The $25,000 Alliant Private Client Cup kicked off HITS-on-the-Hudson June II on June 27, 2024, at HITS Hudson Valley in Saugerties, New York. . Mark Bluman (COL) and Concare PS claimed victory out of a competitive group of 34 horse-and-rider combinations. 

Concare PS, a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare (Conthargos x Cornet Obolensky), is a new mount for Bluman. He recently bought Concare PS from his good friend, Mexican Olympian Nicolas Pizarro. After just a few shows together, already notching an impressive win in the HITS-on-the-Hudson June II $25,000 Alliant Private Client Cup, the pair appear to be building a very successful partnership.

“I’m just getting to know her a little bit more,” said Bluman of his new partner. “In the ring, she’s game on, and she is super careful and has a lot of scope. I’m aiming to do some big shows with her in the summer. I think she is a five-star grand prix horse. I’m very happy with her, and I’m very excited to have her.”

Mark Bluman stands for presentation. Photo by ESI Photography

Ten pairs made it around the first course fault-free to return for the jump-off. Eight duos then repeated the feat across the short course, but it was Bluman and Concare PS that were the quickest,  racing through the timers in 39.556 seconds — the only pair to break the 40-second mark. 

“A jump-off like the one today suited her well because there was a lot of space to gallop,” explained Bluman of the jump-off designed by Juan de Dios Alvarez (CRI), an FEI Level 2 course designer. “She has a massive stride, so I used that to my advantage. I think her strength is how much scope she has, and she tries to be very, very careful, so I think it’s a good combination.”

Philip Mcguane and Paso Doble SCF. Photo by ESI Photography

Bluman spends many weeks throughout the spring and summer season competing at HITS Hudson Valley and is excited about the recent upgrades to the facility. His family’s home base, Bluman Equestrian, is located in North Salem, New York, just an hour and twenty minutes from Saugerties, New York, making the facility very accessible. 

“The management has done an unbelievable job re-doing the whole facility,” expressed Bluman. “We are big fans of the HITS team. The jumps are beautiful and the rings are very pleasant. It’s quiet and nice. Everything about it is great.”

Caroline Mawhinney and Hallilea. Photo by ESI Photography

Irishman Philip Mcguane rode into second place with Paso Doble SCF, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve x Cassini I) owned by Evergate Stables LLC. They broke through the timers just behind Bluman with a time of 40.243 seconds. Finishing a fraction of a second after Mcguane was U.S. rider Caroline Mawhinney. Mawhinney earned the yellow ribbon aboard her own Hallilea, a 12-year-old KWPN mare (VDL Zirocco Blue x Larome), with a time of 40.451 seconds. 

Caroline Mawhinney and Stella Levista. Photo by ESI Photography

The $5,000 Adequan Open Welcome was the featured class on Wednesday, June 26,  where Mawhinney scored her first top placings of the week. She galloped to the win aboard Stella Levista, her own 16-year-old Hannovarian mare by (Satisfaction FRH x Levisto), in 40.71 seconds and placed second with Hallilea in 43.69 seconds. Lorraine Allan (GBR) and Somethin’ Else, her own 14-year-old Westphalian mare (Stairway x Cartano), took third in the Welcome with a time of 46.31 seconds. 

Horse show action will resume on Friday, June 28, in the Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Stadium with the $15,000 STX Open Speed. Hunter competition will also be underway in The Ring with the $2,500 USHJA National Derby, the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, and Pony Model Clinic.