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Patricia Griffith rides to victory in the $10,000 HITS Saugerties Hunter Derby

SAUGERTIES, NY (June 6, 2009)—On Friday, Patricia Griffith rode Heritage Farm’s Querido to the blue in the $10,000 HITS Saugerties Hunter Derby in the majestic Hunter Stadium at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

Griffith, of White Plains, New York, took the early lead in the class when she scored a 90 in the first round. When the horse-and-rider pair returned for the second round they wowed the judges again, scoring another 90 to run away with the class.

“The horse was great,” said owner and trainer Andre Dignelli. “The Hunter Stadium was a great setting for the class. The ring was colorful and the course designer (Rian Beals) set a great course.”

“I have only been riding her for a few months and she competes in the First Year Green Division,” said Griffith of Querido. “She won some nice ribbons during the week and had her coming out party tonight!”

Jenny Fischer rode Judy Merritt’s Freedom Storm to the red ribbon in the prestigious hunter class. The duo was sitting in fourth place going into the handy round and scored an 86 to propel them into second place. Caroline O’Connor and Chivas Regal finished in third place to round off the list of top finishers in the class.

Griffith was the star of the show; however, as she piloted three horses to ribbons. She was fifth in the irons of Heritage Farm’s Renaissance and sixth riding Laura King’s Eric1.

The first round was a regular Classic course and the second round was a Handy Hunter course that included a trot jump, roll-backs and option jumps. During the second round, judges were able to award bonus points for brilliance and handiness.

“I designed the course with the younger horses in mind,” said Beals. “The many option jumps included logs, coop walls, hay bails and brush boxes. The top 12 horses that came back for the Handy round were really nice. It made for a good class and it seemed like everyone had fun.”

“Obviously, I was very pleased with the outcome,” said Dignelli. “This has been a good show for us this week. There have been some nice improvements here this year and we will be coming back for two weeks in the summer, including the [USEF] Jr. Hunter Finals.”

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: ©Lili Weik Photography

Photo Caption: Patricia Griffith and Querido on course in the $10,000 HITS Saugerties Hunter Derby.


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