Saugerties, NY - In a week highlighted by jumpers that are in the Hudson Valley for the historic Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, hunter riders got a chance to take center stage during Friday's $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby Wild Card at HITS-on-the-Hudson, in Saugerties, New York.
When the popular derby was complete, it was Amanda Steege that rode Randi Vladimer's Duval past the 19 starters that challenged course designer Rian Beals' first-round track and the 12 horse-and-rider teams that advanced to the handy round.
"I had such a great time competing in the class tonight," said Steege. "The footing was amazing and the course designer set up a really nice track that allowed my horse to show off its beautiful gallop. I feel very honored to be chosen by the owner to ride such a special horse in this class."
Steege also rode Duval to the weekly reserve championship at HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII in the Adequan Hunter. He will be competing this fall at Capital Challenge and Harrisburg. "We are all very happy to be here this week," added Steege. "We are looking forward to watching Sunday's Pfizer Million."
Friday's feature class for hunters served as a Wild Card for the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby that will take place during the Marshall & Sterling League Finals next week at HITS-on-the-Hudson. With the win, Duval earned a spot along with Finn Mc Cool, ridden by Hannah Isop, who finished in second place during Friday's Derby. "I was thrilled with my horse," said Isop. "He is a young horse that I have been bringing along and he handled everything like a pro tonight!"
This summer the all-new Devoucoux Hunter Derby was a featured event at both HITS Saugerties and HITS Culpeper, and represents the 13th division to count for points in the Marshall & Sterling League. The Devoucoux Derby Finals will be held during the 2010 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals on September 15-19 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
Also excelling in the hunter ring during HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII was Amy Momrow, who piloted Monty Kelly's Wolfgang to the weekly championship in the Low Hunter and a reserve title in the Pre Green Hunter. Another big winner this week was Kate Conover, who rode Emil Spadone's Peron to a weekly crown in the Baby Green Hunters. Both Wolfgang and Peron were perennial winners at HITS Saugerties this season and will be honored with the best-of-the-best during Sunday's Smartpak Parade of Champions after the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. Following the Smartpak Parade of Champions, the legendary John Fogerty will take the stage making it a day to remember at HITS Saugerties!
Show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson continues all weekend and is highlighted by the the colossal double feature on Sunday when the Pfizer Million and the John Fogerty concert rocks the house! Tickets for the Pfizer Million and John Fogerty concert are still available and online at Ticketmaster.com.
VIP Tables for eight for the Pfizer Million are available for $2,500 and include breakfast and lunch daily on Wednesday through Saturday, and a special, exclusive Grand Prix luncheon on Pfizer Million Sunday prepared by renowned area chef Ric Orlando from New World Cooking Co. The menu, a salute to the Hudson Valley, includes waiter service and complimentary wine, beer and a champagne toast to the Pfizer Million winners! For more information, please contact Tony Hitchcock via e-mail at Tony@HitsShows.com.
In order to qualify for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, a rider must compete in eight or more HITS Grand Prix classes. The top 40 riders, based on money won by horse/rider combination, will be eligible to ride for the Pfizer Million. For more detailed information on the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, including ticket prices that include the special concert by music legend John Fogerty, please visit our website at HitsShows.com.
HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS will take the industry to new heights when it hosts the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties on September 12.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com.
Friday's $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby Wild Card
PLACING HORSE OWNER RIDER PRIZE MONEY
1 Duval Randi Vladimer Amanda Steege $1,500
2 Finn Mc Cool Tracy Freels Hannah Isop $975
3 Corazon Patrick McGinnis Patrick McGinnis $700
4 Surri Junior Windsor World Horse Sales Heather Ann Cahill $500
5 Ralph Lauren Kaelin Tully Kaelin Tully $400
6 Elysium Blue Ribbon Equine Danielle Franchi $350
7 Zackerno Chimark Farm Elizabeth Pandich $300
8 Arezzo Shaine Brooks Shaine Brooks $275
Photos: Amanda Steege and Duval in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby Wild Card at HITS Saugerties ©ESI Photography.
Amana Steege is congratulated by HITS' Lisa Engel after winning the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby Wild Card at HITS Saugerties. ©ESI Photography.