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HITS Culpeper Set for Season Opener with the Return of the Commonwealth National - April 16-20

New ring, new schedule, new camper area and more lodging options in Culpeper, Virginia



Culpeper, VA (March 28, 2008)—Now that the 2008 HITS Winter Circuits have come to a close, all eyes are on HITS Culpeper set to open its season with the Commonwealth National, April 16-20 featuring the $40,000 EMO Grand Prix on Sunday, April 20.

The spring show at HITS Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, Virginia will be exhibitors' first chance to experience the new facility improvements and revamped schedule. With the addition of the new Jumper 1 ring, a larger more inviting ring now positioned near the Grand Prix Schooling area, jumpers will now be concentrated in the same area of the property. The ring that was formerly assigned as Jumper 1 will now become the new Pony Hunter ring, which will have an adjacent schooling area for ponies.

New rings mean new classes and divisions! The 2008 HITS Culpeper schedule features classes that have proved popular at other HITS Circuits, including Level 1 Jumpers, Adult Maiden and Adult Limit Equitation. Also new for 2008 is the $5,000 Hunter Classic, offered Weeks I-V. This Classic will be held in the Grand Prix ring each Saturday afternoon and is open to horses showing in any A-rated hunter division.

Equitation riders will also have their chance in the Grand Prix ring with the addition of an Equitation Classic during Weeks I-V. This class will be held on Saturdays, following the new Hunter Classic, at two different heights (3' and 3'6") and will be judged together as one class. Riders may elect to jump at either height and the Circuit Champion for the Equitation Classic will receive an automatic invitation to the Marshall & Sterling League Finals for their respective Medal Final.

"With the expansion of the grounds, we expect the shows will expand as well," said Tom Struzzieri, HITS President and CEO. "I believe our new jumps and some of the other things we successfully implemented during our winter shows will be quite popular in Culpeper. I'm looking forward to being there in April to be a part of the new Culpeper. "

Jumps from Olaf Petersen, similar to what exhibitors experienced at HITS Ocala, will be used in Culpeper to add terrific color and style to the courses. HITS is also working to implement online services for exhibitors to view jump orders, which was very popular in Ocala and helpful in prioritizing trainer schedules and the overall flow of the show.

The back end of the property will also see improvements, as HITS is regrading 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 additional camper hook-ups with brand new electric and water service will be up and running this season. The original camper sites will also enjoy upgraded and rewired electric service.

For those who prefer the non-camper experience, HITS is pleased to announce that two new hotels are opening right in the heart of Culpeper, and several other new hotels have opened in the surrounding area, providing exhibitors even more lodging options.

Microtel Inn & Suites just opened on Willis Lane in Culpeper. Microtel offers guests luxurious accommodations in either singles, doubles or suites featuring free high-speed wireless and wired Internet, queen size pillow-top beds, coffee makers and hair dryers in every room. The hotel is pet friendly and also provides deluxe continental breakfast.

Microtel owner Tejas Desai is excited about the HITS Culpeper shows returning to town. "We are looking forward to our relationship with HITS and to welcoming HITS exhibitors to our establishment,” said Desai. “I’m confident that exhibitors will find the accommodations at Mircotel to be top-notch; after all, our slogan is ‘You’ll sleep well at Microtel’ which I imagine is very important after a long day of exciting competition.”

Microtel has received the J.D. Power and Associates award for customer satisfaction for the past six years in row, an unprecedented achievement that Desai refers to as “the ultimate 6-pack!”

For more information on Microtel, please visit microtelinn.com or call 1.540.829.0330 for reservations. In addition, a Holiday Inn Express is also slated to be open later this summer.

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.

Additional Highlights:

• $15,000 Brook Ledge Open Jumper Prix: Weeks I-V

• $10,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic: Weeks I-III

• $5,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic: Weeks IV-V

• $15,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic: Weeks I-III

• $10,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic: Weeks IV-V

• Central Equine Junior Medal: Weeks I-VI

• Adequan Hunter Division: Weeks I-VI

USGPL Finals (September 24-28):

• $100,000 Invitational Grand Prix

• $25,000 Devoucoux Wild Card Grand Prix

• $25,000 High Jr/A-O Jumper Classic

• $15,000 Low Jr/A-O Jumper Classic

• $10,000 Pre-Green Hunter Classic, sponsored by Stillwell-Hansen, Inc. & Four Winds Farm

2008 HITS Culpeper Dates:

Commonwealth National: April 16-20 - Entry 1

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:©2007 Lili Weik Photography, Flags fly high over the Grand Prix ring at HITS Commonwealth Park. In 2008, the Grand Prix ring will host the new $5,000 Hunter Classic and Equitation Classic Weeks I-V.

 

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