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Mclain Ward And Sapphire Capture The $50,000 Avis Grand Prix

Ellenville, NY (July 28, 2003)—McLain Ward of Brewster, New York, delivered a cool victory on Sapphire, owned by Double H Farm, in the $50,000 Avis Grand Prix at HITS Catskills IV. Ward qualified for the jump-off on two mounts, also finishing in fourth place on his own Courletta K. Olympic veteran Anne Kursinski and Indeed, owned by The Group Indeed, finished in second place. Kursinski also placed fifth on Sun God, owned by Ron & Cheryl Krise and twelfth on Sincere, owned by Meralex Farm. Third place went to Christine Tribble on Dugateau, owned by her family's Windsor Show Stable.

Twenty-eight horse and rider combinations competed over Danny Foster's fourteen-obstacle first round course. Foster set a challenging course that included a triple bar at fence No. 1, and a triple combination at fence No. 5. The time allowed was set at 96 seconds.

Of the twenty-eight entries, ten horses advanced to the seven-fence jump-off. Anne Kursinski and Sun God were the first to attempt the shortened course, encountering an unlucky rail at the last fence to finish with four faults in a time of 46.08 seconds. The next four successive riders also failed to go clear. Kursinski on her second mount, Indeed, produced the first clear round of the jump-off in a time of 45.44 seconds. Laura Chapot and Little Big Man, winner of last Sunday's $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix, followed up with a four-fault performance to put them in sixth place. Christine Tribble and Dugateau didn't rush the fences, and their caution paid off with a clear round in a time of 53.39 seconds. Tribble's time was almost 8 seconds slower than the leader, but still good enough for third place. McLain Ward and Sapphire were the last to enter the Grand Prix ring. Ward pulled out all the stops to shave a second off Kursinski's time. His final time of 44.34 seconds and his clear round gave him the victory.

Ward's win in the $50,000 Avis Grand Prix will count toward the New Marshall & Sterling League and the King Shavings USGPL standings. Ward is currently eight in the standings. The New Marshall & Sterling League will hold its inaugural National Indoor Finals, September 17-21, at Worcester's Centrum Centre in Worcester, Massachusetts. The League is offering a $100,000 Grand Prix on Sunday, September 21st. Thirty riders will be accepted based on national standings. Those lucky qualifiers will have the exceptional opportunity to ride in two back-to-back $100,000 Grand Prix, first at the Marshall & Sterling National Indoor Finals, and a week later at the King Shavings US Grand Prix League (USGPL) Invitational Finals.

The King Shavings USGPL invitational finals, September 24-28, will take place at HITS Commonwealth Park during the final week of the HITS Culpeper circuit. The King Shavings USGPL will also feature a $15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Low Invitational, $25,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner High Invitational, and $25,000 Pre-Green Hunter Invitational Classic, sponsored by Stillwell-Hansen and Four Winds Farm. For more information on the New Marshall & Sterling League and the King Shavings USGPL, please visit our website at

Other major award winners at HITS Catskills IV included:
Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider - Jennifer Alfano, Buffalo, NY
Bayer Legend Leading Jumper Rider - Anne Kursinski, Frenchtown, NJ
HBO Junior Medal Winner - Natalie Johnson, Greenwich, CT
Charles Owen Children's Medal Winner - Marnie McLagan, Sudbury, MA
Charles Owen Adult Medal Winner - Dyanna Rucco, Rehoboth, MA

Show jumping will resume on Wednesday, July 30th at Ellenville with the New York Horse & Pony Show. The $50,000 King Shavings Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, August 3rd and families will also enjoy the annual Kid's Day.

HITS CATSKILLS: Kelly Farm, 8543 Rt. 209, Ellenville, NY 12428. Telephone during horse shows: (845) 647-1763.

MEDIA CONTACT: HITS Media & Public Relations, 319 Main Street, Saugerties, New York 12477-1330. Tel: 845-246-8833, Fax: 845-246-6371, E-Mail: Web:

NY Horse & Pony Show - July 30-August 3
HITS Catskills VI - August 27-31

July 31, $25,000 HITS Grand Prix
August 3, $50,000 King Shavings Grand Prix
August 31, $50,000 HITS Catskills Grand Prix

Kid's Day, Sunday, August 3

$50,000 Avis Grand Prix - Sunday, July 27, 2003
HITS Catskills IV - Ellenville, NY
Danny Foster, Ontario, Canada: Course Designer
Place Horse Rider Owner Prize Money Rd 1 Faults Rd 2 Faults JO Time

1st Sapphire McClain Ward Double H Farm $15,000 0 0 44.34
2nd Indeed Anne Kursinski The Group Indeed $11,000 0 0 45.44
3rd Dugateau Christine Tribble Candy Tribble/Windsor Show Stable $6,500 0 0 53.39
4th Courletta K McClain Ward McClain Ward $4,000 0 4 44.70
5th Sun God Anne Kursinski Ron & Cheryl Krise $3,000 0 4 46.08
6th Little Big Man Laura Chapot Laura Chapot $2,500 0 4 46.58
7th Callisto Jill Henselwood Juniper Farms Ltd $2,000 0 4 52.96
8th Aiglefin Robert Ross M/M Joseph Dimenna $1,500 0 4 54.22
9th Profox Chris Kappler Jorgen Winroth $1,500 0 8 44.51
10th Crazy You Kent Farrington Lynda Farrington $1,000 0 8 47.92
11th Everest Mario Deslauriers Pamela G Deslauriers $1,000 4
12th Sincere Anne Kursinski Meralex Farm $1,000 4


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