HITS Hosts Gold Medal Athletes for 2022 Markel/USHJA Zone 1 and 2 Jumper Team Championships

Saugerties, N.Y.—July 31 , 2021— Riders from Zones 1 and 2 showcased their skills throughout three days of exciting competition in HITS-on-the-Hudson's Grand Prix ring for the 2022 Markel/USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships. With nail-biting jump-offs for team and individual medals, riders had to stay focused and jump clear to earn one of the six coveted gold medals. Team and individual competition was guided by Chefs d’Equipe Annie Dotoli from Zone 1 and James Benedetto from Zone 2, along with Technical Delegate DiAnn Langer, who were all thrilled with the performances of the riders.

Adult Jumper Team Medalists

“It’s an important series, and the championship itself gives me an opportunity to talk to the professionals about their riders and see them in the ring under pressure,” explained Langer, who acts as Chef d’Equipe during Young Rider Nations Cup events “I’ve already seen a few 12-14-year-olds that are quite nice for the future and we’ll be watching them throughout the year as they come forward. The USHJA is in charge of development from the lowest level up to the 1.40m in the jumpers, and through the educational process of Gold Star we try to reach out and give as much information and as much direction as possible to the juniors. Obviously, we really need the support of amateurs and we recognize that and we want to give them a championship that highlights their achievements in this sport as well.”

Langer added, “This was a great success. The jumper division is growing in leaps and bounds, it is huge, next year we go to regionals which will add a different aspect to it. Like all programs it takes time to get it going, but now I think it’s caught on fire.”

Junior/Amateur Indiviudal Medalists

Benedetto has been the Chef d’Equipe for Zone 2 for several years, marking it on his calendar well in advance to support the riders who have worked hard to qualify for the championship event. “I love the program,” he expressed. “I think it’s a great stepping stone for the young riders, and to help the riders learn how to be on a team in a Nations Cup atmosphere. Our sport is so individually oriented that is fun for them to cheer for their teammates.

“Tom [Struzzieri] does an excellent job and Saugerties a beautiful venue,” he continued. “Tom, Rian, Brian at the gate, Kristen at the office, they are all so accommodating and wonderful and they help us out – people really enjoy it”

This marked Dotoli’s first year as the Chef d’Equipe for Zone 1, but she was excited to have the opportunity and see the riders from the area shine in the ring. “I think it’s a wonderful program and all of the trainers really support each other to give the riders a good educational experience and a feel for championship riding. I was really proud of the Zone 1 riders; we were right in the hunt in each of the levels, and I think that speaks well to the quality of jumping we have in zone 1.”

Eleanor Pieters and Tibri’s Franzie 95

Zone 1’s own Eleanor Pieters earned the 1.20/1.30m Junior/Amateur Zone Jumper individual gold medal and team silver medal aboard Tibri’s Franzie 95, and was thrilled to participate throughout the weekend. “My horse and I jumped five clear rounds and I am really happy with each event,” she smiled. “[Tibri’s Franzie 95] is a really great horse and I think this championship is a great opportunity for us to further our jumper career. I think being on a team is a really good experience because generally in this sport it is just you and your horse, but to have other people depending on you really changes your view on it.”

Pieters concluded, “I’d like to thank HITS and USHJA for putting on this great event.”   


1.10/1.15m Children's Zone Jumper
GOLD: Zone 2
Eva Froio - Imago - Zone 2
Elizabeth Lile - Just Kevin - Zone 2
Ella Fischer - Sir Stakkato - Zone 2 

SILVER: Zone 1
Aiva Gamelin
Jordan Rich - Ginacolada
Eva Mackenzie - Capall

BRONZE: Zone 2
Faith Rivello - Down to the Wire
Cayla Mackey - Escalon Z
Katrina Pugni - C'est Cool

Children's Team Medalists

 1.10/1.15m Adult Amateur Zone Jumper
GOLD: Zone 2
Elizabeth Rodgers – Carello 9
Maya Schneider - Noble
Arianne De Kwiatkowski - Checkmoon Ask 

SILVE: Zone 1
Kayla Walker - Freya
Anna Rose Klingenstein - Normandy
Barrett Yates-Mack - Forland D.F. 

BRONZE: Zone 2
Macenzie Ingenito - Bad & Bougee
Wendy Chapot-Nunn - Cashe'
Jamie Ricciardi - Voyou De Tiji Z


1.20/1.30m Junior/Amateur Zone Jumper
GOLD: Zone 2
Julie Chang - Caliente ISF
Brooke Triechler - Cheecky Monkey 2
Sarah Wood - Corozana

SILVER: Zone 1
Aidan Kennedy - Highlight Van Molga
Grace Taylor - Keops Van De Begijnakker
Spencer Walsh - Honour
Eleanor Peters - Tibri's Franzie 95

BRONZE: Zone 2
Casey Van Nostrand - Leonardo Van't Heuvelland
Jenna Bach - Calvados
Olivia Roellke - C2C Candorra R

Junior/Amateur Team Medalists


1.10/1.15m Children's Zone Jumper
GOLD: Ella Fischer – Sir Stakkato – Zone 2
SILVER: Gianna Gitterman – Cantuccini D – Zone 2
BRONZE: Eva Froio – Imago – Zone 2

Children's Individual Medalists

1.10/1.15m Adult Amateur Zone Jumper
GOLD: Julia Wiley – Yahtzee – Zone 1
SILVER: Wendy Chapot-Nunn – Cashe’ – Zone 2
BRONZE: Kayla Walker – Freya – Zone 1 

Adult Jumper Individual Medalists

1.20/1.30m Junior/Amateur Zone Jumper
GOLD: Eleanor Pieters – Tibri’s Franzie 95 – Zone 1
SILVER: Kenna Labaeu – Ingleton Quasimodo Van Heist – Zone 1
BRONZE: Aidan Kennedy – Highlight Van Molga – Zone 1

Medals and ribbons were awarded to the top three teams, with the gold medal teams receiving embroidered coolers. Individual gold medalists received a variety of awards from CWD, Essex Classics and Straight Arrow, a pair of Parlanti paddock boots, a medal, a ribbon and a cooler. The USHJA also thanks official sponsors CWD, Nutrena, Parlanti and Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; title sponsor Markel; and award sponsors Essex Classics and Straight Arrow Family of Brands.

The Zone Jumper Team Championships are part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, which rewards competitive achievement with education to advance athletes in the sport. The Program serves as the entry point for the Show Jumping Athlete Pathway, a joint USHJA-US Equestrian effort that identifies and nurtures Jumping athletes as they advance through the sport to enhance future success for Olympic and international teams representing the United States.

Providing Children's and Adult Amateur Jumper (1.10/1.15m), 1.20/1.25m Junior and Amateur, and 1.30/1.35m Junior and Amateur riders with a competitive team experience and an opportunity to earn Zone Horse of the Year points in their respective jumper sections, the Markel/USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships are held by zone and consist of both team and individual competition. All Zone Jumper Team Championships competitors are recognized as 2022 USHJA Emerging Jumper Riders. Individual medalists at the Championships are recognized as 2022 Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders by awarding them a 2022 Gold Star Emerging Jumper Rider pin. At the same time, trainers of these riders are recognized as Gold Star Jumper Coaches and receive specialized pins that denote their title. Riders and trainers who receive the designation are also invited to attend one of the USHJA Gold Star Clinics.

For more information about the Markel/USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, visit ushja.org/ZoneJumper. For more information about HITS visit www.hitsshows.com.