Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jumping: HITS and HRTV Join Forces

HITS joins forces with HRTV, the Network for Horse Sports, and A Good Show to bring equine show jumping competition to broadcast television starting with the 2011 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix
SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (August 16, 2011) — HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce a multi-year partnership with HRTV and A Good Show (AGS) to bring coverage of the 2011 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and other select competition from the national HITS show series to broadcast television. As part of the deal, HRTV and A Good Show will also provide a free, live webcast of the second-annual Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and first-ever Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final on Sunday, September 11.

"This is an exciting partnership that will, for the first time ever, bring both national and international coverage and attention to a U.S. show jumping series,” said Tom Struzzieri, HITS President & CEO. “We believe that by working with HRTV and A Good Show we will once again raise the bar for American show jumping and provide an opportunity for the world to watch some of the best in equestrian sport.”

In addition to the Pfizer Million coverage, this agreement will extend to include coverage of select high-profile events showcased at the 2012 HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, California and the 2012 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Ocala, Florida.

HRTV, the Network for Horse Sports, is a 24/7 multimedia network dedicated to serving the news, information and entertainment needs of one of the world’s largest, but most under served audiences - horse fans. Leading with the finest in thoroughbred racing, HRTV also delivers programming for virtually all equine sports.

Programming on HRTV informs, excites and entertains fans and enhances riders’ relationships with their equine partners. From top-notch coverage of horseracing at the world’s greatest racetracks with the sport’s most knowledgeable commentators, to award-winning documentaries, world-class equestrian events and competitions, and “how to” information from leading English and Western discipline trainers, HRTV covers the world of horses.

HRTV also features the most significant and competitive contests in the English world, such as Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing and Carriage Driving for each year’s Aachen World Horse Festival, FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage events and now, for the first time ever, the U.S.’s HITS season finale with the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix.

“We are excited to be the TV outlet for the high profile HITS series, beginning with the September 2011 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix,” said Jim Bates, Executive Vice President and General Manager of HRTV. “This multi-year agreement assures us that we can further fulfill our commitment to serve the viewing needs of horse competitors and fans, worldwide.”

Television and webcast productions of the Pfizer Million, Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final and the other select HITS competitions will be handled by A Good Show, creators of quality, cutting-edge network and cable sports and entertainment television. Master of extraordinary outdoor event coverage with difficult logistical details, AGS’ Founder and Executive Producer David Kiviat has produced and directed network sports programming for 30 years, including the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, the Tour De France, and horse racing’s Triple Crown, just to name a few.

"A Good Show is proud to realize our long-time vision of a multi-year association with HITS, bringing our experience and innovation to launch this exciting, new equine sports television series,” said Kiviat. “HITS’ premiere show jumping events are second to none, and AGS brings the series to its perfect home HRTV, the Network for Horse Sports, strengthening global brand awareness through comprehensive distribution across all media platforms."

Kiviat and his AGS team of producers, directors, camera operators and editors have a long history in contributing to cutting edge sports television. The team has worked with major networks ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Versus and FOX, and has an impressive 20+ National EMMY Awards to their credit, as well as over a hundred EMMY nominations.

Acclaimed voice-over talent, Mike Moran has signed on to provide expert equestrian commentary for both the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final and Pfizer Million. Aside from being a professional trainer and horse sport expert, Moran has hosted and anchored numerous broadcast sporting events and been the voice of many national branded ad campaigns for Sprint, Adidas and Quaker Oatmeal. Moran will team up with talent from HRTV for round-by-round coverage of the competition on Sunday, September 11.

A dedicated landing page for the webcast for the Pfizer Million will be created in the coming weeks, and viewers from around the world will have an opportunity to watch the richest day in show jumping from wherever they are on the planet! For more information on the webcast of the Pfizer Million, please visit HitsShows.com.

About HRTV
HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, is a 24-hour, television-based multimedia network dedicated to horseracing from the world’s greatest racetracks, as well as a wide-range of world-class equestrian competitions. HRTV also features original programming and award-winning documentaries covering a variety of racing and general equestrian topics. The live stream of HRTV is available on a subscription basis to high-speed Internet users worldwide at hrtvlive.com. The HRTV television network is presently available via cable, Telco video and satellite in more than 19 million U.S. homes.

About A Good Show
A Good Show is a consortium of some of television’s most creative and innovative visionaries, producing high quality, cutting edge network and cable sports and entertainment television shows. AGS represents a powerful global production capability with experience and resources on all continents, and all of today’s many distribution outlets and opportunities. Whether live, short-turn-around or post-produced, AGS captures the athletic experience, world-class performance and superior quality product that best represents the essence of respect for athlete, sport and brand. Combining the thrilling and exciting action and drama of athletic competition with storytelling and hero building, AGS’ coverage is both entertaining, and educational. AGS’ forte is extreme, extraordinary outdoor event coverage with difficult logistical details and leverages over 35 years of media experience with all business aspects of production, distribution, social media capitalization, sponsor relations, and marketing/branding initiatives. More information is available online at: agoodshow.tv.

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.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com.

Eventing: British Team head to Germany for the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships 2011

15th August 2011
British Equestrian Federation Press Release 

In just over a week’s time the British Senior Eventing team will begin competition at the Senior European Championships in Luhmühlen, Germany. The team will go there focused on producing their best performances in what is the final Championship before the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Polly Stockton’s ride, Westwood Poser suffered a slight injury during training and will not be able to compete at Luhmühlen; she will now be taking her reserve horse Regulus to contest the Championships.

The selected squad comprises:

Laura Collett riding Mr Jason Houghton’s Rayef
William Fox-Pitt riding the Hon. Mrs Teresa Stopford Sackville’s Cool Mountain
Piggy French riding Mr Wally French and Mr Michael Underwood’s Jakata
Mary King riding Miss Janette Chinn and Mr & Mrs Edwin Davies’s Imperial Cavalier
Polly Stockton riding her own and Mrs Anne Henson’s Regulus
Nicola Wilson riding Miss Rosemary Search’s Opposition Buzz
Download the British Senior squad booklet from the British Eventing website here: http://bit.ly/pJTLtt

Lucy Wiegersma and Francis Whittington are the reserve riders with Woodfalls Inigo Jones and Sir Percival III respectively.

The four riders to compete in the Team Competition at the Championships will be selected at event, following the trot up. The remaining two horses and riders will represent Britain as individuals; their results will not affect the overall team score.

All the news and behind the scenes views in the run up to and during the European Championships can be found on both British Eventing and Equestrian Team GBR’s websites visit www.britisheventing.com and www.equestrianteamgbr.co.uk for more details.

All six selected riders are currently on the World Class Programme, which is generously supported by Lottery and Exchequer funding via UK Sport. The Programme incorporates both the Development and Performance Programmes and the Equine Pathway, and works closely with the three BEF Olympic Member Bodies, British Dressage, British Eventing and British Showjumping.

Changes to the 2011 Eventing: USEF: Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team Short List for the Pan American Games

From the USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announces the following changes to the 2011 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team Short List for the Pan American Games:

Alexandra Slusher with Last Call and William Coleman III with Obos O'Reilly have withdrawn from consideration for the 2011 Pan American Games.

The first ranked substitute Shannon Lilley with Ballingowan Pizzaz and second ranked substitute, Alexandra Slusher with Pierre have been added on the Short List.

In addition, Boyd Martin and Cold Harbor have been granted permission by the USEF Eventing Selectors to be excused from competing at the Mandatory Outing at Richland Park August 25-28, 2011, for logistical reasons. Martin will be preparing to represent the U.S. on the 2011 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials to be held September 1-4, 2011, in the U.K., and will be unavailable to compete at Richland Park.

The complete Short List as of August 15:

Emily Beshear/34/Somerset, VA/Here's to You/11/Thoroughbred/G/ Deep Purple Eventing

Hannah Sue Burnett/25/Ocala, FL/Harbour Pilot/8/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Jacqueline Mars

Anna Collier/35/Vancouver, WA/Upper Crust D/10/KWPN/G/ Anna Collier

Bruce Davidson Jr./35/Ocala, FL/Absolute Liberty/8/Thoroughbred/M/Sharon Will

Jonathan Holling/34/Ocala, FL/ Downtown Harrison/7/Trakehner-Thoroughbred Cross/G/ Constance Holling

Shannon Lilley/32/Gilroy, CA/Ballingowan Pizzaz/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ The Lilley Group

Boyd Martin/32/Cochranville, PA/Cold Harbor/11/Canadian Sport Horse/G/ Dana Diemer

Maxance McManamy/19/Templeton, CA/Project Runway/7/Trakehner/G/ Maxance McManamy

Michael Pollard/30/Dalton, GA/Schoensgreen Hanni/8/German Sport Horse/M/ Natalie Pollard

Kristin Schmolze/28/Califon, NJ/Ballylaffin Bracken/11/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kristin, Janet, and William Schmolze

Alexandra Slusher/24/Auburn, CA/Pierre/10/Hanoverian/G/ Sandy Campbell

Tamra Smith/36/Murietta, CA/Mar de Amor/11/Selle Francais/G/ Leigh Mesher

Lynn Symansky/28/Middleburg, VA/Donner/8/Thoroughbred/G/Lynn Symansky

Jolie Wentworth/30/Martinez, CA, /Good Knight/9/Canadian Sport Horse/ Tracy Bowman

Sharon White/37/Summit Point, WV/Rafferty's Rules/13/AUS WB/ Adrienne Classen

Ranked Substitutes as of Aug. 15, 2011:

1. Kevin Keane/56/Kennett Square, PA/Fernhill Flutter/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kevin Keane

2. Jennifer Taxay Kelly/47/Agua Dulce, CA/Taboo/7/Thoroughbred/M/ Jennifer Taxay Kelly

3. Matt Flynn/27/Potomac, MD/Breakthrough/7/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Dr. and Mrs. A Patrick Flynn

Eventing: Young Riders: British Young Riders compete in European Championships on home turf

Following a squad training camp at Addington Manor over the weekend, twelve British riders aged between 19 and 21 will this week contest the 2011 Young Rider European Championships at Blair Castle (Perthshire, 18 - 21 August 2011).

See photos and biogs from this year’s squad in our free downloadable booklet http://bit.ly/ooouhP, and view the full list of British Young rider European Championship achievements since 1981 on our website by following this link http://bit.ly/ewgRlL

Chairman of the Young Rider squad, Alex Colquhoun says: “Being part of the building blocks of developing riders of the future is fantastic: we have seen riders such as William Fox-Pitt, Zara Phillips, Piggy French and Tina Cook go from successful young riders to senior team medalists.”

The squad of twelve in alphabetical order is:
Giles Blanchard from Oxfordshire riding his own horse Jeopardy
Rebecca Crosbie-Starling from Lincolnshire riding her own Clifton Clicquot
Laura Cocking from Conwy riding her own Arkendale
Harry Dzenis from Surrey riding his own Rockin Robin
Mary Edmundson from Suffolk riding  Mrs Debbie Edmundson and Mrs Jenny Ellins’ Sonny Early
Dani Evans from Bristol riding Mrs Heather Sheppard’s Uchin
Sophie Jenman from Kent riding her own Geronimo
Sam Lees from Essex riding his own Heads Your Gray
Tom McEwen from Wiltshire riding Miss Leela L Patel & Mr David Hamilton’s Private Rudolf
Willa Newton from Leicestershire riding her father Mr Joey Newton’s Neelix
Wills Oakden from Fife riding Mrs Cindy Onslow’s Button Clover
Gina Ruck from Lincolnshire riding her own Viper Priba

The team of four will be announced on Wednesday following the initial veterinary inspection.

Aussie challenge for the 2011 FEI Eventing World Cup title

Australian Christopher Burton will join riders from 12 countries on 47 horses in France this weekend to contest the final leg of the FEI Eventing World Cup series at the Haras du Pin national stud farm in Normandy.

29-year-old Burton is currently in second place on the FEI World Cup leader-board behind Clarke Johnstone of New Zealand. Burton will start two horses this weekend in his bid to claim the 2011 FEI World Cup Eventing title,  his 2010 World Equestrian Games mount Holstein Park Leilani and  Newsprint, a winner of the 2008 Adelaide CCI4* and runner-up in 2010.

“I am grateful to the owners of the horses, Jean and Jade Findlay and Lou Verway for the opportunity to have these horses in Europe and for the chance to challenge for the World Cup title,” said Burton.

“I will be trying to win it. Both these horse are capable of very good performances, Barry [Newsprint] had a god run at Gatcombe and Leilani is going well so fingers crossed I will be in with a good chance.”

Points gained at each qualifier count towards a prize pot awarded to the best riders at the end of the series. After eight CIC-W3* events in eight countries across three continents, the three most successful riders will share a valuable prize fund worth € 32'000.

In 2010 Australia’s Megan Jones finished second overall out of 133 riders from 25 nations.

In June, Burton relocated from Sydney to the United Kingdom to campaign for next year’s Olympic Games. He took a strong team of horses with him and is already achieving some impressive results in the Northern Hemisphere. Earlier this month Burton placed fifth at the British Open Championship at Gatcombe riding Newsprint.

Johnstone and Burton have gone head-to-head twice in the FEI World Cup series so far this year, at Kihikihi (NZL) and Sydney (AUS).  Johnstone has won both classes aboard his talented New Zealand Thoroughbred Orient Express whilst Burton finished a close second on both occasions riding Holstein Park Leilani. Johnstone will be competing on Orient Express this weekend.

Johnstone currently sits on 118 points on the FEI World Cup leader-board, Burton on 108 and in third place is Aliaksandr Faminou of Belarus, who will not be competing this weekend.

Australia will also be represented in the CIC3*-W at Haras du Pin by world class competitors Clayton Fredericks (2005 and 2008 FEI World Cup winner and Olympic Silver medallist), Sam Griffiths (2010 World Equestrian Games representative) and Paul Tapner (2010 Badminton winner and 2010 World Equestrian Games representative).

The CIC3*-W start list includes some of the best riders from around the globe. The living legend Mark Todd (NZL), 2011 Badminton winner and dual gold medallist, will return to ‘Le Pin’.  Last year’s Le Pin winner, Emily Baldwin (GBR) is back to defend her title.

The Haras du Pin national stud-farm will welcome a record 266 horses from 14 nations participating in three international classes over the weekend. Riders from Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, France, Great-Britain, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and USA are taking part.

For all 2011 Haras du Pin results stay tuned to http://www.legrandcomplet.com/english/start-lists-results/

For more information regarding the FEI World Cup Eventing including the point allocation system, series rules and leader boards please see the FEI web site,  http://www.feiworldcup.org/Eventing/Pages/FEIWorldCupEvents.aspx