September 17, 2013--Melissa Feller of Lincoln Park, New Jersey made another run for the top in the Adequan Working Hunter division during the 23rd annual Marshall & Sterling League Insurance National Finals at HITS-on-the-Hudson. She and Robert Beck's Maverick rode to Reserve Champion honors last year and Feller returned in 2013, this time aboard Pamela Mahoney's Mahoney, to take home Champion.
Feller piloted the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding to win both over fences classes, which were spread over two days and complemented by an the under saddle on the first day. Despite coming off his first year of showing, Mahoney, who carries Feller in the pre-green division and his owner in the pre-adults during regular showing, conquered his first finals and the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium with ease.
"He is one of the more fun horses I get to ride," said Feller. "His ears are always up and he's ready to go."
Feller piloted Mahoney to an 84 in the $650 Adequan Working Hunter to kick off the division and returned the next day to score an impressive 90 in the $1,000 Adequan Working Hunter Stake. "I thought he was good the first day, but he was even better the second day," said Feller. "He seemed to really like being in the big ring and settled into a nice gallop throughout the whole course."
Feller, who trains with Robert Beck, has frequented the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals and is always eager to rider in the Grand Prix Stadium at HITS-on-the-Hudson. This year, she got a double dose of big courses as she participated in the Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final as part of HITS Championship Weekend the week before Marshall & Sterling Finals. Feller finished eighth in the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final with with Elisabeth McFadden's Serafino.
"It's fun for the hunters to go in a big ring where the jumpers normally go," said Feller. "All the courses in that ring were great and this week they really encouraged a smooth, consistent pace."
Taking Reserve Champion honors in the Adequan Working Hunter was Brian Feigus of Colts Neck, New Jersey. He piloted Nicole Gillete's Santo's Wannabee to a win the under saddle and fourth place in both over fences classes to pick up enough points for Reserve Champion.