The crowd gathered around the Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Stadium on Saturday morning, June 29, 2024, as the premier event during the second week of the HITS-on-the-Hudson June series prepared to get underway. With show weeks spanning from May through September, HITS Hudson Valley boasts one of the most diverse and exciting series set in the picturesque backdrop of the Hudson Valley. The best horse-and-rider combinations at the venue set their eyes on the prize of capturing the win in the $50,000 FarmVet Grand Prix, but it was Cachemire de Braize that would wear the blue ribbon after Steven Bluman (ISR) rode the fastest track. 

Thirty-seven pairs gave it their all across the Juan Alvarez-designed (CRI) first-round track,  but only a total of nine entries left all the rails in the cups within the time allowed to advance to the short course. The contenders for the jump-off track made up a truly international field and several athletes, including Bluman, qualified multiple rides to return. Ultimately, only four of the jump-off competitors managed to produce a double-clear effort, with Bluman taking the top call of those four in the fastest time of 34.24 seconds. 

Steven Bluman stands for presentation. Photo by ESI Photography

“I’ve been watching him for a long time with my brother, Daniel Bluman,” said Steven Bluman of the Over The Top stables LLC’s 12-year-old Selle Français gelding (Nissan Quality Touch Z x Jaguar Mail). “I am someone who learns a lot by watching, so even though I haven’t had the ride on him for very long, I was able to learn a lot about him that way. I try to understand them and ride them how they like, and we clicked very fast.” 

With a last name that is incredibly well-known in the show jumping industry, Steven Bluman is one of several in a family of successful horsemen — a factor that he asserts is a key element to his current success. 

“My cousin, Mark Bluman, gave me a great pointer before I went into the ring and it worked perfectly,” he explained. “ We are a team, all of us. Even my cousins are more like my brothers and we always cheer each other on and want each other to win, so today was fun.

Caroline Mawhinney and Carsey Z. Photo by ESI Photography

“We are so lucky that we have a big family and we are all in the same sport,” he continued. “My brother and I are best friends and, obviously, he is an incredible rider, so I try to emulate some of what he does in my riding. I have my own style, but I’ve been watching him for so long that I think I have picked up quite a bit from him.” 

Caroline Mawhinney (USA) landed just off the pace of Bluman’s leading time to take the second-place finish aboard her own 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding Carsey Z (Carthino Z x Guidam). The duo crossed the timers in 35.63 seconds, which put them roughly a second ahead of third place finisher Philip Mcguane (IRL) and the Evergate Stables LLC’s nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Paso Doble SCF (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve x Cassini I). 

Philip Mcguane and Paso Doble SCF. Photo by ESI Photography

Show jumping action concludes on Sunday, June 30, 2024, with a variety of classic competition including the $24,500 Horseflight Jumper Classic.