It's Showtime! HITS Culpeper Kicks Off With Commonwealth National

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Culpeper, VA - April 21, 2011 - It’s official! The grass is freshly cut, the flags are flying high and the sponsor banners are lining the grounds, as show jumping is underway with the Commonwealth National at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia.

“We have been here every week for as long as I can remember,” said trainer Peter Foley. “With the diverse schedule of classes and its convenient location in the heart of Virginia’s horse country, HITS Culpeper is a ‘can’t miss’ for us.”

When the action kicked off yesterday in the hunter ring, it was Winn Alden (Bristow, Virginia) who got the party started when she took the blue ribbon aboard Stacey McFadden’s Catalyst in the first over fences class of the First Year Green Hunter division. In the second class, she piloted Cassandra Gergeley’s Davinci to the victory, which puts her on the inside track for a division championship when it gets crowned later today!

“It’s great to be back in Culpeper,” said Alden. “I was in Ocala all winter and we had a great time. I will be showing at Culpeper every week, trying to qualify for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final.”

In the Second Year Green Hunter division, Alden continued her hot streak, winning the first over fences class aboard Pam Baker’s Stonewall. Jason Berry (Sweet Briar, Virginia) rode Alyson Booth’s Dominus to triumph in the second class and the two will duel it out for the weekly title this morning!

In the jumper ring, it was Canadian Paul Halpern who took the top honors aboard Amanda Weaver’s Sevastian K in the Morningside Training Facility Level 6 Jumper. Halpern will look to continue his success in Friday’s $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix and then again in Sunday’s $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Also excelling in the Grand Prix ring was Sarah Scheiring, riding Tricia Hailey’s Landino to the crown in the Level 7 Jumper.

“The horses jumped tremendous today,” said course designer Danny Foster. “They seem to really like the footing in the Grand Prix Ring and it's shaping up to be a great week for the riders with a big Grand Prix on the weekend, which will be a critical qualifier for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix."

Show jumping action at HITS Commonwealth Park continues all this week and features a full slate of classes, including Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, one of five qualifiers offered this season in Culpeper for the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, and Sunday’s $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.

For a complete list of results from the HITS Commonwealth National, please click here.

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 took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. HITS will once again offer the most innovative weekend in show jumping history in 2011 when it hosts the second annual Pfizer Million and the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 3'3" Hunter Prix Final, September 10-11, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Photo: Sarah Scheiring and Landino on course in the Level 7 Jumpers.  © ESI Photography.