Pro and Amateur Hunters Alike Shine in the Marshall & Sterling Finals Spotlight
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 11, 2014) – The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson got off to a spectacular start yesterday; with beautifully turned out competitors, colorful jumps, enthusiastic supporters, blue ribbon skies and a sweet breeze. It was the perfect beginning to what’s sure to be a week’s worth of heated equestrian competition.
On Wednesday the HITS Working Hunters, Professionals and Amateurs took center stage. Classes got underway in the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium, where only days before Olympic caliber riders competed in an unforgettable Zoetis Million Dollar Grand Prix.
Fellers Takes the HITS Working Hunter - Professional Division Champion and Reserve Home~and another year of sweet memories
Professional rider Melissa Fellers, of Lincoln Park, New Jersey, and the chestnut gelding Larger Than Life, owned by Linda Corvari of Long Valley, New Jersey, are no strangers to the winner’s circle. Both have received accolades and ribbons over the years and today, under the guidance of trainer Robert Beck, added another championship Tri-Color to their collection.
With fluid consistency the pair took first and second over fences, and fourth under saddle. They topped 12 other finalists and were awarded the Marshall & Sterling Final HITS Working Hunter - Professional Division Championship.
Remarkably, the thirteen year old gelding continues to shine in the hunter ring, despite being blind in his right eye since 2011. Corvari has owned him since he was five, and Fellers began riding him 4 years ago. “Melissa does a perfect job of warming him up for me,” said Corvari, who will be showing the horse in the Adult Hunter Division later in the week.
Melissa Fellers, Robert Beck and Larger Than Life accept awards from Joe Norick of Marshall & Sterling Insurance after winning the HITS Working Hunter – Professional Championship.
Fellers also won Reserve Champion in the same division riding Unwritten for owner Amy Miller of Mendham, New Jersey. They won the first over fences class and placed 8th in the second, returning for fifth in the under saddle. The chestnut Hanoverian gelding is only 8, and not shown very much, so Fellers was particularly delighted with the win. She noted the horse has “loads of talent and potential.” Ultimately Miller plans to compete in the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions with him.
Both Miller and Fellers, "Love the space and comfort of the Saugerties show grounds, and variety of classes offered." Feller marveled at the unique opportunity riders have during Marshall & Sterling Finals to ride in the impressive Strongid C2X Grand Prix ring--fueling future dreams and motivating tomorrow’s stars.
Reeb Owns the HITS Working Hunter – Non-Professional Division, Winning Champion 2nd year in a row --and Reserve for good measure.
Lena Reeb, who rides with Michele West of Larkspur farm in Connecticut, grew up on the HITS circuits in Ocala and Saugerties, according to her mother Leslie Kogos. And for the second year in a row, riding Jamie Ringel’s Private Ryan, took home the HITS Working Hunter Non-Professional Tricolor. The pair swept the division winning both over fences classes and under saddle.
©ESI Photography Lena Reeb and Private Ryan on course during the HITS Working Hunter – Non-Professional at Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals.
Reeb and Private Ryan have a winning history together. “I thank Jamie Ringel for letting me ride this horse – it’s a great opportunity,” said Reeb, who also expressed appreciation to her parents and trainer West.
“Private Ryan has been a special gift...the horse really put Lena on the map, has given her confidence and been great for her junior career,” noted her mother Leslie.
But Lena didn’t stop there. The 16 year old straight-A student also rode Call Me, owned by her mother, to Reserve Champion honors in the same division. She gathered 2nd and 6th place ribbons over fences, and placed fourth in the under saddle. Reeb and Call Me have consistently been in the ribbons, also winning the Connecticut Children’s Hunter Classic Championship last month.
Kogos beamed with delight and pride at her daughter’s accomplishments and work ethic. “She’s just a great kid, inside and out. The horses love her and she seems to naturally intuit their temperament and way of going, adapts her style to each--bringing out a horse’s best. I’m lucky to have her as a daughter,” she smiled.
Left: ©ESI Photography Lena Reeb and Call Me during the HITS Working Hunter – Non-Pro at Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals.
Lena Reeb and Private Ryan accept awards from Joe Norick of Marshall & Sterling Insurance after winning the HITS Working Hunter – Non Professional Championship.
HITS Working Hunter 2’
Karyn Foley riding Uptown Girl, owned by Dawn Von Bernuth of Fairfield, Connecticut, earned Champion honors in the HITS Working Hunter 2’ division during the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals. Foley and Uptown Girl Placed first in an over fences class and second in the under saddle.
Reserve Champion went to Woodlands Berry Hazy, owned by Elizabeth Van Nostrand from Millington New Jersey, and piloted by Anne Widder of Pound Ridge, New York. Widder was second and third over-fences and fifth in the under saddle.
The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals continues today, showcasing jumpers in the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur, Adult and 7,500 Children’s Jumper Classics, while the Adequan Hunter Championship will be decided as well. For the day’s Marshall & Sterling results please click here.
They Came for the competition and facilities.
Stayed for year-end awards and festivities.
Took home the ribbons and unforgettable memories
Marshall & Sterling Finals, Fall 2014
About The Marshall & Sterling League
The Marshall & Sterling League was designed to enhance the level of competition for children and adult riders, with an opportunity to qualify for a prestigious National Finals competition. Now celebrating their 23rd year, the Marshall & Sterling League features 14 divisions of competition. Riders who are members of the League have the opportunity to earn points throughout the year by competing in Marshall & Sterling classes to qualify for the Marshall & Sterling League Finals, held at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
The Marshall & Sterling League is proudly sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc., founded in 1864 and 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 racehorse or a commercial farm. An employee-owned company, Marshall & Sterling is recognized throughout the nation as a leader in providing exceptional service and support. The company maintains a national presence and licensed in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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 will host a second $1 million class with the AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Thermal.