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New $5,000 Marshall & Sterling 3'3" Hunter Derby to highlight the 2009 League Finals Schedule

SAUGERTIES, NY (June 22, 2009)—HITS is pleased to announce that a new class, the Marshall & Sterling 3'3" Hunter Derby, will be added to the 2009 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. The Finals will take place from September 10-13 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

This new two-round hunter classic will take place on Saturday, September 12. The first round will be a Classic-type course and the second round will be a Handy Hunter course that will include trot jumps, rollbacks and option jumps. Horses and riders will be able to cross enter from most divisions, including Children's and Adult Hunter.

Since this is a late addition to the schedule for the Finals, HITS is offering the $5,000 Marshall & Sterling 3'3" Hunter Derby as an open class this year. There is no qualifying criteria and riders do not need to be members of the Marshall & Sterling League to participate. Approximately 30 horses will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for the $5,000 Marshall & Sterling 3'3" Hunter Derby.

"We held a Hunter Derby in Saugerties this spring and it was a great success," said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. "Exhibitors who participated thought that having a Hunter Derby during the Marshall & Sterling League Finals would be a great idea. It's a fun class and I think it will be a great addition to this year's Finals. For the 2009-2010 season we will add it as one of the 13 divisions that count for points in the Marshall & Sterling League."

HITS is planning to offer the new Hunter Derby at its shows in Ocala, Saugerties and Culpeper in 2010 and a select number of Marshall & Sterling Member Shows will offer it as well. There will be a special application for shows interested in offering the derby in 2010. Shows interested in offering the class should contact the League office this fall.

The 2009 Marshall & Sterling League Finals Prize List will be mailed on July 10. Look for it inserted within the HITS Saugerties Fall Series of horse shows prize list. For updates on the 2009 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals, please visit: http://hitsshows.com/marshallsterling/index.html

HITS welcomes Autumn Farms as returning sponsor for the 2009 Marshall & Sterling League Finals

HITS is pleased to announce Autumn Farms as a returning sponsor of the 2009 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. Autumn Farms is located in beautiful North Salem, New York and their talented group of riders will be competing at HITS Saugerties all summer as well as the Marshall & Sterling League Finals. During the Finals, Autumn Farms will be providing sashes for some of the top finishers over the course of the weekend.

Schedule Highlights, Annual Awards Dinner/Party & Entertainment

Highlighting the extended weekend is the Marshall & Sterling League Finals Party and Awards Dinner on Friday, September 11, featuring the presentation of the Essex Classics Year-End High Point Awards to the top-10 riders in each division based on the Marshall & Sterling National Point Standings. As always, the evening will feature a special theme, delicious food and great music to celebrate another great season. Stay tuned for more details on this year's party.

On Saturday night, there will be a special Merry-Go-Round Gala and Auction at the show grounds where 46 fiberglass carousel horses from the Hors'n Around Saugerties Exhibit will be up for bid. Each horse is decorated by an artist in themes reflecting the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, and they will be on display around the Village of Saugerties from May through September. For more information about the Exhibit and the Auction, please visit http://www.horsnaroundsaugerties.com/

During the year, riders from coast to coast compete at more than 1,100 Marshall & Sterling League member horse shows to earn points for a place at the National 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.

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 the family hunter, a champion racehorse 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 Credit: © 2009 Lili Weik Photography

Photo Caption: Patricia Griffith and Querido on course in the $10,000 HITS Saugerties Hunter Derby that took place this spring at HITS Saugerties.


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