HITS-on-the-Hudson IV Wrap-Up
RELEASE: July 22, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chris Mayone
Show jumping competition returned to Saugerties, NY, last week and HITS is expecting it to be quite a summer. Entries are up, the rings are alive with energy and exhibitors are flocking to Saugerties to get in on the action. For the next two weeks, both hunters and jumpers will have their share of the limelight with the return of the USEF Junior Hunter Finals, the $10,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA)/Chronicle of the Horse
International Hunter Derby and some high-stakes grand prix classes worth a total of $250,000.
Speaking of high-stakes, with the United States Grand Prix League (USGPL) Finals approaching, a handful of HITS Saugerties high-performance riders inched closer to the top of the standings and appear to be assured of a qualifying spot for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix to be held at HITS Culpeper in late September.
With his win in Thursday’s $25,000 HITS Grand Prix aboard Sagamore Farm’s mare Phillipa, McLain Ward continues to hold a tight grip on second place. However, Aaron Vale and Joan Kalman’s Tarco are close behind in third place and, with a trip to Saugerties planned later in the year, the two superstars look like they will fight it out for the second spot.
At the moment it seems unlikely that any rider can catch up to Maryland’s Tracy Magness and Mr. and Mrs. John Bartko’s Tarco Van Ter Moude, who have held the number one spot since basically the start of the year. Thanks to nearly $100,000 in grand prix prize money won in 2009 at HITS Ocala, Culpeper and Saugerties, Magness is looking to hold onto her lead and the coveted last-to-go spot when the Invitational rolls around; however, with six more qualifying grand prix classes in Saugerties, including the big ticket $125,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix on Sunday, August 2, there are no guarantees.
Creeping up in the standings last week were Bill Lowry and Winsor Farm Sales’ Rio Corde. They moved into the top ten with a big win in Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. For a complete list of the standings, visit www.hitsshows.com/pdf/09_usgpl_riderrankings.pdf
. Two-Time Gold Medal Winner McLain Ward Leads the way in the Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider Award
With his win in Friday's $25,000 HITS Grand Prix aboard Sagamore Farm's Phillipa, two-time Olympic Gold medal Winner McLain Ward remains in the lead of the standings for the 2009 HITS Saugerties Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider Award. The rider rankings are calculated using the World Cup Point System, and riders receive points for their top-placing horse in each of the 14 grand prix classes offered at HITS Saugerties during the 2009 show series. Ward, with 100 points, appears to have a commanding lead, but once again, with six more grand prix classes left in Saugerties this year, there are still plenty of opportunities for riders to add to their points. Bill Lowry is in second place with 44 points followed by Margie Engle with 39 points.
The 2009 Leading Grand Prix rider at HITS Saugerties will receive a timepiece from Catena, USA, which will be presented at the end of the season following the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix during HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII on Sunday, September 6. For a complete list of the standings, visit www.hitsshows.com/pdf/CatenaLeadingGPRiders_09.pdfFooting Wins the Blue Ribbon Despite Heavy Rain
Countless ribbons were handed out during HITS-on-the-Hudson IV but without question the footing was the grand champion of the week, drawing rave reviews from some of the sports top riders.
Even after nearly two inches of rain poured down on Friday evening, the horse show resumed on Saturday without a hitch. "I am just amazed how well the footing was after all that rain," said Laura Chapot. “I have been in all three jumper rin