Edited Press Release
Saugerties, NY – July 22, 2022 – Top athletes from around the country returned to HITS-on-the-Hudson this week to kick off the HITS Saugerties Summer Series. Vying for the winning honors in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, six athletes advanced to the tiebreaker, where Jordan Coyle and Centriko Volvo bested McLain Ward and Lezaro by almost three seconds to capture the day’s victory.
“I’ve had [Centriko Volo] for four years, and he’s won a [FEI CSI] 3* and 4* Grand Prix this year already,” noted Coyle. “He’s a good horse, and as he gets older and gets more belief in himself he could be a very good horse. Time will tell. All my horses are jumping very well, and when they are jumping well you should try and win!”
Canada’s Danny Foster used the expansive Grand Prix Ring at HITS-on-the-Hudson to test riders with an exacting track that featured 13 numbered obstacles and included a vertical-oxer double combination and an oxer-oxer-vertical triple combination at the end of the course near the in-gate before riders galloped away to the final two fences. Six advanced to the jump-off, where the double combination was the second question, followed by four rollbacks before heading home over the last oxer towards the gate.
Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue were the first to complete the shortened course without error, clocking in at 47.904 seconds to set the Great American time to beat. Two rounds later, Ward would move to the top of the leaderboard, narrowly beating Chapot’s time piloting Lezaro to a clear round in 47.657. His lead would not hold for long, however, as Coyle entered the ring next with Centriko Volvo. Tidy turns and a fast gallop moved them well ahead of Ward as they cleared the course in a blazing 44.829 to lead the lap of honor.
“He’s a very fast horse naturally, and then that course today with the two verticals in the middle – I’ve never ridden a horse or pony that can jump verticals like this one – it’s unbelievable,” expressed Coyle after his win. “I could really rush those verticals!”
Coyle was thrilled to return to HITS Saugerties with a win already in hand from earlier in the week. “I love it, the money is great here,” he smiled. “The money is great, and it’s quite close to home, probably the closest show we have. The arena is very good, and the jumps are very good, so why wouldn’t you come?”
Coyle’s Grand Prix win came on the heels of a victory in Thursday’s $10,000 HITS 1.40m Jumper Classic. This time he was aboard Costa Diam, once again posting the fastest double clear as the last to go. He edged out Chapot and Calafornia, who were also clear over the second track for second place. Lauren Fischer and Hello Besi rounded out the top three with the only other fault-free jump-off of the day.
On Wednesday, Christian Coyle and Heviola earned the top honors in the $5,000 HITS Open Welcome after beating Mark Bluman and Cenmietta PS’s faultless jump-off by half a second. Bluman also earned the third-place prize with Esther De Maugre, who was the fastest 4-faulter during the jump-off.