Saugerties, N.Y. – Aug. 9, 2018 – The 2018 HITS-on-the-Hudson Summer Series proved to be an exciting event as Laura Chapot and Matthew Metell kept spectators on their toes in the grand prix ring while top riders challenged the USHJA International Hunter Derbies and USEF Junior Hunter National Championship. The final week was also teeming with ponies for the Children’s Hunter Pony Finals, bringing many talented junior riders together.
Week VI kicked off with Chapot taking another victory in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome aboard Calafornia, finishing with no faults and a speedy time of 37.123. Chapot also claimed the second place spot with Umberto in a time of 37.533. Metell was just behind, taking third with Pyrenes De Louzes in a time of 43.506. Imogen De Regor and Callan Solem were fourth and fifth was Claudia Von Gumppenberg aboard Chelsea 113.
On Thursday, Brian Feigus took the win in the $10,000 KindredBio 1.40m Jumper Classic aboard his mount Carla in a jump-off time of 35.786. Chapot claimed two more top five placings, taking second in a jump-off time of 36.632 aboard Calafornia and fourth with Cybel II in a jump-off time of 38.258. Harold Chopping was third with Fantom in a jump-off time of 38.137 and fifth was Solem and Davidson in a jump-off time of 38.972.
On Saturday, the $10,000 Saugerties Steamboat Co. 1.35m class took place in the Grand Prix Stadium, with Chapot riding impressive rounds and taking the top three spots aboard Shooting Star, Cybel II and Zealous in jump-off times of 42.835, 42.850, and 42.855, respectively. Fourth place was awarded to Mary Kate Olsen and Fatum in a jump-off time of 43.465 while fifth was Chopping aboard Elodie in a jump-off time of 46.387.
Sunday, the suspense grew as the $50,000 UlcerGard Grand Prix took place with the Catskill mountains set as the back-drop for the Grand Prix Stadium. After an intense first round, seven came back for the jump-off, with Chapot having four of the seven entries. A close jump-off round and a few daring turns brought Chapot out on top again, taking first, third, and fifth place. Out Of Ireland was her mount who would take the win in a jump-off time of 44.198, while Chandon Blue and ISHD Dual Star took third and fifth in a jump-off time of 45.648 and a four-fault jump-off time of 47.505, respectively. David Raposa took the second place spot aboard S&L Sage in a jump-off time of 45.096 and Solem was fourth aboard Davidson in a jump-off time of 52.902.
The sixth week of HITS-on-the-Hudson is also known for the NY Horse & Pony Show. This week was dedicated to the Children’s Hunter Pony Finals, where kids from across the country came to Saugerties with their most talented ponies of all sizes to compete in a three-phase competition based on the USEF Pony Finals format, with a model, under saddle and over fences phase. This is the seventh year for the Finals that offer kids the chance to compete in a finals-type setting and get great experience as they move up to the regular pony divisions.
In the Small Pony division, Abigail Davis was champion aboard her mount Slumber Party while the reserve champion was awarded to Grace Sameth and Curious George. Eleanor Pieters rode to the championship in the Medium Pony division aboard Pentimento Bay while her peer Rylynn Conway was the reserve champion with Icloud. The Large Pony division ended with Grace D’Anza taking champion aboard Romeo and Sophia Chimenti capturing the reserve championship with her mount Bel Of The Ball.
Overall, Grace D’Anza was crowned Children’s Pony Final Champion aboard Romeo after a total combined score of 79.7 and Abigail Davis was awarded Reserve Champion with Slumber Party with a total combined score of 79.5.
Hunter competition saw riders prepare all week for the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Kicking off the hunter competition, Corinne Milburry claimed the win in the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix aboard Carla with a combined score of 160. Lena Rae Reeb was second with Call Me and a combined score of 158, while Miles Holman was awarded third place aboard Svante with a combined score of 154. Fourth was Lily Barnard and Conway with a combined score of 153.5 and Most Of All and Emma Nichols rounded out the top five with a combined score of 153.
Forester and Shannon Hogue were the winners of the $2,500 USHJA National Derby with a combined score of 167. Taylor Goodridge was only two points behind in second aboard Cannonao and a combined score of 165. Third was awarded to Jillian Rosenwasser and Benicio with a combined score of 161.5. Alexa Bayko was fourth aboard Clearly with a combined score of 161 and fifth was David Olinyk and Eleventh Hour with a combined score of 158.5.
Saturday afternoon, the first round of the $25,000 USHJA International Derby took place in the Grand Prix Stadium with Patricia Griffith and Atlantico setting the score to beat with a first round score of 179. Joyce Mersereau and Commander held the second spot after the first round with a score of 171 and Abigail Lefkowitz and Continental sat in third with a score of 167.
Going into the second round, the crowd anxiously watched to see if the top three in the first round would keep their placings through the second round. Griffith maneuvered her way through the handy round with the skill and precision it took to stay on top, taking the win and an impressive prize money check of $7,500 with a combined score of 366 aboard Atlantico. Kristy Herrera moved up in the ranks in the second round, taking second place overall with a combined score of 346 aboard Candid. Mersereau also kept herself in the top five, placing third with Commander and a combined score of 344, while Lefkowitz was awarded fourth place with Continental and a combined score of 343, only one point behind Mersereau. Chopping rounded out the top five, taking fifth aboard Catchphrase with a combined score of 316.
HITS-on-the-Hudson returns August 29 for Week VII, leading up to the HITS Championship during Week VIII.