Patricia Griffith and Skorekeeper Claim the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Throne
Saugerties, NY (September 12, 2016): Championship Sunday at HITS Saugerties began with the high-energy concluding round of the richest Hunter class in the country, the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final. The stage was set for the field of top-caliber contenders with a lovely course designed by Rian Beals of Saugerties, New York.
Patricia Griffith of New York, New York, did it again after a win in 2012, winning her second title in the renowned event to secure a reign at the top aboard Skorekeeper, owned by Callie Seaman.
The final Top Four continued with: second place, Hope Glynn of Penngrove, California and Lake of Stars, owned by Sabrina Hellman; third place, Tracey Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas, riding MTM Fashion, owned by MTM Farm; and fourth place Dorothy Douglas of Flowermound, Texas, aboard S&L Just A Cobbler.
“All of these riders are great clients of ours,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “We appreciate that they travel across the country to come show with us and are proud to offer them a class like this one. As far as HITS is concerned, this class worked out great and we look forward to it getting better and better each year.”
“Words can’t describe the feeling of winning this class again,” said Griffith. “The course was fantastic, it had a beautiful flow and the jumps were very nicely decorated. Coming back after four years since I won this class, I wanted to win something big, and this definitely was. I want to thank Tom and everybody at HITS. It’s amazing to jump for this much money and it means so much to us as hunter riders.”
Second-place Glynn, who traveled cross country from California for the opportunity, continued to credit the HITS Team and compliment her fellow competitors in the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix.
“We feel so lucky to be here competing in a class like this and doing what we are so passionate about. It’s such a blessing,” said Glynn. “You know coming to compete here with these riders that you’re going to have to push the envelope a bit. This is five times the money I’m getting anywhere else, in any class in the world, so it’s really such a great thing to be a part of.”
Three panels of judges critiqued each horse and rider’s craft over the course of four rounds, the first taking place on Friday, second round on Saturday and the third and fourth rounds on Sunday.
After the First and Second Rounds of the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix, all scores are wiped clean, but riders return in reverse order of sores, and Griffith used that to her advantage. After finishing the first round on Friday in first place and finishing the second round on Saturday in third, they came back on top in Sunday’s final. Going twenty-fifth in the order, they earned a total of 268.25 in the third round, and 274 in the final round of the top four to take home the blue ribbon with an overall score of 542.25.
Glynn remained steadily in the top contingencies as well, finishing third on Friday and second on Saturday. On Sunday, she and Lake of Stars earned a third round total of 259.75, leaving her in fourth place going into the final round, where she scored a total of 271, for an overall score of 530.75.
Tracey Fenney came through the back door, going very early in the third round, laying down a superb trip. After Fenney put it all in the ring Sunday to shoot up the leaderboard with a third round score of 260 placing her in third before the final round, she stayed steady in her stride finishing third overall with a fourth round score of 265.
“I came into the final and had nothing to lose, so we just went for it,” said Fenney. “[MTM Fashion] is six, so showing on the Outside Course, the green horses can tend to get a little excited. Our strategy was to put in two normal rounds and just try to make it to the final. Going first today was obviously a disadvantage, so we went and tried not to worry about what everyone else was doing, and put in our best effort.”
Dorothy Douglas and S&L Just A Cobbler rounded out the top four with a third round total of 262.75, leaving her in second place going into the final round. Douglas finished with a fourth round score of 262 and an overall score of 524.75 to take home fourth place.
“I was very happy with my horse in the handy round. He’s a six-year-old and has never done anything like that before,” said Douglas. “I’m pleased with the result and am very excited for his future.”
Lake of Stars
S & L Just a Cobbler
S & L Farms
In The Know
Serenity Ridge Farm
C. Russell Howe
Brook Run Farm
Finale Partners, LLC
Most Of All
Four Tall Oaks
Lisa Arena Davis
The Levland Group
(C) ESI Photography Patricia Griffith and Skorekeeper on their way to a $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final win.
(C) ESI Photography Patricia Griffith and Skorekeeper, pictured with owner Callie Seaman on right, winning the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix.
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 in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York.