Week in Review HITS-on-the-Hudson V: Exhibitors Flock to Saugerties for Summer Horse Shows
RELEASE: July 30, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chris Mayone
The summer shows at HITS-on-the-Hudson are thriving as swarms of exhibitors from across the country have traveled to Hudson Valley to enjoy some of the best summer show jumping action in the Northeast.
Once again, all eyes were on the high-performance riders as some of the country's top riders, including a star-studded field of Olympians, took aim at the handsome prize money HITS is offering up this season. Last week alone, $100,000 in grand prix prize money was on the table—$25,000 in Friday's HITS Grand Prix and another $75,000 in Sunday's Grand Prix. Todd Minikus Propels Himself Into the Top of the USGPL Standings
Todd Minikus and his grand prix mount Pavarotti captured the blue in both the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix and the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, collecting over $30,000 in prize money this week in the two classes. More importantly, he climbed into the top 10 of the United States Grand Prix League (USGPL) Standings, securing a prime spot in the order-of-go when the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix rolls into Culpeper in late September.
Other high-performance riders at Saugerties adding to their positions in the standings include Bill Lowry, who thanks to some top placings sits at number six with $35,000 in qualified winnings. Callan Solem is also in the top 10 with $28,350, while Candice King climbed to number 16 this past week, and Leslie Burr Howard advanced to number 25 in the rankings.
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 four 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. For a complete list of the standings, click here
.Two-Time Gold Medal Winner McLain Ward Still Leading
Although he didn't win any blue ribbons in the two grand prix classes during the week, two-time Olympic Gold medal Winner McLain Ward continued his dominance in the Catena Leading Grand Prix Rider Award earning another 14 points, bringing his total to 114. Minikus with 49 points and Lowery with 48 points seem to be the only riders with a chance to catch up to Ward, but with four more qualifying grand prix classes offered in Saugerties there could still be room for some surprises.
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.
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, click here Jen Alfano Dominates the Hunter Rings
SBS Farms' Jen Alfano of Buffalo, NY, swept all five rated hunter divisions last week at HITS Saugerties, winning the Weekly championship in the First Year Green Hunters riding BrightStar's Kid Rock, the Green Conformation Division aboard BrightStar's Southbeach, the Regular Conformation Division riding Helen Lenehan's Sting, the Regular Working Hunters aboard SBS Farms' Rockstar and the Second Year Green Hunters aboard Meredith Lipke's The Specialist.
Alfano will no doubt look to continue her winning ways this coming week at HITS Saugerties in the $10,000 United States Hunte