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HITS-on-the-Hudson VII offers final chance to get into the Marshall & Sterling League Finals

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (September 3, 2008)--While the qualifying period for the 2008 Marshall & Sterling League Finals has officially ended, riders will have one last opportunity to earn points this weekend during Wild Card Weekend at HITS Saugerties for the M&S Children's Hunter Horse and Pony, M&S Adult Hunter Horse, M&S Children's Jumper and M&S Adult Jumper divisions.

This season's Marshall & Sterling League National Finals will take place at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York September 11 -14 and 2008 marks the finest year to date for the League as it has set a record for the number of participating member shows.

This year, the League has upped the ante as the Finals will offer $35,000 in prize money, as well as numerous perpetual trophies and awards. New to the schedule this year are the popular $1,500 Pony Jumper Classic, $1,500 Bit O' Straw Hunter Classic and the Local Hunter Classic. Other classes and divisions on tap include favorites such as the $2,000 Adequan Hunter Division, $4,000 Children's Hunter Pony Division, $4,000 Children's Hunter Horse Division, $4,000 Adult Hunter Division, $10,000 Children's Jumper Division, $10,000 Adult Jumper Division, M&S Children's Horse Medal Final, M&S Children's Pony Medal Final, M&S Adult Medal Final, and the Central Equine Junior Medal Final.

While competition in the show ring is sure to be stiff, out of the ring the Marshall & Sterling League Finals will once again feature the popular League Awards Dinner and Party on Friday, September 12. The bash will have a Mardi Gras theme highlighted by a Cajun and Creole dinner and live music.

The Essex Classics Year-End High Point Awards will be presented following the fabulous dinner. The awards will be presented to the top-10 riders in each division based on the Marshall & Sterling National Point Standings. Once all of the awards are handed out, it will be time to boogie during a special musical performance by Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers that will be sure to delight the crowd.

The fun doesn't stop on Friday. After Saturday’s action in the ring, exhibitors are invited to a special Ice Skating Party from 6:30-9:30 PM at the Kiwanis Ice Rink across the street from the show grounds. There will also be an Ice Cream Social on Saturday afternoon on the show grounds.

During the year, riders from coast to coast compete at more than 980 Marshall & Sterling League member horse shows to earn points for a place at the Finals. Since its inception in 1991, the Marshall & Sterling League Finals have provided the goal that has fueled the competitive spirit of child and adult riders at all levels of competition. Click here for the current standings.

Show jumping at HITS Saugerties resumes on Wednesday, September 3 and will feature a full schedule of classes, including the $5,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix, Adequan Hunter and the Central Equine Junior Medal.

HITS-on-the-Hudson VII also features the final two qualifying Grand Prix events for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix that will take place during the USGPL Finals later this month at HITS Culpeper. Currently, the standings boast some of the top riders in the sport. Click here for the current USGPL Standings.

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 for the family hunter, a champion race horse or a commercial farm. An employee-owned company, Marshall & Sterling has been recognized by IIABA as one of the nation's top “Best Practice Agencies”. The company maintains a national presence and is licensed in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information contact Mary Moeller at 800-836-3046, extension 224.

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: © Lili Weik Photography; Kelsey Amedeo clears a jump during the Marshall & Sterling League Finals to capture a long-awaited win in the M&S Adult Medal in 2007.


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