Culpeper, VA (April 21, 2008)—Eliza Ferguson Shuford can think of plenty of things that she loves about HITS Culpeper. She is especially fond of the $40,000 EMO Grand Prix during the Commonwealth National. On Sunday,the North Carolina native and her mount Plenty emerged victorious in the class for the second consecutive year.
Shuford outlasted eight pairs that advanced to the jump-off on Canadian course designer Danny Foster's track to secure $12,000 in first-place prize money. She was also fourth aboard her other Grand Prix mount, Little John, to secure an additional $3,200 in prize money on the afternoon.
"Winning the class capped off a great week of horse showing in Culpeper," said Shuford. "The footing in the Grand Prix ring was great! I was very pleased with the efforts put into maintaining the show grounds."
"The footing in the Grand Prix ring was fantastic," said Foster. "We had some quality entries in the class and it made for an entertaining jump-off. This is the second year in a row that I saw Eliza win in Culpeper. Once again, she is a very deserving winner."
Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill was first to compete in the jump-off aboard Magdaline. The pair had by far the fastest time, stopping the clocks in 40.359, but dropped the final fence on the course to land in sixth place.
Shuford and Little John were second to challenge Foster's jump-off route and were clear, setting the Great American Time to Beat at 47.657.
Third in the jump-off order were Jennifer Gray and her mount Roxette Delores. A refusal early in the course and seven time faults gave the combination a total of 11 faults to put them into eighth place.
Callan Solem was next to go aboard Mianta. The pair ended the class with 10 faults and finished the day in seventh place. Fifth to go were Patty Stovel and Shandor 41. The duo entered the ring fresh off of a second-place finish in the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group at HITS Ocala. In Sunday's featured class, they navigated the course clean and stopped the clocks in 49.746 to secure fifth place.
Sixth to take a chance on Foster's course were Kirk Weby and Cosmopolite S 1021. A clear round in 45.153 put the combination into third place.
Shuford and Plenty were sixth to go in the jump-off and went clear stopping the clocks in 43.551 to secure the blue ribbon. "With my first trip, I just wanted to go clear," said Shuford. "I had the chance to not only ride once in the jump-off, but also to watch a bunch of trips go before me. I was definitely able to use it to my advantage."
Solem returned for her second trip of the jump-off. This time Solem and VDL Torlano were sitting in the enviable last-to-go spot. The combination came up just short, as they had a clear round in 43.680 to secure second place. She had the ride for the Torlano Group and collected $8,800 in prize money.
"I was so close," said an excited Solem after the class. "I was fortunate enough to have two rides in the jump-off and that gave me a great chance of winning. Eliza also had two horses in the jump-off and she was just a little better than I was today."
"It was a great horse show," added Solem. The jumps in the Grand Prix ring really made this class feel special. I also had the chance to jump in the new jumper ring and it was fabulous."
Also excelling at the Commonwealth National was Megan Fellows who won two major classes on Saturday. First, Fellows and Guinness won the $5,000 Hunter Classic in the Grand Prix ring and then she took first in the new Equitation Classic a few hours later.
Additional winners during the Commonwealth National include Rachel Demuro and Maxime, who captured the Adequan Hunter Division, Sarah Chovnik and Pachelbel D'I, who secured the top prize in the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix, and Abby O'Mara who took home the Central Equine Junior Medal. For a complete list of results, click here.
Show jumping at HITS Culpeper resumes with two consecutive weeks of show jumping with the Showday National (July 9-13) and the Cavalier Classic (July 16-20) in mid-July. Each week will feature the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix, $10,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, $15,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, Central Equine Junior Medal, Adequan Hunter Division and a Grand Prix class each Sunday. On Sunday, July 13 the $40,000 Strongid® C2X™ takes the stage and on Sunday, July 20 the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix is on tap.
Remaining 2008 HITS Culpeper Dates:
Showday National: July 9-13 - Entry 2
Cavalier Classic: July 16-20 - Entry 3
Winston National: August 20-24 - Entry 4
Constitution Classic: August 27-31 - Entry 5
USGPL Finals: September 24-28 - Entry 6
2008 HITS Culpeper Prize List
2008 HITS Culpeper Schedule
The first Culpeper Horse and Colt Show was held at Monte Vista Park in 1897 and it continued for the next 54 years. In the 1980s, show jumping returned to Culpeper in a grand fashion with the opening of Commonwealth Park, one of the finest horse-sport facilities in the country. Some of the richest show jumping events in America have been held at Commonwealth Park, including the $200,000 U.S. Cup, the grand finale for the United States Grand Prix League in 1986. HITS purchased Commonwealth Park in 1997 and began restoring the grounds to its former glory. In 1998, HITS reintroduced the United States Grand Prix League, and has presented the USGPL Finals at Commonwealth Park ever since. Approximately $1 million in total prize money is offered at the six HITS Culpeper events.
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
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/eliza-ferguson-shuford-emo-culpeper-05-08.html">Eliza Ferguson Shuford and Plenty win the $40,000 EMO Grand Pix at HITS Culpeper</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com