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HITS Adjusts Entry Policies for the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit

Thermal, CA - September 9, 2008 - More changes are being announced for the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit, including a new entry policy. The HITS Desert Circuit will run from January 20 to March 22 with eight weeks of competition at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California.

After meeting with the Thermal Advisory Committee, which consists of riders, trainers, and owners who compete at the HITS Desert Circuit, one consistent theme raised by the members was the challenge that trainers and exhibitors face when attempting to enter their horses in classes for an entire circuit when the entry closing dates are far in advance of the actual horse show dates.

Consequently, it sometimes proved difficult to avoid post entry fees and scratch fees for hunters and jumpers alike. For instance, high performance rider Joie Gatlin pointed out the dilemma of attempting to anticipate which week of the circuit a Level 7-8 jumper might be sufficiently confident to start in its first Grand Prix. In response to the advice from the committee, HITS has embarked upon a new entry policy that will allow exhibitors to evaluate their horses each week and then make their class entries accordingly.

The new entry policy consists of four new elements. First, HITS has eliminated the late jumper nomination fee. Second, if the horse is entered as a nominated jumper but does not show in a Nominated Jumper Class there is no longer a fee for nomination. Third, exhibitors will have more leniency to nominate or declare for classes and special classes; the class and special class post entry fees have been eliminated. As always, the horse may be required to work first in the order of go. Finally, special classes may be scratched without penalty up until the day of the class. Only special classes scratched the day of the class will have a fee associated with that scratch.

HITS will continue with the entry policies from 2008 related to class scratches; regular classes may be scratched without penalty before the class starts.

"We worked hard on mapping out a policy that would be more accommodating for our exhibitors," said Donna Vale, head horse show secretary and office manager at Thermal. "In 2008, we instituted a more flexible scratch policy that went a long way to help make the process more customer-friendly and this is yet another step in that direction."

The new entry policies for the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit will be outlined in detail in the prize list, which is expected to be mailed in October.

For more information on the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit or to request a prize list, please visit http://www.HitsShows.com.

HITS DESERT CIRCUIT FAST FACTS

EVENT: HITS Desert Circuit

WHEN: Tuesday through Sunday, January 20-March 22, 2009

DC I, January 20-25

DC II, January 27 - February 1, CSI-W

DC III, February 3-8, CSI-W

OFF-WEEK, February 9-15

DC IV, February 17-22, CSI-W

DC V, February 24 - March 1

DC VI, March 3-8, CSI-W

DC VII, March 10-15

DC VIII, March 17-22

WHAT: Eight-week hunter/jumper horse show circuit produced by HITS, Inc.

WHERE: HITS Desert Horse Park, 85-555 Airport Blvd., Thermal, CA 92274. The HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California is located just southeast of Palm Springs and is close to many of the area's finest restaurants, spas, hotels and world-class golf courses.

HOURS: 8 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m.

DIRECTIONS:

From points West: From I-10 E. Keep RIGHT to take CA-86 Spur S toward Brawley / El Centro. 6.5 miles. Turn RIGHT onto Airport Blvd. 2.2 miles. End at 85-555 Airport Blvd.

From points East: From I-10 W. Take the Dillon Rd exit toward CA-86S Expressway / Coachella. 0.2 miles. Turn LEFT onto Dillon Rd. 0.7 miles. Turn LEFT to take the CA-86S-Expressway S ramp. 0.2 miles, Merge onto CA-86 Spur S. 5.2 miles Turn RIGHT onto Airport Blvd. 2.2 miles. End at

85-555 Airport Blvd.

PARKING: Parking is free.

ADMISSION: No admission charge Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday admission is $5 per person, children under 12 are free.

SHOW GROUNDS: 13 all-weather hunter, jumper and equitation rings located on 239 acres.

CLASSES: Approximately 250 classes take place each week including multiple Grand Prix classes throughout the week.

ATTENDANCE: Approximately 3,500 horses and 10,500 horsemen are on the grounds, and more than 25,000 spectators attend during the eight-week event.

PRIZE MONEY: More than $2 million

VIP SEATING: The Oasis Club Pavilion is at the Grand Prix ring for VIP seating, and a new VIP area will be added to the berm between the Main Hunter ring and Hunter 1. VIP parking is also available.

FOOD: Prepared and served by HITS food service personnel, a complete and diverse menu of food and beverages is available at three locations on the show grounds every show day.

SHOPPING: The Desert Marketplace located near the Grand Prix arena features dozens of shops offering quality equestrian gear, apparel, jewelry, videos and more.

ECONOMIC IMPACT: Based on an independent study commissioned by HITS from Sport Management Research Institute of Weston, Florida, the total economic impact produced by the Thermal Desert Circuit equates to $121,734,061 per year.

IN BRIEF: 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.

ON-SITE SCHOOL: For information on HITS' School Station please contact Mary Cunning 802.318.6924or mycunning@msn.com or schoolstation@msn.com

HITS DESERT HORSE PARK:

Important - use this contact information only during the horse show.

HITS Desert Horse Park

85-555 Airport Blvd.

Thermal, CA 92274

Phone: 760.399.9200

HITS, INC.

319 Main St.

Saugerties, NY 12477

Phone: 845.246.8833

Fax: 845.246.6371

E-mail: info@HitsShows.com

Web site: http://www.HitsShows.com

 

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