside of the show ring. During HITS-on-the-Hudson I, exhibitors had fun events to chose from including an exhibitor welcome at local hot spot Stella's Station, a special Spa Day, courtesy of River Rock Health Spa, and a Fashion Show, sponsored by the trendy Saugerties boutique DIG.
HITS-on-the-Hudson II also featured several fun out-of-ring activities, including a Guitar Hero exhibitor mixer, the popular Taste of HITS-on-the-Hudson, a HITS night at the local Puttin' Plus amusement park and the highlight of the weekend, the Big Brown Belmont Bash party where several hundred competitors gathered at the HITS Bar and Grill to watch the running of t