Saugerties, NY - September 18, 2011 - In the midst of the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals, HITS-on-the-Hudson rolled out the red carpet on Saturday afternoon for the prestigious 2011 National PHA Medal Final. Like many of the classes held in Saugerties this week, the PHA Medal Final took place in the famous Strongid® C 2X Stadium where Rebekah Chenelle of Hebron, Connecticut emerged as the big winner after she topped the field of 25 riders.
“We love coming to these Finals,” said trainer Armand Chenelle. “You couldn’t have asked for a better class at a better venue. Just last week some of the best riders in the world were competing in the Pfizer Million, and now we get to show in the same ring!”
Chenelle scored an 87 in the first round and was sitting in the second spot before judges Keith Hastings and Robert Gage invited the top five back for additional testing. The top score in the first round belonged to Elizabeth Benson of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, who wowed the judges and received a 90. Joining Benson and Chenelle in the test were Alexandra Carlton of Madison, Connecticut with a score of 85, Becky Cohen of Bedford, New York with a score of 82 and Tina Robinson of Amherst, New York with a score of 81.
In a showdown for the blue, it was Chenelle who emerged the winner after a near flawless ride in the test. “She nailed it,” cheered Armand Chenelle. “There was a hand gallop element of the test from the gate and she got it perfect."
Chenelle's horse, Rosario, is a green, seven-year-old that they originally imported to sell but ended up keeping because he was so easy to ride. Carlton finished in second place and Benson ended the class in the third spot. Rounding out the top five were Robinson and Cohen, respectively. “Elizabeth Benson is one of the best riders out there,” added Armand Chenelle. “It was thrilling to be in the same class as her, and to come out ahead was incredible."
“There is no better venue to host our National PHA Medal than HITS Saugerties,” said Scott Tarter, President of the FWPHA Chapter. “The combination of the facilities and crossover of the riders who were attending the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals made it an excellent opportunity to provide a first-class Final for our riders.”
On a beautiful and sunny Friday morning, 30 qualified riders took to the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, NY to compete for the Marshall & Sterling Adult Working Hunter Championship. In the end, Lindsay Lynch and Bethany Greskovich’s Brother Bear stood in the winner’s circle to accept the honors.
About the Marshall & Sterling League
The Marshall & Sterling League was designed to enhance the level of competition for children and adult riders, with an opportunity to qualify for a prestigious National Finals competition. Now celebrating their 21st year, the Marshall & Sterling League features 14 divisions of competition. Riders who are members of the League had the opportunity to earn points throughout the year by competing in Marshall & Sterling classes in order to qualify for the Marshall & Sterling League Finals, held at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
The Marshall & Sterling League is proudly sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc. Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc., founded in 1864, is among the largest privately owned insurance agencies in the United States. For more than a quarter century, Marshall & Sterling has protected precious equine assets with unparalleled service and support, whether the family hunter, a champion racehorse or a commercial farm. An employee-owned company, Marshall & Sterling is recognized throughout the nation as a leader in providing exceptional service and support. The company maintains a national presence and is licensed in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information contact Joe Norick at 800-333-3766, extension 270, 805-338-0099 or JNorick@MarshallSterling.com.
Membership for the 2012 Marshall & Sterling League is $40 and applications are available at all member horse shows, as well as online at the Marshall & Sterling League website. For more information on the Marshall & Sterling League, contact Patti Guerriero, League Coordinator, at Patti@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 took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. HITS once again offered the most innovative weekend in show jumping history in 2011 when it hosted the second annual Pfizer Million and the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, this fall at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!
Photos: Rebekah Chenelle of Hebron, Connecticut topped the field of 25 riders aboard Rosario to capture this year's PHA Medal Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. © ESI Photography.
Rebekah Chenelle stands proud after winning the 2011 PHA Medal Final at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. Joining her for the presentation are Mary Jane Mitchell, president of PHA; Emma Schuder, winner of 2010 PHA Medal Final, Martha Chenelle, Lynn Peters, Corresponding Secretary of PHA and Armand Chenelle. © ESI Photography.