Michael Desiderio and Jasper Capture Green 3’6” Hunter Championship at HITS Saugerties
Hunter action is back underway at HITS-on-the-Hudson as part of the Fall Series, where riders are gearing up for the HITS Championship next week. The Green Hunters took center stage during the first two days of competition in preparation for the $15,000 Green Hunter Prix and the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Regional Championship. Michael Desiderio and Jasper led the way in the Green 3’6” Hunter division, garnering the championship title ahead of Saturday’s $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix, presented by Patti Howard of Compass Real Estate.
Desiderio began riding Jasper for trainers Jeff DiCarlo and Tom Lamberti of Fallen Oak Farm in the spring. When he returned to HITS Saugerties this week, they were eager to have the pair return to the ring for the Green 3’6” Hunter division. Desiderio and the 8-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Kimberly Dunn won the first over fences class and then went on to place second in two over fences classes as well as third in the handy on their way to earning the championship tricolor. They finished just ahead of Brian Feigus and Corragio, who took home the reserve championship for owner Emil Spadone of Redfield Farm.
“Jasper is very straightforward and a great jumper,” noted Desiderio. “All you have to do is pick up a canter and get him in gear. He likes a nice forward rhythm to the jumps, and he’s a pleasure to ride. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to ride him.”
DiCarlo was thrilled with the pair’s performance saying, “Michael is such an accurate, strong and definite rider. For a First Year horse, I thought he was the best choice for my horses. He rode all of my horses at the show this week. I like to choose a rider that will give my horses the most positive, beneficial ride for their future. Most of my horses are bought to be amateur or junior-type horses, so for me, it’s not about always winning a blue ribbon, but about getting a good, positive training ride in the ring.”
DiCarlo believes that Jasper has a strong future as a Junior or Amateur Hunter because he is so straightforward. “Jasper never disappoints,” he commented. “He goes from the stall to the ring, doesn’t lunge, doesn’t need to see the jumps, doesn’t need to school in the ring. He can literally get off the horse trailer, get braided and show in the Green Hunters.”
Desiderio was happy to be back at HITS-on-the-Hudson for the Fall Series and kick off the week with a championship title. “I really enjoy Saugerties,” he concluded. “It’s a very nice venue to have so close to home. The stabling is great; the footing has been excellent this week. Overall, it’s a friendly atmosphere and a nice low-key environment to show in.”
Competition during HITS-on-the-Hudson VII will continue throughout the weekend, with hunters taking over the Outside Course to compete during the $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix and the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix. The HITS Championship will also include world-class hunter competition as riders showcase their mounts during the $200,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final and the $50,000 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final. For more information or to submit your entry please visit www.HITSShows.com.