CULPEPER, VA (April 20, 2012) — On the heels of successful winter circuits in Ocala, Florida and Thermal, California, HITS has continued on to Culpeper, Virginia this week for the Commonwealth National. HITS exhibitors descended on the heart of Virginia horse country for the start of the 2012 HITS Culpepper Show Series to kick-off the spring and summer circuits and to pick up some early season qualifiers for HITS Championship Weekend.
Despite some April showers on the first day of competition, competitors were in high spirits and ready for the upcoming spring and summer shows.
“We finished up in Ocala a few weeks ago and this is a great place for us to stop on the way back to Connecticut,” said trainer Michael Kirby of Madison, Connecticut. “It really sets the stage for a great spring season.”
After winter updates and grounds maintenance, HITS Culpeper is poised to be a must for competitors looking to pick up pivotal qualifiers for the return of the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final and the premiere of the $250,000 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix Final. The three classes will make up the all-new HITS Championship Weekend at HITS-on-the-Hudson September 7-9.
“I think the place looks great,” said trainer Gavin Moylan of Leesburg, Virginia about Commonwealth Park. “We got a little rain today and that was fine because we needed it. The rings held up just fine and I am looking forward to a great season at HITS Culpeper.”
When action got underway yesterday in the jumper rings, it was Tysa Irwin of Ocala, Florida that shined. In the Farmvet Level 5 Jumper she rode Ian Silitch’s Marlon to the top prize. Meanwhile, her husband Matt Holberg of Ocala, Florida won the Level 3 Jumper aboard Augusta Pines’ Uno.
“Our horses love it here,” said Holberg. “We started with some good ribbons and hope that continues.”
Jason Berry of Verona, Virginia was the top performer in the hunter ring as he swept both Pre Green Hunter Low classes aboard William Rube’s West Hampton. In the Low Hunter he also scored two blue ribbons in the irons of Sharon Cannon’s A’Lexie.
Show jumping action at HITS Commonwealth Park continues this weekend and features a full slate of classes, including Saturday’s $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix and the $1,500 HITS 3’ Hunter Prix – both the first qualifiers at HITS Culpeper for September’s finals. For jumper riders who have set their sights on the Pfizer Million, Sunday’s schedule features the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, as the first qualifier of the spring and summer seasons.
For a complete list of results from the HITS Commonwealth National, please click here.
Miranda Scott of Silver Spring, Maryland and her own Quick Latinus on course in the Level 7 jumpers at HITS Culpeper.