Saugerties, NY - Megan Edrick reminded everyone at HITS Saugerties that she isn't just a star in the jumper ring when she piloted Don Stewart's Van Guard to the blue in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby on Saturday afternoon at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York during the NY Horse & Pony Show.
Edrick and Van Guard had the highest score in the first round on a course set by Rian Beals. Once the 31 horse-and-rider teams were funneled down to the 12 that returned for the handy round, it was Edrick and Van Guard that emerged as the winners of the Derby collecting $3,000 in first-place prize money.
Van Guard has been on a great run at HITS-on-the-Hudson. During HITS-on-the-Hudson V, he won the USET Talent Search and the Large Junior Hunters 16-17 with New Jersey's Abby O'Mara in the tack. "I feel very fortunate that Don allowed me the opportunity to show such a fabulous horse. Van Guard was great and really strives to please when he walks in the ring," said Edrick.
Edrick, who is originally from California, now is a Professional rider working at Don Stewart Stables, in Ocala, Florida. The up-and-coming rider also holds a top position in the Eligible Rider Rankings for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix that will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson on Sunday, September 12.
In Saturday's feature class for hunters, Edrick and Van Guard ran away from the competition scoring a total of 168 points. Last week's Derby winner and Massachusetts native David Oliynyk and Lori Gaudet's Generous came the close to making it two in a row, finishing just behind Edrick with 159 points to earn the red ribbon.
New Jersey's Anna Becker took the yellow ribbon riding Little Pine Farm's Einstein, while fourth place was awarded to Kelsey Hart (East Greenbush, New York) riding her own Agostino. Rounding out the top five was Oliynyk riding Katherine Conlon's Coco Chanel.
In other hunter action, Katie Dinan (New York, New York), a junior who trains with Steven Weiss, was champion in the Large Junior Hunters 16-17 and captured the blue in the $1,000 Large Junior Hunter Classic aboard her own Alejandro.
This spring and summer the all-new Devoucoux Hunter Derby is 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 offered at the 2010 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals on September 16-19 in Saugerties, New York. Next week, the derby takes the stage at the Northampton Hunter/Jumper Horse Show (August 11-15 ) then returns to HITS Culpeper during the Winston National (August 18-22 )and Constitution Classic (August 25-29).
Show jumping at HITS Saugerties now takes a short break and will return with HITS-on-the-Hudson VII (September 1-5) and will feature a full schedule events, including the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby on Saturday, September 4. The final two qualifiers for the Pfizer Million will also take place during Week VII. During HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII the one and only Wild Card class will take place during the $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier/ Pfizer Million Wild Card Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. The winner of that class, if not already qualified, will earn a spot in the field for this historic class.
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.
Saturday's $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby
PLACING HORSE OWNER RIDER PRIZE MONEY
1 Van Guard Don Stewart Megan Edrick $3,000
2 Generous Lori Gaudet David Oliynyk $2,000
3 Einstein Little Pine Farm Anna Becker $1,400
4 Agostino Kelsey Hart Kelsey Hart $1,000
5 Coco Chanel Katherine Conlon David Oliynyk $800
6 Coscolino Kimberly Beattie Vanessa Karlewicz $700
7 Argentos Jennifer Rufollo Amanda Forte $600
8 Kenya Shoal Creek Stables Sarah Lane $500
Photos: Megan Edrick and Van Guard in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby. © ESI Photography.
Devoucoux Representative Guillaume Julienne and HITS Senior Vice President Tony Hitchcock congratulate Megan Edrick after capturing the top prize in the $10,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby. © ESI Photography.