Saugerties, N.Y. – July 2018 – HITS-on-the-Hudson returned for another three weeks in Saugerties, full of competition ahead of the start of the summer season, featuring Junior Hunter Finals next week.
Matthew Metell and Laura Chapot battled for the blue in the featured open jumper classes of the week, each taking home two wins and several more top-five placings. Not to be outdone, junior rider Alexandra Pielet had two big wins as well, proving that the up and coming riders are finding their way in the big leagues.
Kicking off the week on Wednesday, Matthew Metell took the win in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome aboard Epeios in a jump-off time of 38.577 and also placed third aboard Eretto with a four-fault jump-off time of 40.95. Second place went to Laura Chapot and Umberto as the fastest of the four-faulters in a jump-off time 36.896 and was also fifth with Cybel II. Kevin Babington was fourth with his mount Carrick.
On Thursday, Chapot took the win in the $10,000 KindredBio Jumper Classic aboard Out Of Ireland in a jump-off time of 37.239. Second was Christian Coyle and Dolce Vita KDW Z in a jump-off time of 39.331. Babington was both third and fourth aboard Double O Seven 7 and Call Me Ruth in jump-off times of 39.415 and 39.477, respectively. Lauren Fischer rounded out the top five with GK California in a jump-off time of 41.509.
Friday, the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix took place, with Metell taking another win aboard Eretto in a jump-off time of 39.991. Seth Vallhonrat was second with Clarima , making him the second pair to go clear in the jump-off in a time of 42.777. Chapot took another top five placing, taking third aboard Out Of Ireland in a four-fault jump-off time of 38.401 and fourth was Heather Caristo-Williams with Qui Vive Des Songes Z. Taking the last spot in the top five was Liubov Kochetova and Brilliant De Rouet.
Saturday, the $10,000 Saugerties Steamboat Co. 1.35m Classic came and went, with Alexandra Pielet coming out on top aboard Helene VE in a jump-off time of 30.579. Chapot was second, third, and fifth place aboard Shooting Star, Zealous and Umberto in jump-off times of 32.144, 33.153, and 33.388, respectively and Juan Manuel Gallego was fourth, just behind Chapot, aboard Armado in a jump-off time of 33.164.
Sunday morning, Jaime Auletto took the win in the $15,000 Horseflight Jr/A-O/Am Jumper Classic aboard Brazzaville in a clear first-round time of 77.754 and Sunday afternoon brought another Grand Prix to the ring, this time being the $50,000 Horze Equestrian Grand Prix. Chapot took her skill to the next level, taking the blue ribbon and $15,000 in prize money aboard her mount Chandon Blue. The pair executed the course, designed by Catsy Cruz, with the power and agility it took as the only rider to go clear in a time of 77.164. Chapot also took third aboard ISHD Dual Star in a four-fault time of 77.287. Babington was the fastest of the four-faulters, placing second aboard Double O Seven 7 in a time of 76.327 and placing fifth aboard Call Me Ruth with a four-fault time of 79.854. Michael Desiderio was just behind Chapot, taking fourth aboard Aminka in a four-fault time of 79.728.
Show Hunters had an exciting week as well, starting with the $2,500 USHJA National Derby on Friday afternoon in the Outside Course. Patricia Griffith was awarded first place aboard Sonder with a combined score of 178. Second was Tess Lenihan and Sunbeam Z with a combined score of 165 and third was Hugo Huesca and Quint with a combined score of 162. Alexandria Desiderio was fourth aboard Laurius with a combined score of 160 and fifth was Miranda Leibstein and Clarado with a combined score of 153.
Saturday brought two Hunter Prix and two blue ribbons to be featured in the Grand Prix Stadium. In the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix, Jordan Girard took the win after two beautiful rounds aboard New Life with a combined score of 168, six points higher than second place finisher Lena Rae Reeb aboard Call Me with a combined score of 162. Third was Emily Noble and Dolce And Gabbana with a combined score of 161.5. Fourth was awarded to Hannah Brown aboard Dimacho with a combined score of 161 and Alexa Bayko rounded out the top five aboard Celtic Blue and a combined score of 160.
Meghan Knapic displayed her talent, riding to the win aboard Most Likely in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix with a combined score of 170 after two flawless trips. Second place was awarded to David Wilbur and Charismo with a combined score of 167. Third and fifth place was Libby Le Stage aboard Diadora and Speck-Tacular with combined scores of 166 and 162, respectively. Helen Goddard was fourth with My Way and a combined score of 165.
Hunters will be in the spotlight again at HITS-on-the-Hudson V, as the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will be featured in the Grand Prix Stadium on Saturday afternoon.