Hunters Shine at National Sunshine Series

Thermal, CA (November 1, 2014): A cool breeze swept through HITS Desert Horse Park Friday evening creating a peaceful energy amongst competitors in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter PrixThe course, set by Rian Beals, was colorful and inviting as soft music echoed throughout the venue.  Horse and rider pairs responded favorably to the setting and provided onlookers with flowing hunter rounds under the picturesque desert stars.  

Michael Leon and Freedom, of Agoura Hills, California, sailed through the course capturing a win to secure the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final qualifier.  The duo received an 85 in the first round and posted an 88 in the second for the blue.

"What a fantastic class on the Grand Prix field," said Leon moments after his win. "It was a great opportunity to have the hunters showcased like that tonight - it was quite special. The reception on the berm set the pace for my clients and it was a super fun night!"

About Devoucoux
Devoucoux, maker of fine French saddles, is proud to be the title sponsor of each and every qualifying Hunter Prix leading up to the phenomenal Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. Devoucoux offers a wide range of saddles in many colors and sizes and matching accessories. Devoucoux craftsmen are devoted to creating beautiful products that reflect their obsession with quality and lovingly finished work. For more information on Devoucoux, visit

-Kathy Hobstetter for HITS, Inc

(C) ESI Photography - Michael Leon and Freedom jump to a win in the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at the National Sunshine Series.

$5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Rd. 1/2 Total
1 Freedom Melhill Stables, LLC Michael Leon $1,500 85/88 173
2 Labrinth Tate Beteta Katie Taylor $1,000 87/84 171
3 Small Talk Catherine Runk Rose Carver $700 82/84 166
4 Casson Kathleen Waldorf Johanna Siefert $500 76/76 152
5 Carrera Pinon West, LLC Michael Leon $400 78/71 149
6 Rhymes with Orange Meghan Clark Kasey Ament $325 71/75 145
7 Verdana Mikayla Stuart Mikayla Stuart $300 68/76 144
8 Connotation Oscany, Inc. Rose Carver $275 65/76 141

$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix
Katherine Madruga and Zapateada, of La Quinta, California jumped to a win in Friday’s $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix with scores of 81 and 83 for a 163 total and blue ribbon.

Savanah Stuart of Rancho Santa Fe, California, rode Handsel to an 80 and 82 for second. Third was Briana Sukert of Newport Coast, California, with scores of 79 and 81 aboard SideKick.

Stuart stacked the leaderboard finishing fourth on her own Andover with a 78 and 78. Nancy Moore of Parker, Colorado, and Saluut D 99 rounded out the top five with an 82 and 73.

About Platinum Performance
Platinum Performance provides more than 10 supplements essential to your horse’s health and conditioning in just one scoop. Platinum Performance® Equine addresses a horse's total body health from joint and hoof care to athletic performance and coat health, and is the 2014 sponsor of the $250,000 Hunter Prix Final and all qualifiers. For more information on Platinum Performance, visit

(C) ESI Photography - Asia Manning of HITS presents Katherine Madruga and Zapateada with winner’s awards after winning the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix.
$1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Rd.1/2 Total
1 Zapateada Briana Sukert Katherine Madruga $450 81/83 163
2 Handsel Savanah Stuart Savanah Stuart $300 80/82 162
3 SideKick Briana Sukert Briana Sukert $200 79/81 160
4 Andover Savanah Stuart Savanah Stuart $150 78/78 156
5 Saluut D 99 Taylor Cowles Nancy Moore $125 82/73 155
6 Carlson B Natalie Templeton Natalie Templeton $100 67/79 146
7 Saint Amour Naomi Houillon Naomi Houillon $100 70/71 141
8 Kirkland Pinon West, LLC Annette Peterfy $75 74/63 137
9 Lexington Caroline Bersch Caroline Bersch - 60/75 135
10 Bell Hop Katerina Baney Philippa Fournier - 65/50 125

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.

While hosting the richest weekend in show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson, HITS also formed the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. This includes the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Mortgage Call, in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Wells Fargo, in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit 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

2015 Horse Show Dates

HITS Desert Circuit  |  Thermal, CA  |  January 13 - March 15, 2015
HITS Ocala Winter Circuit    |  Ocala, FL  |  January 13 - March 23, 2015
HITS Arizona Winter Circuit  |  Tucson, AZ  |  January 28 - March 8, 2015
HITS Culpeper Show Series  |  Culpeper, VA  |  April / July / August / September
HITS Saugerties Show Series  |  Saugerties, NY  |  May-June / July-August / September
HITS Championship  |  Saugerties, NY  |  September 2-6, 2015
HITS Marshall & Sterling Insurance National Finals  |  September 9-13, 2015
National Sunshine Series  |  October 28 - November 8, 2015