Christine McCrea Takes the Blue in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix


Saugerties, NY (September 4, 2016): Thirty-four horses and riders turned out to compete for the top prize in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix during Week VII at HITS-on-the-Hudson. 

The victory belonged to Christine McCrea of East Windsor, Connecticut aboard Wannick WH, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, Inc. Husband and wife, Christine and Jonathan McCrea, would keep four of the top five ribbons in the family — Christine would ultimately leave with the coveted blue ribbon as well as fourth place and Jonathan would garner third and fifth place, respectively. 

The win would come down to an exhilarating jump-off with Christine McCrea finishing just two-tenths of a second faster than runner-up, Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, New Jersey.  

“I want to thank HITS for putting on such nice events, as a rider it really means a lot to have classes and shows of this level and to have someone who wants to do that for us,” said Christine. “Everyone’s looking forward to the Million next week.” 

Nine advanced to challenge the shortened course designed by Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario. The jump-off course consisted of eight fences with two rollback turns. 

“The jump-off rode on a fast track with a lot of single fences,” Christine said before continuing to compliment her winning partner, Wannick WH. “I’ve had him since he was five, he’s such a great little guy. He’s smaller than other horses at this level, and I don’t put him in the highest levels because it starts to get difficult for him at that height — we keep him at what’s comfortable for him.”

First to re-enter the ring was Jonathan McCrea and the first of his two jump-off rides, Aristoteles V, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, Inc. They clocked in with a fault-free round right out of the gate in 51.101. They would ultimately go home with fifth place. 

Christine followed with the first of her two jump-off mounts, Dynamo, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, Inc. They stopped the clock in 45.904, to eventually take fourth place. 

The next clear round in the jump-off belonged to Jonathan McCrea with his second ride aboard Special Lux, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, Inc. As the clock wound down they powered toward the finish, crossing the timers in a speedy 44.796, the eventual third place winner. 

Laura Chapot and Juan Manuel Gallego, riding out of Morriston, Florida, each had four faults that would ultimately earn them sixth and seventh place, respectively. 

Christine McCrea entered second to last in the order to take her second trip in the jump-off aboard Wannick WH. They powered through the course no holds barred to stake claim to the eventual win with a 42.250-second round. 

 “I was waiting at the in-gate talking to my husband Jon, and saying ‘there’s no way I’m going to beat you’, then I just decided to go for it — it paid off!” 

Only one rider remained in the order with the opportunity to grab the lead, Laura Chapot and her trusty mare, Thornhill Kate. The two have been consistent winners at HITS Saugerties this season, grabbing the blue, as well as other top placings in a plethora of Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson. 

Chapot and Thornhill Kate thundered through the shortened course, putting the pedal to the metal and taking each rollback turn by force. The clock was winding down as the crowd cheered the pair to the finish, where they would come in at 42.440, just two-tenths behind Christine’s leading time for second place.

Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Rd. 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 Wannick WH Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables, Inc. Christine McCrea $7,500 0 0 42.250
2 Thornhill Kate Mary & Laura Chapot Laura Chapot $5,500 0 0 42.440
3 Special Lux Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables, Inc. Jonathan McCrea $3,250 0 0 44.796
4 Dynamo Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables, Inc. Christine McCrea $2,000 0 0 45.904
5 Aristoteles V Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables, Inc. Jonathan McCrea $1,500 0 0 51.101
6 ISHD Dual Star Mary Chapot Laura Chapot $1,250 0 4 43.695
7 Coulash Van De Broy Z Juan Manuel Gallego Juan Manuel Gallego $1,000 0 4 44.473
8 Glorix Van De Mispelaere Jenna Friedman Jenna Friedman $750 0 8 48.384
9 Bull Run's Testify Bull Run Jumpers, Inc. Kristen Vanderveen $750 0 8 51.448
10 Okapi De Terlong Dana Escales Dana Escales $500 2 - -
11 Farfelu Du Pringtemps John Madigan Julia Madigan $500 2 - -
12 Quointreau Un Prince Laura Chapot & McLain Ward Laura Chapot $500 4 - -


(C) ESI Photography 
Christine McCrea and Wannick WH on their way to a $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix win. 
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 the Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix 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