Culpeper, VA (April 17, 2008)—Pam Baker has always loved HITS Culpeper. But thanks to some facility enhancements at Commonwealth Park during the off season, the popular trainer and her clients are glowing after Wednesday's season opener during the Commonwealth National.
"I'm just thrilled," said Baker, who runs Hillcrest Farms. "I love this place. The facility is in the best shape
that I have ever seen it in."
Baker has about 40 horses at HITS Culpeper this week and her customers show in just about every division on the schedule. "My clients are the most impressed with the clean, new jumps and the fresh flowers," added Baker. "There is no doubt that HITS really cares about this place. When you look into the ring all that you can say is wow!"
Jumps from Olaf Petersen, similar to what exhibitors experienced at HITS Ocala, are being used in Culpeper to add terrific color and style to the courses. "The new jumps make the show seem that much more special," said Gavin Moylan, who has close to 30 horses at HITS Culpeper.
The 2008 HITS Culpeper show series also marks the addition of the new Jumper 1 ring, a larger, more inviting ring now positioned near the Grand Prix Schooling area. Jumpers are now concentrated in the same area of the property.
"I love the new jumper ring! It's the perfect size and it's in a great location close to the Grand Prix ring," added Moylan. "The footing is excellent and the jumps are great, too!"
"I was thrilled when I got here," said Ginny Edwards. "I love the new ring. Logistically it's just fantastic."
The back end of the property also saw its share of improvements, as HITS regraded the aisles and roads to facilitate better drainage and improve the overall ground and footing for horses, people and cars. In addition, a new camper area with 25 added camper hook-ups with brand new electric and water service has been added, as well as upgraded and rewired electric service in the original camper area.
"All of it looks great," added Edwards. "The walkways are smooth for the horses and the drainage has all been fixed. I couldn't be happier with the improvements here this year."
"It's so much nicer around the barns," said Baker. "The facility just has a nice flow to it this year!"
Show jumping at HITS Culpeper continues all weekend and will feature the $5,000 Hunter Classic and the Equitation Classic on Saturday afternoon. Both classes will be held in the Grand Prix ring. On Sunday, the $40,000 EMO Grand Prix takes the stage when accomplished Grand Prix riders such as Tracy Magness, who won Wednesday's Level 7 Jumper class aboard Tarco Van Ter Moude, Patty Stovel and Michael Grinyer will all be among the field of exhibitors shooting it out for the first-place check.
The Commonwealth National is the first of six weeks of horse shows at HITS Culpeper. Each week features hundreds of classes at every level, including a $40,000 Grand Prix each Sunday during Weeks I-V. HITS is proud to once again host the Zone III Junior Equitation Finals on Saturday, August 23 during the Winston National. As always, the 2008 HITS Culpeper season will conclude with the USGPL Finals, September 24-28, featuring the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix.
"My entire barn loves being in Culpeper," said Edwards. "We plan on being here every week this year."
Additional Highlights for the Commonwealth National:
- $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix: Friday, Grand Prix ring
- $10,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic: Saturday, Grand Prix ring
- $15,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic: Saturday, Grand Prix ring
- Central Equine Junior Medal: Saturday, Hunter 5
- Adequan Hunter Division: Friday, Hunter 1
2008 HITS Culpeper Dates:
Commonwealth National: April 16-20
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: ©2008 Lili Weik Photography; New jumps by Olaf Petersen decorate the Grand Prix ring at Commonwealth Park.
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