Conor Swail and Fortis Fortuna Win Final $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix of HITS Saugerties Series

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 6, 2015): Saturday morning’s Grand Prix Stadium competition commenced with the eighth and final $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix of the 2015 HITS Saugerties Show season. A first time visitor to HITS-on-the-Hudson, Conor Swail of County Down, Ireland, rode Fortis Fortuna, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, to a memorable finish and a blue ribbon souvenir to remember his time in Upstate New York. 
Thirty-two competitors made their way through the round one course designed by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Florida, and Swail, along with nine others, did so without disrupting the field-of-play for a spot in the jump-off round.

First to test the abbreviated course, Swail reemerged at the in-gate and was ready to set the standard for the round. That he did, as he sailed over the seven fences, seemingly in one smooth motion, going clear and crossing the timers in 35.829. The next four entries did not have the luck of the Irish on their side and all left the ring with downed rails in their path.

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, were next in the order and the next to go clear. With a time of 36.479, she wasn’t quick enough to snag the top spot, but did earn herself the second place position for the time being.

Clear rounds continued and seventh in the order, Kelli Cruciotti aboard Wallenberg, owned by Serenity Equestrian Adventures clocked in at 36.706 to place just behind VanderVeen. Julie Welles and North Run Inc.’s Virginia WZ followed, going clear in a time of 35.974 which was just enough to move up the leaderboard and find herself second to Swail.

The final clear round of the day went to Pablo Barrios riding Chaco 34. They whipped through the course chasing the clock but finished in 36.116, ultimately landing them in third place and bumping VanderVeen to fourth and Cruciotti to fifth.

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Round 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Fortis Fortuna  Susan & Ariel Grange Conor Swail 7500 - - 35.829
2 Virginia WZ  North Run Inc. Julie Welles 5500 - - 35.974
3 Chaco 34 Pablo Barrios Pablo Barrios 3250 - - 36.116
4 Bull Run's Faustino de Tili Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC Kristen VanderVeen 2000 - - 36.479
5 Wallenberg  Serenity Equestrian Ventures Kelli Cruciotti 1500 - - 36.736
6 Cordonos Matthew Degrande Todd Minikus 1250 - 4 34.072
7 Quirie 2 John Wolff Ali Wolff 1000 - 4 37.860
8 HH Memphis  Double H Farm Quentin Judge 750 - 4 38.294
9 Cayetana  Gerardo Pasquel Gerardo Pasquel 750 - 4 39.779
10 Wriomf  Chris Sorensen Chris Sorensen 500 - 8 37.898
11 Caliber 9 Robert Castro Andres Rodriguez 500 1 - -
12 Brilliant Du Rouet Liubov Kochetova Roberto Teran 500 2 - -

© ESI Photography

Conor Swail and Fortis Fortuna had the luck of the Irish on their side as they won the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties. 

$5,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome

Laura Chapot, of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, and Umberto, owned by Mary Chapot, did it again adding another HITS Saugerties win to the books. They cruised to a cool $5,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome win to start their last week of competition off on a high note.

Thirty-eight tested the 11-fence course set at 1.40m and designed by Steve Stephens. An impressive 25 went clear, including Chapot on two different entries, to move on to the jump-off and the momentum continued as riders reentered the ring.

Chapot was thirteenth in the order and ninth of the previous competitors to go clear. Her quick finish in a time of 29.296 put her in a familiar place - at the top of the leaderboard. It wasn’t until Chapot reentered the ring, this time on Shooting Star, owned by Mary Chapot, that the second place finisher was decided. Clocking in at 29.839, Chapot now stacked the leader board with first and second place standings.

The remaining six entries all went clear, but none were able to disturb Chapot. Third place was awarded to Roberto Teran with Brilliant Du Rouet, owned by Liubov Kochetova. Commissario, owned by Nuvolari Holdings, LLC, piloted by Michael Hughes received fourth place, followed by Conor Swail and Susan and Ariel Grange’s Fortis Fortuna in fifth.

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Round 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Umberto  Mary Chapot Laura Chapot 1500 - - 29.296
2 Shooting Star  Mary Chapot Laura Chapot 1000 - - 29.484
3 Brilliant Du Rouet  Liubov Kochetova Roberto Teran 700 - - 29.839
4 Commissario  Nuvolari Holdings, LLC Michael Hughes 500 - - 30.295
5 Fortis Fortuna Susan & Ariel Grange Conor Swail 400 - - 30.433
6 Cordonos  Matthew Degrande Todd Minikus 350 - - 30.498
7 Out of Ireland  The Edge Laura Chapot 275 - - 30.649
8 Royal Flush  Kathleen Kamine Peter Wylde 275 - - 31.049
9 HH Best Buy  Double H Farm McLain Ward - - - 31.124
10 Quirie 2  John Wolff John Wolff - - - 31.318
11 Cariatide  Cariatide LLC Kevin Babington - - - 31.346
12 FYI Centennial Farm Inc Debbie Stephens - - - 31.559

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 MortgageCall, in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5*, 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 and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail