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Summertime in Saugerties! Get your entries in for the HITS Saugerties Summer Series of horse shows

SAUGERTIES, NY (July 2, 2008)--The HITS Saugerties Summer Series of horse shows is filling up fast. But HITS is still accepting entries for a world-class show jumping experience that begins on Wednesday, July 23 for three exciting weeks of competition.

One trainer looking forward to returning to the Hudson Valley after competing for two weeks during the spring circuit is Liza Lehrman. Lehrman, who owns and is the head trainer at Bedford, New York's Five Way Farm, will have about 15 horses with her for HITS-on-the-Hudson IV and HITS-on-the-Hudson V.

"During the spring shows, HITS made some quality improvements to the footing," said Lehrman. "I was in Saugerties for two weeks in the spring and when we left the footing was in good shape. The base is better than last year and there were no horses slipping and that's a positive sign."

Lehrman will spend a majority of her time in the Grand Prix ring and Jumper 1 this summer. "I love showing in the main ring," she added. "The new jumps in that ring are great and this spring the course designers did a wonderful job building quality courses. I am looking forward to more of that this summer."

HITS will feature two Grand Prix classes each week this summer. On Thursdays, the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix will take center stage and then on Sunday, riders can take aim at the $50,000 Grand Prix, which will be sponsored by Strongid® C 2X™, Smith Barney and In the Woods Log Homes during the summer. Every Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties is a qualifier for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational, which will take place at HITS Culpeper on Sunday, September 28.

Lehrman is looking to grab a piece of the USGPL Invitational pie, as she plans on showing a new Grand Prix horse. "I have mostly young jumpers coming to Saugerties," said Lehrman. "I am also planning on showing one of my Grand Prix horses because of the great prize money."

Former Olympians Margie Engle and Nona Garson will join Lehrman in the quest to grab some top prize money. "I was very pleased with HITS Saugerties this spring," said Engle. "The footing seemed to be in great shape and all of the rings were decorated nicely to give them each a nice touch."

Back to defend her crown is Candice King, who captured the blue in last summer's In the Woods Log Homes Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson aboard Tarco. If she is going to take home the winner's share of the purse during this year's $50,000 In the Woods Log Homes Grand Prix on Sunday, August 10, she will need to get past some fantastic riders including Rebecca Johanson-Hoffmann. The young star managed to finish in the money in five of the six Grand Prix classes this spring at HITS-on-the-Hudson aboard her gray mare Corona. Thanks to her strong showing this spring, she is in the top-10 of the USGPL Standings and is looking to climb even higher up the ladder to ensure a great spot in the Invitational.

HITS Saugerties has a full slate of special classes scheduled this summer. Each week there will be three $1,000 Pony Hunter Classics (for small, medium and large ponies), as well as the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classics. Qualifying for the Marshall & Sterling Finals will be in full swing with the $1,500 M&S Children's Jumper Classic and the $2,500 M&S Adult Jumper Classic each week, featuring the $10,000 M&S Children's/Adult Jumper Classic during Week VI. Also for jumpers, HITS is once again offering the $5,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Low Classic and the $10,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper High Classic during Weeks IV and V, with an increase to $10,000 for the Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Low and $25,000 for the Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper High Classics during Week VI.

For hunters, HITS Saugerties is the place to be this summer, as the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship for the East Coast will return on August 5 and 6, while HITS will host the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and its all-new $5,000 Pony Commotion on Thursday, August 8 during Week VI.

Prize lists are available online. HITS is recommending that exhibitors get their entries in soon, as space is filling up.

Fun in the Hudson Valley

Aside from offering 250 classes each week, countless ribbons and awards, and nearly half a million dollars in prize money, HITS is also offering exhibitors a chance to let loose and have some fun during their stay in the Hudson Valley.

The special events calendar goes into full swing when the Equine Art Gala and exhibitor mixer starts things off on Thursday, July 24 at New World Home Cooking Co. The invitation-only event will feature fine art from local and national artists.

HITS-on-the-Hudson IV will also feature the first-ever HITS-on-the-Hudson Classic Car Showcase on Saturday, July 26 that will allow exhibitors a chance to look at some hot rods between trips.

The HITS Saugerties Summer Series of horse shows will also feature an Equestrian Idol Competition and the popular Central Equine Relay. For more information on the special events, please click here.

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

2008 HITS-on-the-Hudson Remaining Dates

HITS-ON-THE-HUDSON IV: July 23-27 - Entry 4

HITS-ON-THE-HUDSON V: July 30 - August 3 - Entry 5


NY HORSE & PONY SHOW (VI): August 6-10 - Entry 6

HITS-ON-THE-HUDSON VII: September 3-7 - Entry 7

PHOTO: © Lili Weik Photography; Rebecca Johanson-Hoffmann and Corona capture the red ribbon in the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix during Week I of HITS Saugerties.


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