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Amy Momrow and Summer Storm blew past the competition in the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (May 30, 2008) -- In a picturesque setting in upstate New York, Amy Momrow and her mount Summer Storm blew past the field of competitors to capture the blue ribbon in first $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix of the season at HITS-on-the-Hudson.

Momrow, a Loudonville, New York native, bested five pairs in the jump-off to secure $7,500 in prize money for owner Shaine Brooks before a packed VIP audience, which included nearly 400 members from the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce on site for their annual HITS-on-the-Hudson installment of their monthly mixer. Also on hand to watch were New York State Senator John Bonacic and New York State Assemblyman Peter Lopez.

“It was a tight ride and I rode both rounds as if they were speed classes,” said Momrow. "I thought I was pretty fast, but I wasn't sure if my time was good enough because I felt that I could have been a little faster on that last line.”

“Take it from me, she rode fabulous,” said Tim Hooker of Wellington, Florida, who finished in third place. "She is going to tell you how great her horse was, but she was amazing. Her first and second rounds were flawless!”

The action in the jump-off started with Michael Kearins, also of Wellington, Florida, and his mount Colina. The pair had an unlucky rail down midway through the course and secured fourth place in the class,

Second to go in the jump-off were Hooker and his mount Sirius 127. Last season at HITS-on-the-Hudson, Hooker secured the top prize in the $75,000 EMO Grand Prix. In Thursday's featured class, he had a rail down and had to settle for third place; however, after his round Hooker was ecstatic.

“I think the improvements here are super,” said Hooker. “It's all about presentation and this facility looks amazing. The new jumps in the Grand Prix ring combined with the islands make it a wonderful place to show.”

Next to go in the jump-off were Momrow and her eleven-year-old chestnut gelding Summer Storm. The pair had the fastest double-clear round of the day and stopped the clocks in the jump-off at 42.432.

Sitting in the fourth position were Becky Johanson-Hoffmann and her trusty mount Corona. The Utah native had two rails down and finished in fifth place for Blue Hills Farm.

Finally, in the envious last-to-ride spot were Keean White of Rockwood, Ontario and his mount Celina Z. The duo went clear but were well off the pace, stopping the clocks in 53.993 to grab second place and $5,500 in prize money for owner Lindsay Schiassi.

“I think it was a great class and the horses jumped well,” said Mexican course designer Florencio Hernandez. “I was looking to have four or five go clean in the first round, so I got exactly what I wanted.”

”It was a great group of exhibitors showing in the class and a large, boisterous crowd in the VIP pavilion watching,” added Hooker. “I think Leslie Howard and Nona Garson are going to show on Sunday, so that will be a great class too.”

With the win, Momrow earned some valuable points towards the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix, which will be held during the USGPL Finals on September 28 in Culpeper, Virginia. The top 30 riders in the Marshall & Sterling League National Standings (based on money won by the horse/rider combination) will qualify to participate in the Invitational. In addition, one Wild Card slot will be allotted. The rider may elect to ride any horse of his or her choice, but may ride only one horse in the Invitational. All Grand Prix events at HITS Saugerties and HITS Culpeper are qualifying events for the Invitational.

Momrow and her entourage from Stepping Stone Farm celebrated the victory later that night at the HITS Saugerties Exhibitor Welcome Party at local hot spot Stella's Station. Other exhibitors such as Hooker, Garson, Ralph and Holly Caristo and Alexandra Cherubini all rang in what is sure to another successful season in the Hudson Valley.

Show jumping at HITS Saugerties continues all weekend and features the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix on Sunday. Also this weekend at HITS Saugerties is the HITS Saugerties Fashion Show, presented by DIG. The fashion show will feature fine equestrian apparel from the vendors at HITS Saugerties, as well as some trendy gear from DIG, Woodstock Trading Post and Woodstock Design. The new Partition Street Wine Shop will also be on-site for a special wine tasting and Zephyr Gin will provide complimentary Gin.

HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit http://www.HitsShows.com.

PHOTO: © 2008 Lili Weik Photography; Amy Momrow and Summer Storm are congratulated after winning the first $ 25,000 Ariat Grand Prix of the season at HITS Saugerties.


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