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USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Equitation Finals highlight August shows at HITS Culpeper

Culpeper, VA (July 31, 2008)—When show jumping returns to HITS Culpeper for two consecutive weeks in late August, all eyes will be on the third annual USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals that will take place on August 23 during the Winston National.

Following a ringside dinner reception hosted by Bridgewater College, around 35 talented exhibitors will take aim at the course set in the majestic Grand Prix ring at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia.

“HITS has taken a good chunk of equitation classes and moved them to the jumper rings,” said Pam Freely, who is organizing the event. “Having the finals in the Grand Prix ring at HITS Culpeper really makes it extra special.”

“We at HITS are excited about the opportunity to host this prestigious event again here in Culpeper,” said Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of HITS, Inc. “Both Pam Freely and I have done quite a bit of brainstorming to add some unique and elegant touches to this year’s event. The dinner will be served ringside in a tent that will offer a great view of the class.”

“It’s also nice to make the true equitation horses available to the riders who are interested in the equitation classes. We ultimately hope that they will go on to regional and possibly the USEF Finals,” continued Freely.

The riders have had to qualify through the last year by winning a national or state medal class in Zone 3 at either the 3’ or 3’6” division. The 3’ section will compete first, followed by those showing at the 3’6” height. Riders will be scored under the watchful eye of veteran horse show judge Christina Schlusemeyer of Ocala, Florida.

“The unique thing about the class is the two different heights that are offered,” said Freely. “It gives the riders who are showing at 3’ a chance to go up against riders who have been doing it a while.”

“Christina has been contracted to come and judge this specific class only and she will participate in the course layout,” said Struzzieri. “The jumps will include our new selection of equipment from the Olympic jump provider, Olaf Petersen from Germany. This class will be an excellent opportunity for riders to hone their skills for other finals.”

All participating riders will receive goodie bags from the USHJA. Among the additional awards will be a bridle from Ginny Edwards and Hidden Hollow Farm, engraved keepsake boxes from the Preppy Pink Pony, and gift certificates from Champion Saddlery. The most talented young riders from the surrounding area (Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, and West Virginia) will be vying for a chance to win not only the championship title, but a custom-made Tad Coffin saddle, valued at approximately $4,500.00.The second-place winner will receive a pair of custom half chaps from Pinnell Custom Leather. There will also be cash awards presented to the leading trainers.

“All of the sponsors have really stepped up this year,” added Freely. “There are some fantastic prizes that are up for grabs. One of the new sponsors, Bridgewater College, has really [gone above and beyond] this year as they will host a wonderful welcome dinner.”

For more information on the Tad Coffin Zone III Equitation Finals, please contact HITS, Inc at 845-246-8833 or Pam Freeley at 540-272-4144 or email allstarpro112@yahoo.com.

USGPL Standings race heats up in August

The August shows in Culpeper will also feature two more qualifiers for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix, including the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, August 24 and the $40,000 Avalon Saddlery Grand Prix on Sunday, August 31.

Both Grand Prix classes are crucial events to see who gets into the field of 30 riders, as they serve as two of the final Culpeper qualifiers for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix, which will place at HITS Culpeper in late September.

On top of the USGPL Standings is Patty Stovel, who has earned over $57,000 in Grand Prix prize money aboard Shandor 41. Tracy Fenney and S&L Willie are second with nearly $50,000 and in the third spot are Callan Solem and Mianta, who are about $12,000 off the pace.

When show jumping at HITS Culpeper resumes with the Winston National on Wednesday, August 20 it will feature the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix, $10,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, $15,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, Central Equine Junior Medal and the Adequan Hunter Division.

The first Culpeper Horse and Colt Show was held at Monte Vista Park in 1897 and it continued for the next 54 years. In the 1980s, show jumping returned to Culpeper in a grand fashion with the opening of Commonwealth Park, one of the finest horse-sport facilities in the country. Some of the richest show jumping events in America have been held at Commonwealth Park, including the $200,000 U.S. Cup, the grand finale for the United States Grand Prix League in 1986. HITS purchased Commonwealth Park in 1997 and began restoring the grounds to its former glory. In 1998, HITS reintroduced the United States Grand Prix League, and has presented the USGPL Finals at Commonwealth Park ever since. Approximately $1 million in total prize money is offered at the six HITS Culpeper events.

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; The Grand Prix ring at HITS Culpeper will be the center of attention when show jumping returns to HITS Culpeper in August with the return of the USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Equitation Finals and two more qualifiers for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix.

 

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