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Ula Green jumps her way to the blue in the $2,500 Children's Jumper division

SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (September 13, 2008) – Ula Green kicked off an exciting morning for Jumper riders at the 2008 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals when the 14-year-old and her mount Karin outlasted 47 pairs to win the blue in the $2,500 Children's Jumper Classic.

"I've been to HITS before but this is my first time at the Finals," said Green. "I love it here. It's so big."

Karin is owned by Bill Barr and Green rides under the watchful eye of trainer Amanda Millie Foote at the Fairfield County Hunt Club and is in ninth grade at the Joe Barlow School, in Easton, Connecticut. She is also an avid tennis player and a member of the crew team.

"She is not your average 14-year-old," said Ula's mother Durelle Green. "She is very focused on her riding. This is our first time at the Finals and everyone here is so friendly and accommodating."

"There were so many in the class and it was a huge accomplishment to win it," said Ula Green. "My horse is the sweetest mare ever and does everything that I ask her to do. In the jump-off we just went for it and I was excited that we won."

Green will show next in the Zone 1 Finals before taking it easy for the winter when she plans to concentrate on her school work. Other top finishers in the $2,500 Children's Jumper division were Sydney Smith, who rode Jennieta to a red ribbon and Hillary Sapanski took third aboard Kaboom.

Once the awards were all handed out in the $2,500 Children's Jumper Classic, it was the adults time to shine. And that's just what Patricia Diamond Hennessy did when she rode Little Tom past a starting field of 26 to win the $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic.

Hennessy has been in the irons aboard her speedy jumper for about four years. Little Tom is a 15.3 hand Irish Connemara gelding. The combination also had a top finish in Thursday's $2,500 Adult Jumper Classic making her trip to the historic Hudson Valley a successful journey.

Twelve pairs advanced to course builder Jerry Dougherty's nine-obstacle jump-off course with Hennessy winning the blue after she stopped the clocks in 36.625. Kim Jungherr was second in the class aboard Dixie after their clear jump-off round. Grabbing the yellow ribbon were Mia Mask-Whittman and her horse Springbok.

Competition at the Marshall & Sterling League National Finals continues all weekend and is highlighted by a special Ice Skating Party from 6:30-9:30 PM at the Kiwanis Ice Rink across the street from the show grounds. There will also be an Ice Cream Social on Saturday afternoon on the show grounds.

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.

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 race horse 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 Moelle r 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: © 2008 Lili Weik Photography; Patricia Diamond Hennessy and Little Tom get congratulated by HITS' Kristen Vale and Chris Mayone after winning the $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic at the 2008 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals


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