Youngsters Capture Championships in the Children’s Hunter Divisions

Saugerties, NY - September 18, 2011 - Jennifer Staniloff will always remember her first trip to HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. On Saturday afternoon, the fourth grader was named Champion in the Children’s Hunter Pony Small Division at the 2011 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals aboard Nancy Buzzeta’s Shimmer.

Staniloff of Setauket, New York and Shimmer led the way as they captured the blue ribbon in the first over fences class and then finished second in the under saddle, which helped to fuel their drive to the Children's Hunter Pony Small Division Champion. Reserve Champion went to One Way or Another, owned and shown by McKinley DeAngelo of Allentown, New Jersey.

"My favorite part about being here was getting in the big ring and making it work together with my pony,” said Staniloff. “I gave him a big bath and helped my mom pack the tack trunk before we left and when we were doing all of this I had a feeling that we would do great! My pony did everything that I asked him to do.”

“Jennifer has been riding with me for about 10 months,” said trainer Rita Timpanaro. “She really devotes a lot of her time to riding and I am very proud of her. This is a tremendous accomplishment.”

Children’s Hunter Pony Medium Division

To say that Anna Platek’s first year competing at big horse shows was a success would be an understatement!  The 12-year-old soccer and skiing star scored Championship honors in the Marshall & Sterling League’s Children’s Hunter Pony Medium Division aboard Yasmin Rizvi’s Forever After, making her first season of showing a major hit! “I came here to just get around the course,” said the eighth grader. “That was my goal. But I should have known better. My pony can be very lazy at times, but he always pulls it off. I love him so much.”

Platek, who lives in Weston, Connecticut and rides at Stepping Stone Farm in Ridgefield, shared the spotlight on Saturday with Olivia Selmonosky of Bedford, New York, who rode her own Morton’s Best Man to Reserve Champion honors in the division that featured 41 starters.

Children’s Hunter Pony Large Division
Eliza Rader of Chappaqua, New York and her own Redwood Forest chopped down the field of 46 starters in the Children’s Hunter Pony Large Division to take home the Champion honors.  Rader, who trains at Autumn Farms in North Salem, New York, was first and third in the two over fences classes, which fueled her win in the division. The Reserve Champion ribbon was awarded to Jade Puleo of Odessa, Florida, who rode her own pony Artwork.

“I come to HITS Saugerties a lot,” said Rader. “I was Champion earlier this year. I really enjoyed showing in the big ring at the Finals. There was so much space in between the jumps and you can really canter in between them.”

“Eliza has really come into her own,” said trainer Sarah Friedman. “She rode beautifully from beginning to end. She is a fantastic student.”

Children’s Hunter Horse Division

The accolades continued to pile up at the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals for Autumn Farms. Led by trainers Sarah Friedman and Alaina Soriano, Alexandra Carlton took home the Children's Hunter Horse Championship aboard Autumn Farms’ Promise. “He is a great jumper, mover and a beautiful type. But the best part is you just walk him to the ring. He is so easy to ride,” said Friedman.

“Alex did a great job,” added Soriano. “She rode beautifully.”

Carlton, who was one of the top junior riders during the season at HITS Saugerties, took control of the division when she won Saturday’s over fences class and was third in the under saddle. Cloe Hymowitz of Sagaponack, New York and Rose Hill Farm’s Chivas Regal won Reserve Champion.

Grand Hunter Champion
At the conclusion of the hunter divisions, the Grand Hunter Champion Award was presented to Osvaldo Ornia Pacher and Alivo, who championed in the Adequan Hunter Division earlier in the week. Reserve Grand Hunter Champion was Jenny Fischer of Montgomery, New York and Moments of Brilliance, who were champion in the HITS Hunter Professional Division.

For a complete look at this year's results from the 2011 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals click here.

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

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

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 Stay connected with HITS, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Photos: Joe Norick of Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc. presents the Champion award to Jennifer Staniloff in the Children's Hunter Pony Small Division at the 2011 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York;  Kristen Vale-Mosack of HITS presents the Champion honors to Alexandra Carlton in the Children's Hunter Horse Division at the 2011 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson;  Kristen Vale-Mosack presents the Children's Hunter Horse Reserve Champion ribbon to Cloe Hymowitz of Sagaponack, New York and Rose Hill Farm’s Chivas Regal. All Photos © ESI Photography.