Margie Engle and Henrik Gundersen Draw Even in the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix; Laura Chapot and Church Road Capture the Blue in the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties
RELEASE: July 29, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chris Mayone
After a very competitive first round, both Henrik Gundersen and Margie Engle decided that they would keep their eight-year-olds fresh for Sunday's $50,000 Strongid® C 2X ™ Grand Prix, ending Friday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix in a first-place tie.
"I was riding a very young horse. He is just eight years old, so I didn't want him to jump again in the jump-off," said Gundersen, who forced a jump-off on the final trip of the first round. "I was very pleased with the effort of my horse and I didn't want to push it."
A clear round in the feature class was first posted by Engle and her mount Hidden Creek's Coroya Z with the third-to-last trip on Olaf Petrsen's first-round course. Gundersen then answered back two trips later when he came home clean aboard his mount Lauritz.com Colorado to force what looked to be an impending jump-off.
However, the two talented riders decided to split the first and second place checks and meet again on Sunday. They each walked out of the ring with blue ribbons and $6,500 in prize money.
"We both decided that we wouldn't jump-off," said Engle. "It's a long summer and it's nice to give the horses a break when you can. My mare is only eight and I thought she jumped well. Plus, there wasn't that much difference in the prize money so we decided it would be best for both of us to end the class without a jump-off."Laura Chapot and Church Road Capture the Blue in the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix
Laura Chapot and her blazing-quick mount Church Road outlasted a great crop of riders in Sunday's $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix, presented by Brook Ledge at HITS Saugerties to conclude HITS-on-the-Hudson IV.
Chapot and Church Road got the best of 18 pairs to challenge international course designer Olaf Petersen's first-round track and the eight combinations that advanced to the jump-off to win $15,000 in prize money for horse owners Sarah Becker and B&B Saddlery.
Church Road is 12 and Chapot has been in the irons since January. "My horse is a natural speed demon," said an enthusiastic Chapot after the win. "He covers so much ground so quickly. Plus, he just seems to glide over the jumps and doesn't waste a lot of time when he is on course."
In the jump-off Margie Engle and Hidden Creek's Coroya Z. Engle and her eight-year-old mare went clean in 40.256 to establish the new Great American Time to Beat. However, that time would only be good enough for second place and $11,000 in prize money. Amy Momrow and Summer Storm. Momrow, who won the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix during HITS-on-the-Hudson I, went clear in 41.590 to secure third place for owner Shaine Brooks.
The USGPL's leading combination, Patty Stovel and Shandor 41, were a bit off the pace stopping the clocks in 42.988. But their clear round netted a fourth-place finish and $4,000 in prize money for Shandor Syndicate. She still leads the USGPL with $57,400.
Chapot will show during HITS-on-the-Hudson V, however she will be giving her winning mount the next two weeks off. "I do have Little Big Man here," said Chapot. "He is coming off an illness but I may show him next week or the week after."
HITS-on-the-Hudson IV also featured several fun out-of-ring activities, including an Equine Art Gala, Zephyr Gin Martini Night, and a classic car show that decorated the berm that surrounds the Grand Prix ring.
The action at HITS Saugerties will continue for two more weeks at HITS-on-the-Hudson starting on Wednesday, July 30. HITS will once again host the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship for the East Coast on August 5 and 6, while the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and all-new $5,000 Pony Commotion will highlight competition on Thursday, August 8 during Week VI. HITS Saugerties also offers four more qualifying Grand Prix events for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix during the summer shows and another two during the Sep