SAUGERTIES, NY (June 3, 2013) – Agatha D’Ambra couldn’t wipe an excited smile off her face Sunday as she waited patiently to take a victory gallop aboard Trade Winds Farm’s Udiana. The Rexford, New York professional and her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare jumped to a $22,500 payday in the $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Saugerties this weekend.
“She’s a show horse through and through – she’s competitive and fiery. – She fights really hard to win and she was electrified today,” said D’Ambra of the mare she affectionately calls Udy around the barn. Agatha and Udiana have been partnered in the show ring for just over a year and this weekend marked the second-ever grand prix win for both of them.
Martin Otto of Muenster, Germany designed a technical track where striding and a steady stream of broken lines put an end to more than half the field’s attempts at clear rounds. Difficult, but fair, according to D’Ambra, Otto’s course produced four clean rounds.
“Overall, it was a great course – it was very technical and there were a lot of options,” said D’Ambra. “I had a plan, but I definitely didn’t stick to it once I saw all the variations in striding and approaches. It’s a little difficult for her [Udiana] because she doesn’t have the biggest stride in the world, but she is very forward, so I had to decide whether I was going to go for the leave out, or add and be a little patient.”
Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Florida wasted no time in proving that the first-round course was rideable. As the first go of the day, Minikus and his own Quality Girl posted a clear ride within the time allowed and looked to make it two-in-a-row during Week II of HITS Saugerties. The duo won Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis. Five trips later, D’Ambra and Udiana guaranteed a jump-off. They were later joined by Patty Stovel of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania on her own Carigor Z and Peter Wylde of Lake Worth, Florida in the irons of Societe Civile de L’Ecurie Meautry’s AK’s Clowney.
Minikus returned first in the jump-off and had every eye in the Strongid© C 2X Grand Prix Stadium on him has he crossed the timers in a blistering 42.99 seconds. His excitement was short-lived, however, when a glance back over his shoulder revealed the back rail of the final oxer had come down.
D’Ambra returned next with one goal – to make it or break it. “Honestly, there were only four, so I knew I just had to go for it, and I did. She [Udiana] was amazing, she was so fast. She was turning tight, she was looking for the next jump every time and she was just on it.”
Udiana left her short-strided reputation behind after the first fence of the jump-off. The line from the first fence to the second begged for a forward gallop and, according to D’Ambra, Udiana opened her stride four more feet and flew. They finished the jump-off course clear in 44.04 seconds.
Stovel and Carigor Z were clear, but just over two seconds slow for the lead, finishing with a time of 46.52 seconds. Wylde and AK’s Clowney had a rail at the vertical at fence six to pick up four faults in a time of 47.11 seconds.
Stovel ended in second, Minikus third and Wylde fourth. While two time faults kept them from the jump-off, Jimmy Torano of SW Ranches, Florida and Marley Goodman’s Blue Sky Van de Olmenhoeve capped the top five.
The final week of spring competition at HITS Saugerties begins Wednesday and will welcome high-performance riders to the Strongid© C 2X Grand Prix Stadium for the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix on Friday and the $100,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix on Sunday. Both events are presented by Zoetis. Riders will have two more chances to log qualifiers on the road to the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix before HITS Saugerties competition takes a brief hiatus and returns July 17-August 4 for three more weeks of summer competition. Once eligible, the start order for the prestigious event will be determined by a rider’s money won on their leading grand prix mount. Keep tabs on all Zoetis Million qualifying action at HITShows.com.
$5,000 Pyranha NAL Low Junior Jumper Classic
Ali Tritschler of Southport, Connecticut and Norfield Stables, LLC’s Velinta Palo Blanco topped Junior Jumper competition at HITS Saugerties over the weekend. Tritschler and Velinta Palo Blanco rode to the blue in Sunday’s 1.35m $5,000 Pyranha NAL Junior Jumper Classic Low.
Helena Le Picart of New York, New York and her own Bon Vivant were second and Lucy Deslauriers of New York, New York rode Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester to the third spot. Lauren Fischer of Bedford Hills, New York and her own Norton De La Sapaie were fourth, while Brianne Link of East Islip, New York and her own Zycarla Z capped the top five.
$75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Zoetis
Place; Horse; Owner; Rider; Prize $;Rd 1 Faults; JO Faults ;JO Time
1 Udiana Trade Winds Farm Agatha D’Ambra $22,500 0 0 44.04
2 Carigor Z Patty Stovel Patty Stovel $16,500 0 0 46.52
3 Quality Girl Todd Minikus, Ltd. Todd Minikus $9,750 4 0 42.99
4 Ak’s Clowney Societe Civile de L’Ecurie Meautry Peter Wylde $6,000 4 0 47.11
5 Blue Sky Van de Olmenhoeve Marley Goodman Jimmy Torano $4,500 2 – –
6 Evening Star Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Caristo Heather Caristo-Williams $3,750 4 – –
7 Olympic De Chamant Sagamore Farm Jonathan Corrigan $3,000 4 – –
8 Indigo Garber, Griese, hidden Creek & Gladewinds Margie Engle $2,250 4 – –
9 Pumped Up Kicks Chansonette Farm, LLC Lillie Keenan $2,250 4 – –
10 Valentino Mavis Spencer Darragh Kenny $1,500 8 – –
11 VDL Dogan Bellissimo, LLC Candice King $1,500 8 – –
12 Casey Bayaert Farm, Inc. Mattias Tromp $1,500 8 – –
About HITS, Inc.
HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix – now the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix. In 2011, HITS hosted the richest weekend in show jumping with the return of the Pfizer Million and the introduction of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. In 2012, the historic weekend got even sweeter with the addition of the HITS$250,000 HITS Hunter Prix Final. This year, HITS hosted a second $1 million class with the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Thermal and announced the first-ever Triple Crown of Show Jumping with the addition of the Ocala $1 Million Grand Prix in 2014.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!
Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail Media_Info@HitsShows.com.
2013 Horse Show Dates
HITS Desert Circuit
January 22 – March 17, 2013
HITS Ocala Winter Circuit
January 16 – March 17, 2013
HITS Arizona Winter Circuit
January 30 – March 10, 2013
HITS Culpeper Show Series
April / July / August / September
HITS Saugerties Show Series
May-June / July-August / September
HITS Championship Weekend
September 6-8, 2013