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The Marshall & Sterling League National Finals are on the horizon at HITS-on-the-Hudson

SAUGERTIES, NY (August 19, 2008)--Soon the leaves will be turning colors to signify the beginning of fall in the historic Hudson Valley and that means one thing for members of the Marshall & Sterling League. The Prestigious National Finals are right around the corner with four exciting days of competition at HITS-on-the-Hudson!

Competition during the Finals kicks off on Thursday, September 11. With more than $35,000 in prize money and numerous perpetual trophies and awards up for grabs, this is not an event to miss. 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.

Highlighting the extended weekend is the Marshall & Sterling League Finals Party and Awards Dinner on Friday, September 12. This year's party will have a Cajun flavor to it when all Marshall & Sterling League Finals competitors and their guests are invited to enjoy a night of Cajun and Creole food, great music and great fun at HITS-on-the-Hudson.

The Essex Classics Year-End High Point Awards will immediately follow 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 out-of-ring festivities don't end after Friday's party. Those coming to Saugerties for an action-packed weekend of competition and fun are invited to a special Ice Skating Party on Saturday, September 13 from 6:30-9:30 PM across the street from the show grounds at the Kiwanis Ice Rink.

"It's hard work to earn a place in the Finals," said HITS' Senior Vice President Tony Hitchcock. "This long weekend pays tribute to all of the extraordinary effort that each exhibitor puts into earning their place at the Finals."

It's not too late to become a member of the Marshall & Sterling League. Exhibitors who are competing heavily over the next month can still qualify for the Finals. Membership is just $40. Join online, or call 845.246.8833 for a membership application and a prize list for the Finals. For additional information, e-mail MandS@HitsShows.com.

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.

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: ęDanette Kadlic for HITS; A group of enthusiastic exhibitors show off all of their awards at the 2007 Marshall & Sterling League Finals Awards Dinner and Party


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