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HITS Culpeper set to return July 1 with a full slate of classes at HITS Commonwealth Park

CULPEPER, VA (June 26, 2009)--Show jumping action is set to resume at HITS Culpeper next week with the Showday National (July 1-July 5) and the Cavalier Classic (July 8-12) at HITS Commonwealth Park, in Culpeper, Virginia.

Each week will feature a full schedule of competition from beginner level to high performance classes. Entries look strong for these shows and HITS is expecting some new faces at HITS Culpeper in July, including a large group of International riders from Mexico's Club Hipico.

"We are looking forward to competing at HITS Culpeper where we will be preparing our Young Riders and Junior Teams for the NAJYRC later this year," said Club Hipico's Guillermo Williams. "Last year our group of Young Riders won a Bronze Medal and we are looking to build on that performance. We have heard great things about the horse shows in Culpeper and can't wait to get to the United States and start showing."

Returning to HITS Culpeper again this year will be a large group from Don Stewart Stables in Ocala, Florida. "In Culpeper we have a great group of riders, including Hasbrouck Donovan, Taylor Adams, Morgan Hale, Joan Ehrhart, Paige Dekko and of course, my daughter, Erin Stewart," said Don Stewart. "I'm excited to get back to Culpeper where I'll get to see some of my Virginia buddies that I don't get to see that often. Many of them I grew up with. I love their southern hospitality."

Stewart will have about 40 horses with him when he arrives and, like all exhibitors, will be greeted with a refurbished schooling area for the Jumper Rings. The old footing was stripped and the base was re-graded, and new footing was installed in time for the July shows.

"I am happy to hear about the new footing in the schooling ring in Culpeper," added Stewart. "HITS has done a great job throughout the years enhancing all of its facilities."

Grand Prix Galore

Each Sunday during the July shows feature a critical qualifiers for the 2009 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix, which takes place on Sunday, September 27 during the USGPL Finals. The $40,000 HITS Grand Prix takes place on Sunday, July 5 and the $40,000 Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix caps off the two weeks of shows on Sunday, July 12.

The top 30 riders in the USGPL/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 in the $25,000 Devoucoux Wild Card Grand Prix on Friday, September 25. Riders may elect to ride any horse of their choice, but may only ride one horse in the Invitational.

Tracy Magness is currently at the top of the USGPL ranking list with almost $100,000 in qualified Grand Prix prize money won. Magness racked up that impressive purse riding Mr. and Mrs. John Bartko's Tarco Van Ter Moude to multiple victories and top finishes in Ocala this past winter, and earlier this year the pair took first place in the $30,000 EMO Grand Prix at HITS Culpeper during the Commonwealth National. The Maryland native is expected to show in both Grand Prix classes that will take place at HITS Culpeper in July. Click here for the current USGPL rider rankings.

"Tarco has always been consistent, but this year has been amazing," said Magness. "I hope he keeps it up so we can secure the top spot in the standings and go last in the Invitational."

Magness will highlight a group of top High-Performance riders that will show in Culpeper in July. Aaron Vale, Tracy Fenney and Laura Linback are all in town and will be looking to creep up in the USGPL Standings.

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 Credit: © 2009 Lili Weik Photography

Photo Caption: Tracy Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude lead the way in the USGPL Standings.


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