SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — Horse sport royalty descended on the Hudson Valley Sept. 12 for the nation’s highest-ranked class of the year, the Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix FEI-CSI 5*. Jessica Springsteen, riding Stone Hill Farm’s Cynar Va, captured first in the Florida-based equestrian’s first CSI-5* victory.
“It feels amazing to win this class — I’m really happy,” said the daughter of musician Bruce Springsteen. “My horse was feeling fresh this morning and was jumping around the course nicely, so I’m very pleased.”
Thousands of spectators filled the grandstand and hundreds more watched from the Legend VIP Club to get a glimpse of the historic event before them. The seventh annual $1 Million Grand Prix held in Saugerties attracted top riders worldwide who challenged the course set by German designer Werner Deeg.
Six conquered the first round to advance to the jump-off, the greatest number of horses in the jump-off in the class’s history. Among them was California-based rider Nayal Nassar riding his Lordan in the event they won in 2013. They finished in 52.97 with four faults, good for a fourth-place finish and $60,000 share of the winnings.
Going last in the jump-off, Springsteen and Cynar Va went all in. They took each turn with aggression and skill, then galloped home to cross the timers in 52.55 to capture the lead. The crowd stood and cheered in excitement as a new rider sealed her spot in the HITS $1 Million Grand Prix hall of fame.
“It was a super class today with great sport. The top finishers all did an excellent job which certainly made for an exciting day, so my hat’s off to them,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “We’d like to see them come back again and compete in the Million next year. This was our first time working with Werner, and he came with the absolute highest credentials and lived up to all of them.”
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