Edited Press Release
Saugerties, N.Y. — June 1, 2023 — It was a marvelous week for Alexa Bayko and Mr. Matcho as HITS Saugerties welcomed riders for the second week of competition during the spring series. Bayko and Mr. Matcho garnered two first-place ribbons and two second-place ribbons in the Green 3’3” Hunter division to take home the championship honors.
“We started [Mr. Matcho] in the 3’ Greens and he moved right up,” noted Bayko after earning the championship tricolor. “He’s so, so sweet in the barn and he jumps great, moves great, and has a really big step. He just floats down all the lines, and he’s been so wonderful to have in the barn!”
The 6-year-old Warmblood gelding was purchased by owner Kim Mervyn in December 2022 and with Bayko taking over the ride for the green mount. After a brief time off following HITS Ocala, Mr. Matcho has “melted” right into showing again, even making his derby debut during last Saturday’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby in THE Ring. The Green 3’3” Hunter reserve championship went to Michael Desiderio and Bel Ami, a Zangersheide mare owned by Allison Cederberg, after winning the first over fences class on Wednesday.
Bayko was thrilled with Mr. Matcho’s performance, saying, “We came here last weekend and he just got right back into it. This Hunter Stadium is nice and big and it just fits him perfectly.”
Bayko, along with trainer Monica Hunt, have plans to continue Mr. Matcho in the Green 3’3” Hunters and the National Hunter Derbies Bayko concluded, “I think everything at the facility looks great. I love the rings. They all ride really well and I like what they did with THE Ring. It looks beautiful.”
Hunter action at HITS Saugerties will continue over the next week of the Spring Series as part of the complete HITS-on-the-Hudson season, which runs through September at the world-class facility. The Saugerties Spring Series will feature a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday, as well as a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby during Week III. Classics in the Short Stirrup division, through Junior and Amateur-Owner Hunters highlight hunter competition every week, which include qualifiers for the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League Finals. Additional highlights in THE Ring include the new $750 Bit O’Straw 2’6” Hunter Derby and $750 Tiny Bit O’ 2’ Hunter Derby.
Original press release from HITS Shows.