Andre Thieme and Aragon Rouet – win the 2011 $1 Million HITS Grand Prix, photo by Melissa Bennington

I’m getting pretty excited, as on Sunday, September 9th, my friend and I will be heading up to Saugerties, NY to cover the HITS Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix!  Whoohoo!  A day watching some of the best show jumping riders and their equine partners compete for a bundle of prize money that would choke a hungry billy-goat.

To qualify, riders must compete in at least eight Open Jumper Classes worth $25,000 or more at any  HITS shows from September  30, 2011 through September 2, 2012.  Additionally, riders may pick up qualifying points at any of two $30,000 RAM Grand Prix held in May 2012 at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Ontario, Canada.

Forty riders  have the opportunity to qualify based on their cumulative money won in qualifying classes.   Additionally, HITS management has the option to choose five additional riders, and one Wild Card slot will be awarded to the winner of the Wild Card Qualifying Class during the week HITS on the Hudson VIII, September 5-9, 2012.  ( Laura Chapot, daughter of legendary US Olympian and former USET chef d’equipe Frank Chapot, who is recovering from surgery to repair a subdural hematoma, won this year’s 30,000 G&C Farm Wild Card Grand Prix to earn her spot in Sunday’s big class.)

Last year’s winner of the Pfizer $1 Million was German rider Andre Thieme with Aragon Rouet (currently the ride of America’s Meg O’Mara).  The German rider competently conquered an extremely challenging course , riding two clear rounds to take the win over Duncan McFarlane and the wonderfully named Mr. Whoopy.  McLain Ward and Antares F placed third.

It’s going to be a great day of competition at HITS-on-the-Hudson.  I’m looking forward to starting off with Rounds 3 & 4 of the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, then the Pfizer $1 Million, and then possibly finishing up with the concert by former Doobie Brothers frontman, Michael McDonald.

Samantha Schaefer – winner of 2011 Diamond Mills 500k Hunter Prix. photo by Melissa Bennington

Yep, Championship Sunday at HITS-on-the-Hudson.  In the words of Michael McDonald and James Ingram, “Yah Mo Be There!”

(I know, that was bad!)

Thanks for reading!