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Central Equine Relay highlights two exciting weeks at HITS Culpeper in July

CULPEPER, VIRGINIA (June 8, 2008)--HITS is pleased to announce that the popular Central Equine Relay will make its debut at HITS Culpeper on Friday, July 11 during the Show Day National.

The Central Equine Relay is an event where teams of three riders will compete in a Nation's Cup-style class. During the first installment of the Central Equine Relay, the excitement rang from coast to coast as the new class highlighted an exciting week of horse shows at both HITS Ocala and HITS Thermal.

At HITS Ocala, it was the Central Equine Southeast Team that triumphed. The team consisted of Aaron Vale, Kristianna Lindgren and Claudia Billups. Almost 3,000 miles away at HITS Thermal, it was a team of women that captured the class as Joie Gatlin, Mandy Porter and Amanda Tallman scored the blue ribbon for Team Devoucoux.

Tallman, who operates Hidden Creek Farm in San Diego, had a blast competing in the special class. "We had a calcutta before the Central Equine Relay and a lot of money was raised for a charity during a fantastic exhibitor party," she said. "Then once the class started the competitive juices started to flow. We had some of the best riders on the West Coast participate and I can't wait to do it again next year."

To register your team for the Central Equine Relay at HITS Culpeper, please click here. Completed entry forms can be faxed to 845.246.6371

In addition to the Central Equine Relay, most of the attention will be shifting to the standings for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix when show jumping returns to Commonwealth Park this summer for two consecutive weeks of horse shows.

The Showday National, (July 9-13) and the Cavalier Classic, (July 16-20) each offer a chance for Grand Prix riders to qualify for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix. First, on Sunday, July 13 the $40,000 Strongid® C2X™ Grand Prix takes the stage and on Sunday, July 20 the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix is on tap. Both classes are qualifiers for the big $100,000 season finale.

The top 30 riders in the Marshall & Sterling League National Standings (based on money won by the qualified horse/rider combination) will be invited to participate in the Invitational. In addition, one Wild Card slot will be allotted. The rider may elect to ride any horse of his or her choice, but may ride only one horse in the Invitational. All Grand Prix events at HITS Saugerties and HITS Culpeper are qualifying events for the Invitational. To view the current standings, please click here.

Each week also will feature the $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix, $10,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, $15,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic, Central Equine Junior Medal and the Adequan Hunter Division. In addition, HITS will offer the new $5,000 Hunter Classic and the Equitation Classic on Saturday afternoons. Both classes will be held in the Grand Prix ring.

After the July shows wrap, HITS Culpeper takes a brief hiatus before returning for two more weeks in mid-August with the Winston National and the Constitution Classic. Once again, two more qualifying Grand Prix events will be on the schedule, first with the $40,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, August 24 and then it's the all-new $40,000 Avalon Saddlery Grand Prix, presented by Kingsland on Sunday, August 31 at HITS Culpeper.

Also on the agenda in August, it's the return of the Tad Coffin Zone III Junior Equitation Finals during the Winston National on Saturday, August 23.

Remaining 2008 HITS Culpeper Dates:

Showday National: July 9-13 - Entry 2

Cavalier Classic: July 16-20 - Entry 3

Winston National: August 20-24 - Entry 4

Constitution Classic: August 27-31 - Entry 5

USGPL Finals: September 24-28 - Entry 6

2008 HITS Culpeper Prize List

2008 HITS Culpeper Schedule

The first Culpeper Horse and Colt Show was held at Monte Vista Park in 1897 and it continued for the next 54 years. In the 1980s, show jumping returned to Culpeper in a grand fashion with the opening of Commonwealth Park, one of the finest horse-sport facilities in the country. Some of the richest show jumping events in America have been held at Commonwealth Park, including the $200,000 U.S. Cup, the grand finale for the United States Grand Prix League in 1986. HITS purchased Commonwealth Park in 1997 and began restoring the grounds to its former glory. In 1998, HITS reintroduced the United States Grand Prix League, and has presented the USGPL Finals at Commonwealth Park ever since. Approximately $1 million in total prize money is offered at the six HITS Culpeper events.

HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit http://www.HitsShows.com.

PHOTO: ©Lili Weik Photography; HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri went clear in the Central Equine Relay at HITS Ocala.


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