The USHJA Children's/Adult-Amateur Jumper Championships at HITS Saugerties

Saugerties, NY (September 5, 2016): Riders descended on HITS-on-the-Hudson for a shot at gold in the both the Team and Individual Championship at the USHJA Children’s/Adult Jumper Zones I & II Championships that took place Friday through Sunday at HITS Saugerties.

USHJA Children's Team Jumper Championships

As the Team Final concluded on Saturday, Team 3 from Zone II, guided by Chef d’Equipe James Benedetto, would prove to be the team to beat, bringing home the prestigious gold medal for the Children’s Team victory. The team included members: Prima Bonaventura of Sewell, New Jersey, riding Miss Valken, owned by Heather Bonaventura; Meghan Knapic of Smithtown, New York, riding Billistic, owned by Kennedy Knapic; Alexis Di Pasqua of West Chester, Pennsylvania, riding Reba Dean, owned by Stephen Di Pasqua; and Kathleen (Baudeneau) Full of Scarsdale, New York riding Ditharin. Team 3 finished with 12 total faults, 8 in the first round and 4 in the second round, to claim the win.

Danny Foster of Milton, Ontario, designed the course for the Championships at HITS Saugerties, which presented a quality test for each horse and rider.

“Danny did a great job and of course it’s always perfect here at HITS,” said Zone II Chef d’Equipe James Benedetto. “I want to thank everyone involved in making this program a success, including Tom and the team at HITS. This is a great thing for the young riders as well as the adults.”

The silver medal went to Team 2 from Zone II. The team included members: Jayna Suoninen of Holmdel, New Jersey, riding Bull Run’s Zino Platinum, owned by William Israel; Paige Agrawal of Dix Hills, New York, riding Gitane, owned by Christiane Agrawal; Gabrielle Freund of Manorville, New York, riding No Sunday Sales; and David Eakin of Shamong, New Jersey, riding Cessna 13, owned by KR Horse Sales, LLC.

The bronze medal went to Team 1 from Zone I, guided by Chef d’Equipe Meredith O’Connell. Members on the team were: Eva Fisherman of Brookline, Massachusetts, riding Rock Street; Hannah Robbins of Chester, New Hampshire, riding Opportunity Knocks; and Elise Albertini of New Boston, New Hampshire, riding Suspicious Minds.

“This was my first time as Chef and I really enjoyed it. I would definitely do it again,” said O’Connell. “This program is truly great for riders to be able to ride in a championship format, with multiple rounds over the course of multiple days.”

Children's Team Championships (Top 3) 

PlaceTeam                    Rider                              Owner                  Horse
1 Team 3- Zone II
Chef- James Benedetto
Prima Bonaventura Heather Bonaventura Miss Valken
    Meghan Knapic Kennedy Knapic Billistic
    Alexis Di Pasqua Stephen Di Pasqua Reba Dean
    Kathleen (Baudeneau) Full Kathleen (Baudeneau) Full Ditharin
2 Team 2- Zone II Jayna Suoninen William Israel Bull Run's Zino Platinum
    Paige Agrawal Christine Agrawal Gitane
    Gabrielle Freund Gabrielle Freund No Sunday Sales
    David Eakin KR Horse Sales, LLC Cessna 13
3 Team 1 - Zone I Eva Fisherman Eva Fisherman Rock Street
    Hannah Robbins Hannah Robbins Opportunity Knocks
    Elise Albertini Elise Albertini Suspicious Minds


(C) ESI Photography 
From Left: Team Silver, Team Gold, Team Bronze with Zone II Chef d'Equipe James Benedetto and Zone I Chef  d'Equipe Meredith O'Connell. 



USHJA Adult-Amateur Team Jumper Championships

The Adult Team 3 from Zone II claimed the gold in the Adult portion of the competition. Chef d’Equipe James Benedetto led the Adult Zone II team, which included: Maria Bogdanova of Oley, Pennsylvania, riding Djust Berlin; Wendy Nunn of Madison, New Jersey, riding Face Value, owned by Chado Farms, Inc.; Kendra Walmer of Reinholds, Pennsylvania, riding Electra, owned by Andrew Ross; and Kimberly Beattie of Mahwah, New Jersey, riding Charmander.

“This competition is a great thing for the sport,” said Zone II Chef James Benedetto. “Before this program, riders didn’t get to compete in a team format until you’ve gone on to much higher levels, which is why when I was asked to do this. I was more than happy to jump onboard.”

The winning Team 3 claimed the gold medal with a total of four faults, zero in the first round and 4 in the second round.

The silver medal went to Team 2 from Zone II: Shelia Sadighi, of Essex Fells, New Jersey, riding Ulano, owned by Corinne Milnamow; Caryann Sculley of Ballston Lake, New York, riding Kilkenny Akira; Stacey Mahoney of New York, New York riding Charisma Blue; and Marissa Fogal of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, riding De Laila, owned by Amoruccio, LLC.

Team 1 from Zone I, guided by Meredith O’Connell, took bronze. The team members were: Shaelyn Kelliher of Auburn, New Hampshire, riding Inquitistive; Michelle Blunda of Epping, New Hampshire, riding My Lovely Louise; Melinda Markvan of Walpole, Massechussetts, riding KEC Clara Belle; and Kate Harkness of Hookset, New Hampshire, riding By Design. 

“The course was great, it was very technical but the riders handled it well,” said Zone I Chef Meredith O’Connell. “I was very proud of all of them, they represented Zone I very well.”


Adult Team Championships (Top 3)

PlaceTeam                    Rider                              Owner                  Horse
1 Team 3- Zone II Maria Bogdanova Maria Bogdanova Djust Berlin
    Wendy Nunn Chado Farms Inc. Face Value
    Kendra Walmer Andrew Rose Electra
    Kimberly Beattie Kimberly Beattie Charmander
2 Team 2- Zone II Sheila Sadighi Corinne Milnamow Ulano
    Caryann Sculley Caryann Sculley Kilkenny Akira
    Stacey Mahoney Stacey Mahoney Charisma Blue
    Marissa Fogal Amoruccio, LLC. De Laila
3 Team 1 - Zone I Shaelyn Kelliher Shaelyn Kelliher Inquisitive
    Michelle Blunda Michelle Blunda My Lovely Louise
    Melinda  Markvan Melinda Markvan KEC Clara Belle
    Kate Harkness Kate Harkness By Design


(C) ESI Photography 
From Left to Right: Silver, Gold and Bronze medal teams pose on the podium for their victories. 
USHJA Children's/Adult-Amateur Individual Jumper Championships

The finals for the USHJA Children’s/Adult Individual Jumper Championships were held on Sunday. The rider to come out on top in the Children’s section of the competition was Kathleen (Baudeneau) Full  of Scarsdale, New York, aboard Ditharin.

The silver medal went to Alexis Di Pasqua of West Chester, Pennsylvania, riding Reba Dean, owned by Stephen Di Pasqua.

The bronze medal went to Meghan Knapic of Smithtown, New York, piloting Billistic, owned by Kennedy Knapic. Rubesonia, Pennsylvania equestrian, Joelle Redmond took home fourth place aboard Felix, and the top five rounded out with Elise Albertini of New Boston, New Hampshire, riding Suspicious Minds.

The Adult Individual champion was Wendy Nunn of Madison, New Jersey, and Face Value, owned by Chado Farms, Inc. The silver medal Kendra Walmer of Reinholds, Pennsylvania, riding Electra, owned by Andrew Ross. The bronze medal went home with Kimberly Beattie from Mahwah, New Jersey.

Fourth place in the Adult division went to Melinda Markvan of Walpole, Massachussetts, riding KEC Clara Belle and the top five rounded out with Maria Bogdanova from Oley, Pennsylvania, piloting Djust Berlin.
Adult Individual
1 Face Value Chado Farms Inc. Wendy Nunn $2,000
2 Electra Andrew Ross Kendra Walmer $1,200
3 Charmander Kimberly Beattie Kimberly Beattie $800
4 KEC Clara Belle Melinda Markvan Melinda Markvan -
5 Djust Berlin Maria Bogdanova Maria Bogdanova -
6 De Laila Amoruccio LLC Marissa Fogal -
7 Beechfields Astra Zeneca Colm McGuckian Colm McGuckian -
8 KT Eber Elizabeth Stewart Elizabeth Stewart -


(C) ESI Photography 
From Left: Silver Medal, Kendra Walmer; Gold Medal, Wendy Nunn; Bronze Medal, Kimberly Beattie. 
Child Individual
1 Ditharin Kathleen (Baudeneau) Full Kathleen (Baudeneau) Full $2,000
2 Reba Dean Stephen Di Pasqua Alexis Di Pasqua $1,200
3 Billistic Kennedy Knapic Meghan Knapic $800
4 Felix Joelle Redmond Joelle Redmond -
5 Suspicious Minds Elise Albertini Elise Albertini -
6 Cessna 13 KR Horse Sales, LLC David Eakin -
7 No Sunday Sales Gabrielle Freund Gabrielle Freund -
8 Rock Street Eva Fisherman Eva Fisherman -


(C) ESI Photography 
From Left: Silver Medalist, Alexis Di Pasqua; Gold Medalist, Kathleen
(Baudeneau) Full; Bronze Medalist, Meghan Knapic.  
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