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2008-06-06 Hillary Dobbs and Corlett win the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties

By Chris Mayone

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Hillary Dobbs couldn't wait to get to HITS Saugerties. The 20-year-old was planning on showing during HITS-on-the-Hudson II and III, but as soon as Devon ended she decided to make an early trip to the Hudson Valley and compete in Sunday's $50,000 EMO Grand Prix to close out HITS-on-the-Hudson I. As it turns out, the trip was well worth it. Dobbs negotiated the fastest double-clear round aboard Corlett on course designer Florencio Hernandez's route to win the blue and take home $15,000 in prize money for The Dobbs Group.

"I'm very glad we made the trip," said Dobbs' trainer Missy Clark of North Run. "We shipped Corlett up to Saugerties yesterday and (Missy Clark's husband) John (Brennan) and I got up at 4 a.m. to come to Saugerties in order to school her. I told Hillary, that this was the first time in her career that she could pull a 'Margie Engle' and just show up and ride."

"I am very happy to be here," said Dobbs. "Once the grand prix started my adrenaline took over, and I wasn't tired anymore, despite getting up so early to get to Saugerties. We are here for two more weeks, and I am very excited about that. The place looks great. The grand prix ring looks like an entirely new ring with all the flowers and the big beautiful jumps."

Dobbs and her mount Corlett have been on quite a roll. In fact, Clark says she can't remember the last time the pair had a rail down in the first round. “She's among one of the favorites that I have had at the barn during all my years as a trainer,” said Clark. “Corlett is an 11-year-old Sasha mare, and Hillary rides her to perfection.”

Five pairs advanced from the first round to the jump-off, and Dobbs and Corlett were first to go. The combination put the heat on the four other pairs that advanced to the jump-off round when they set the Great American Time to beat at a blazing 39.411.

"Since I was going first, I had to gamble and go really fast," said Dobbs, who attends Harvard University. "Especially with riders like Todd Minikus and Judy Garofalo Torres behind me, I had to go all out."

Second to go in the jump-off were Rebecca Johanson-Hoffmann and her mount Corona. The pair finished fifth in Thursday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix. After the class, she joked that she didn't come all the way to Saugerties for a pink ribbon. She was serious going into Sunday's feature class and almost grabbed the coveted blue ribbon when the pair went clear. The clock stopped at 42.482 and secured second place for Blue Hill Farm.

Next to go in the jump-off were Amy Momrow and her mount Summer Storm. The duo was fresh off their win in Thursday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix. But in the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix, the pair had two rails down and finished the day in fifth place. Fourth in the jump-off order were Todd Minikus and his mount Romy. The combination had one rail down for a third-place finish.

Sitting in the last-to-ride spot were Judy Garofalo Torres and her lighting-fast mount Oliver III. They were almost home free until an unlucky rail at the final jump landed the pair in fourth place.

New York City Investment Banker Wins the M&S Adult Jumper Classic at HITS Saugerties
Christina Fried and her mount Lady Grey picked up right where they left off. The New York City-native bested a field of 28 pairs to secure the top prize in the $2,500 M&S Adult Jumper Classic on Sunday at HITS Saugerties.

Taking the victory gallop is something that Fried has become accustomed to at HITS-on-the-Hudson. The last time Fried and Lady Grey competed in Saugerties it was during the 2007 Marshall & Sterling League Finals where they secured the fastest double-clear round en route to capturing the $7,500 M&S Adult Jumper Classic.

Fried, who works as an investment banker in New York City, only competes at HITS horse shows. "I am at the stage of my career where I am so busy at work I have to pick and choose where I show," she said. "I come to all of the shows in Saugerties and really enjoy coming to the Marshall & Sterling League Finals at the end of the year. It's a great horse show that is close to home."

After a very competitive first round, only two combinations advanced to the jump-off. First to go in the jump-off were Shannon Kaupp and her mount Midnight Rendezvous. The pair had a rail down and a time of 35.022, which pushed them back to second place.

Fried and Lady Grey then went clean and stopped the clock in 34.576. "I was lucky enough to have a little cushion in the jump-off," said Fried. "I wanted to have a prompt, clear round and make sure I left all the jumps standing. The last jump in the jump-off had an inside option and I went around it just to be safe."

Fried's other mount Felix Des Vents had one time fault in the first round giving her third place, and two of the top three spots in the class.

"Christina has been riding with me for seven or eight years," said Drumnacross Farm trainer Eammon Hughes. "Over the years, we have found some great horses together but Lady Grey is one of the best."

Earlier in the day, Colin Savaria of Neptune, NJ, and his mount Naritas had the quickest double-clear effort in the $1,500 M&S Children's Jumper Classic to secure $750 in prize money and a new blue ribbon.

The class featured five horses in the jump-off. First to go were Molly Newsome and her mount Touch N Go. The pair went clear in 37.553 to secure fourth place.

Second in the jump-off round were Naomi Weirens and her mount Next Jet. A clear round in 32.886 landed them in second place. Savaria and Naritas were third to go in the jump-off and stopped the clocks in 31.364 to secure the blue ribbon. Fourth to go were Dayna Gewolb and her mount Crassus. A clean round in 43.228 put the pair in fifth place. Finally, sitting in the envious last-to-ride spot were Dominica Wambold and her mount Worth the Wait. The pair went clear in 35.223 and ended the class in third place.

Other Major Accomplishments during HITS-on-the-Hudson I include:

—M&S Children's Hunter Classic: Safari Moon, ridden and owned by Kaleigh Gavin of Montclair, NJ
—M&S Adult Hunter Classic: Let It Ride, ridden by Sara-Kate Africk and owned by Emily Africk of Mamaroneck, NY
—M&S Children's Hunter Pony Classic: Pamina ridden and owned by Riley Newsome of Mendham, NJ
—Adequan Hunter Champion: Aberdini, ridden by Mickie Sage and owned by Dianne Fotiades of Summit, NJ
—Central Equine Junior Medal: Erin Tormondsen of Greenwich, CT

HITS-on-the-Hudson I also featured the second annual HITS Saugerties Fashion Show, presented by DIG. The event was catered by New World Home Cooking Co. and the new Partition Street Wine Shop offered wine tasting.

Show jumping at HITS Saugerties resumed on Wednesday with HITS-on-the-Hudson II. As always, HITS Saugerties features two grand prix classes per week. On Thursday, the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix takes the stage and on Sunday even more prize money is on the line during the $50,000 Waldorf=Astoria Collection Grand Prix.

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