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September is a great time for horse lovers, whether you’re into show jumping, dressage, Arabians, or donating for a good cause. The month kicks off with one of the richest purses in jumpers at the HITS Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York on Sept. 10. Next up is the Little Britches Therapeutic Riding “Boots & Britches Ball” in Bridgewater on Sept. 16. The month wraps up with lots of activities and competitions at the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show in New York City from Sept. 20 to 24.
HITS Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix Sunday, September 10
You can catch some of the best domestic and international jumpers, including many Olympic medalists, at the HITS Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix. This fast-action horse sport is held annually at the beautiful venue along the Hudson River, just off Interstate 87. General admission for the day is $10; but free for children 12 and under. Spectators can stroll the grounds watching hunters in the morning and jumpers in the afternoon. There is a snack bar and grandstand seating with general admission as well as a Meet & Greet with Olympic Athletes and a presentation of the flags by the West Point Cadets just prior to the grand prix.
There are also Day VIP Passes at $100 per person, which includes covered, open style seating, buffet lunch and a cash bar in the ULCERGUARD Pavilion. These tickets must be purchased in advance from the HITS box office online at http://www.hitsshows.com/visit-hits. All proceeds collected from Sunday Grand Prix ticket sales are donated to Family of Woodstock, the official charity of HITS-on-the-Hudson. Gates open at 8 am and the grand prix starts at 2:30 pm.
Little Britches Therapeutic Riding Fundraiser – Saturday, September 16
Save the evening of September 16 for music, dancing, great food and fun — all to benefit Little Britches Therapeutic Riding, a local nonprofit that helps kids and adults with special needs discover their strengths though horseback riding. Little Britches’ Boots & Britches Ball will run from 6 to 10 pm at the Bridgewater Pavilion on Sarah Sanford Road East in Bridgewater.
The high-energy band Hazzard County will be on hand with modern country sounds to get people dancing. Windover BBQ & Catering of Newtown will dish up barbecued ribs, chicken and brisket with sides. A silent auction will offer scores of items — Disney park day passes, theater tickets, paintings contributed by Connecticut artists and much more.
Little Britches, based in Roxbury, has been helping individuals with disabilities since 1979.
The organization currently serves roughly 80 riders from 28 area towns. The Connecticut Community Foundation has offered a matching grant to help stage the event. Other sponsors include Dobson Pools of New Milford and Maple Bank Farm of Roxbury. Tickets are $50 per person. The event is BYOB, but mixers and soft drinks are included. For tickets or info visit www.littlebritchesct.org or call Alice Daly at 203-598-2595.
Rolex Central Park Horse Show, September 20-24
In its fourth year, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show will once again highlight the versatility, athleticism, and majesty of the horse, as participating horse and rider combinations from a broad array of disciplines will take to Wollman Rink with the remarkable New York City skyline setting the atmosphere for this iconic competition.
Arabians – Wednesday, September 20
The first day of competition will make way for the U.S. Open Arabian Horse Show presented by Aljassimya Farm, displaying the beauty and elegance of one of the world’s oldest breeds. The evening will feature a mixture of classes, both In-Hand/Halter and performance, such as Western Pleasure, Country English Pleasure, and Hunter Pleasure. One of the most unique classes is the beautiful Native Costume Class which is a favorite for spectators and attendees alike. Gates open at 6 pm and competition will begin at 6:30 pm.
Show Jumping – Thursday, September 21
Show jumping will host amateur and professional classes, where the best riders in the world will compete, including Kent Farrington (USA) and McLain Ward (USA), currently the #1 and #2 ranked show jumpers in the world. The Junior/Amateur 1.20m Jumper Speed Class will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by the $40,000 Speed Class CSI 3* at 8 pm featuring Farrington and Ward. The second annual showcase of the $50,000 Puissance (High Jump Exhibition) will follow at 9 pm.
Dressage – Friday, September 22
This year’s dressage event will welcome three of the highest ranked competitors in the world as Isabell Werth (World #1), Laura Graves (World #2) and Carl Hester (World #3) will make the 2017 edition of dressage competition unlike any other offered in North America. Gates open at 1 pm with competition beginning at 1:30 pm.
Competition will continue under the lights as the U.S. Open $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix is set to open competition on Friday evening, featuring talented competitors from around the world under the age of 25. Gates open at 6 pm with competition at 6:30 pm.
English Riding – Saturday, September 23
The classic and timeless English discipline derived from the origins of fox hunting will bring elegance and precision to the show on Saturday, as a day of assorted hunter classes presented by The Gochman Family and Dr. Betsee Parker will entertain throughout the afternoon.
Family Day – Sunday, September 24
The immensely popular Family Day, open to the general public at 1 pm., will feature hands-on interactions and learning experiences with horses, alongside an array of family-friendly activities. Can’t think of a better way to spend a day in the city.
For more information on the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show and ticket sales for the event, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex on Wednesday, September 27, from 7 to 8:30 pm.