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HITS Thermal awards 2008 Perpetual Trophies to Desert Circuit Champions

THERMAL, CA (March 27, 2008)— HITS is pleased to announce that Saer Coulter of San Francisco, California was awarded the SHALANNO Style of Riding Award during the DC Championship Week at HITS Thermal.

The SHALANNO Style of Riding Award Perpetual Trophy is presented to the Junior Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation as modeled by Olympic medalists Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld and George Morris. The award recipient must have the respectful, dignified, courteous and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman.

“It’s a tremendous honor to win such a prestigious award,” said Coulter. “It’s great knowing that all of my hard work has paid off in winning this award.”

“There were some fantastic riders that we considered for this award,” said HITS’ High-Performance Liaison Dale Harvey. “But Saer’s style of riding and tremendous attitude puts her notches above the rest.”

"Saer had a great tour in Thermal. She has been practicing and training a lot," said trainer Mary Manfredi. "She is very serious about the jumper ring and has been working on her technique and it shows."

Coulter has been riding under the watchful eye of Manfredi at Davenport West for the past four years. During this time, she conquered Grand Championships aboard her trusty mount Willy at HITS Saugerties, HITS Indio, HITS Thermal, Lake Placid and the LA National horse shows, just to name a few. And fittingly, Coulter retired Willy in a touching ceremony just prior to the jump off for the $200,000 Invitational Grand Prix of the Desert at HITS Thermal on Sunday, March 16.

Coulter is 16 and attends University High School in San Francisco. According to Manfredi, she is very active in community service, as well as being dedicated to riding.

Also excelling at HITS Thermal in 2008 was Rich Fellers. The Wilsonville, Oregon native's three triumphs aboard his mount Flexible in the $50,000 Tourneau FEI World Cup Qualifiers, presented by Adequan earned him the Jimmy Kohn Style of Riding Perpetual Trophy, sponsored by Karen Healey Stables. Fellers also won the award in 2006 before Sacramento’s Jill Humphrey took home the honors last year at HITS Thermal.

The valuable points that Fellers earned at HITS Thermal for the FEI U.S. West Coast League Standings to put him in first place and he's a near lock to earn a spot in the 2008 FEI World Cup.

“The indoor ring provided me the perfect setting to get ready for the World Cup,” said Fellers. “HITS should be proud of what they accomplished in 2008. They gave the riders who are vying for a spot in the World Cup a great opportunity to get ready for the event.”

Another major award presented during the HITS Thermal Grand Finale was the Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsman Award that was enthusiastically accepted by Los Angeles’ Lucy Davis.

According to Potcreek Meadow Farm’s Cara Anthony, the award honors the kids who shine at the back gate as well as in the ring. “A lot of thought goes into who wins the award each year,” she said. “Lucy was picked this year because she exemplifies everything this award is about. She is smiling if its early in the morning, late in the afternoon, after a great round or after poor round.”

The Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsmanship Award came about eight years ago. Anthony wanted the trophy to be memorable, so she selected a trophy that is nearly 40 pounds and features a giant horse head on the top of a wooden frame. “My husband Jeff and I wanted the trophy to mean something,” she said. “These are potentially the people who will show all over the world when they get older and we want them to be great ambassadors for our sport.”

According to Anthony, the judges, in-gate starters and HITS Management all help to select the winner. “It’s quite a prestigious award to win,” added Anthony. “Lucy should be very proud of her accomplishments.”

Rounding out the list of perpetual trophy award winners during the DC Championship Week was Allison Baileys, who rode Tache Rouge to the Michael Patrick Perpetual Trophy for the High Point Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Circuit Champion.

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: © Flying Horse Photography; Alison Baileys and Tache Rouge receive the Michael Patrick Perpetual Trophy for being the High Point Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Circuit Champion. HITS' Tony Hitchcock presents the award.


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