Monday, August 22, 2011

Jumping: HITS: Jennie Edwards captures the USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals at HITS Culpeper

CULPEPER, VIRGINIA (August 22, 2011) — Jennie Edwards and her own Welcome rose to the top when she won the blue in the USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals on Saturday night at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia.

Edwards of Jacksonville, Florida is a seasoned equitation rider and trains under the tutelage of her aunt, Ginny Edwards at Hidden Hollow Farm. In all, 33 riders navigated course designer Jerry Dougherty's route, and 12 of the top riders were invited back to show on the flat. After the flat phase, the top four were brought back for additional testing over fences, after which, Edwards emerged as the winner.

“I got this horse back in March and he’s been such a great ride,” said Jennie Edwards. “I’ve learned so much on him already. This is one of the most important events I look forward to each year, so winning it was just great. I couldn’t believe when it happened.”

For her efforts, Jennie Edwards won a Tad Coffin Performance Saddle, and a cooler donated by Gary Baker, while Ginny Edwards won a $300 trainer award for helping to guide her student to the crown.

“My goals this year were to qualify for the USEF Pessoa Medal Finals, the regional ASPCA Maclay Finals and this Final,” added Edwards. “I’ve been able to do all of that so far, so this year has been really successful for me. I’m very lucky to have my aunt as my trainer - she is so caring and hardworking, and it made the win a lot more special with her there.”

Also taking top honors in the USHJA Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals was Ashley Foster of Brooksville, Maryland. Foster trains at Rolling Acres Farm with her mother, Patty Foster and her aunt, Mary Lisa Leffler. For her second-place performance, she received a pair of custom leather half chaps, donated by Chuck Pinnel’s Custom Leather.

The third-place ribbon was awarded to Kimberly Meighan of Leesburg, Virginia and, for her accomplishment she won a show bridle, donated by Hidden Hollow Farm.

For their participation in the prestigious event, each of the riders in the top ten were awarded a $75 gift certificate to Champion Saddlery, a selection of saddle pads courtesy of Clifton Saddlery, as well as ribbon sashes donated by Tom Struzzieri. All of the qualifiers for the class were treated to a welcome reception, sponsored by Hollins College, received boutonnieres from TuDane Farm and went home with gift bags from Dover Saddlery.

“I have to say that since we have been doing this class, the riding has been getting better and better,” said event coordinator Pam Haviland. “I am proud that we can come together and host such a great event for our young riders.”

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. In 2010, HITS took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. HITS will once again offer the most innovative weekend in show jumping history in 2011 when it hosts the second annual Pfizer Million and the inaugural Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, September 10-11, at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

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