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Margie Engle and Henrik Gundersen draw even in the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties

SAUGERTIES, NY(July 26, 2008)--After a very competitive first round, both Henrik Gundersen and Margie Engle decided that they would keep their eight-year-olds fresh for Sunday's $50,000 Strongid® C 2X ™ Grand Prix, ending Friday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix in a first-place tie.

"I was riding a very young horse. He is just eight years old, so I didn't want him to jump again in the jump-off," said Gundersen, who forced a jump-off on the final trip of the first round. "I was very pleased with the effort of my horse and I didn't want to push it."

A clear round in the feature class was first posted by Engle and her mount Hidden Creek's Coroya Z with the third-to-last trip on Olaf Petrsen's first-round course. Gundersen then answered back two trips later when he came home clean aboard his mount Lauritz.com Colorado to force what looked to be an impending jump-off.

However, the two talented riders decided to split the first and second place checks and meet again on Sunday. They each walked out of the ring with blue ribbons and $6,500 in prize money.

"We both decided that we wouldn't jump-off," said Engle. "It's a long summer and it's nice to give the horses a break when you can. My mare is only eight and I thought she jumped well. Plus, there wasn't that much difference in the prize money so we decided it would be best for both of us to end the class without a jump-off."

"I think the grounds are great! The footing in the Grand Prix ring and the schooling ring was very nice, despite all of the rain that we had gotten," added Engle.

"I thought it was a great course. It was very technical and Olaf asked some good questions of the riders," said Gundersen. "He is really a master at what he does."

Show jumping continues throughout the weekend at HITS Saugerties and wraps on Sunday with the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X ™ Grand Prix. The action will continue for two more weeks at HITS-on-the-Hudson starting on Wednesday, July 30. HITS will once again host the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship for the East Coast on August 5 and 6, while the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and all-new $5,000 Pony Commotion will highlight competition on Thursday, August 8 during Week VI. HITS Saugerties also offers four more qualifying Grand Prix events for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix during the summer shows and another two during the September shows which run from September 3-7.

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 CREDIT: © 2008 Lili Weik Photography; Margie Engle and her mount Hidden Creek's Coroya Z and Henrik Gundersen and his mount Lauritz.com Colorado each took home a share of the top prize in the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties.


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