Equestrianmag.com
EquestrianMag ~ The online magazine for horse enthusiasts Bookmark Us Register for our Equestrian Newsletter Contact Us
Front PageArticles & FeaturesEquestrian EventsEquestrian Shopping DirectoryAuctions

Recommended Sites:

HITS Desert Circuit Offers Complete Jumper Schedule and High Performance Classes

Thermal, CA - December 2, 2008 - The HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California is one of the premier show facilities in North America and is host to the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit. Held over eight weeks of competition from January 20 to March 22, the HITS Desert Circuit is the only show circuit that offers four World Cup qualifiers for High Performance Show Jumping athletes. As part of the High-Performance schedule, HITS hosts two Grand Prix events each week of the circuit, including the four World Cup classes. The highlight of the HITS Desert Circuit continues to be the $150,000 Grand Prix of the Desert, which will close out the season on Sunday, March 22.

In addition to hosting more World Cup qualifiers than any other single circuit, the HITS Desert Circuit is also the only winter show circuit in the country that offers the opportunity for riders to compete in a large, outdoor ring as well as an indoor arena for jumper classes. The indoor arena was originally added to the property for the World Cup qualifiers. The indoor arena was such a success in 2008 that this season HITS is going to offer more classes and special events for other divisions in that ring. During World Cup weeks, the $25,000 FEI Grand Prix and the $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifiers will both be held indoors. Additionally, several of the 3'6" Medals and some of the traditional "Friday night" classes will be held indoors too.

Richard Spooner, one of the top show jumpers in America and all-time leading money winner on the HITS Desert Circuit, has competed at the Desert Circuit since its inception in 1992. He believes that the opportunity to show in an indoor arena for the qualifiers helps prepare riders and horses if they make it to the World Cup Finals.

"The footing in the grand prix ring is conducive to good jumping. Thermal is an important circuit," he explained. "It's closer, time-wise, to the World Cup Finals than a lot of our other events. You're able to see the horses that are performing well at that time and see if they will be successful. It's good to see which horses are hot. The indoor arena helps get you into indoor mode, to ride the jumps immediately out of the turn; you do more technical courses than on the big field."

HITS is expecting a strong roster of both new and returning High-Performance stars this season at Thermal. Olympic gold medalist Will Simpson will return to Thermal and will be joined by his teammate and first-time Desert Circuit exhibitor McLain Ward. Angel Karolyi, who placed second behind Ward in the $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix at the Washington International Horse Show, and Mexico's Bjorn Ikast will be two new faces at the HITS Desert Circuit. Canada's Jonathan Asselin will also be back in Thermal this year as well as other West Coast stars, including Joie Gatlin, Jill Humphrey, Rich Fellers, John Pearce and Canada's Olympic Silver Medalist Jill Henselwood, just to name a few.

In addition to High Performance events, there are 14 non-nominated jumper sections, starting with Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 and offering multiple age groups for Children's and Adult jumpers. There are also Low Child/Adult, Modified Junior, Modified Amateur and even Pony Jumpers. For the nominated jumpers, there are 10 divisions, such as the Hidden Creek Farm Level 6 Jumpers and divisions for Low and High Junior and Amateur Jumpers.

A great range of jumper classics are offered weekly for competitors, like the Marshall & Sterling Pony Jumper Classic and $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's and Adult Jumper Classics. Children's/Adult Jumpers also have a regular $1,000 classic, and there are $1,000 and $4,500 Modified Junior/Amateur Jumper Classics each week.

Every week, there is a PCHA Jimmy Williams Classic for jumpers held at the Level 7 height. The prize money ranges from $7,500 in weeks one, five, seven, and eight, to $15,000 in the non-World Cup weeks when the class will be the feature event of the Sunday schedule and held in the Grand Prix ring. The Low Junior/Amateur Jumpers have classics for $5,000, but the prize money ratchets up to $15,000 for weeks three and eight. The High Junior/Amateur Jumpers compete for $10,000 in prize money, with the exception of weeks three and eight (the California Horsetrader sponsored week), where they jump for $25,000.

The grand prix schedule of events is as follows:

DC I

January 23 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

January 25 - $50,000 EMO Grand Prix

DC II

January 29 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

January 31 -$50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, presented by Adequan

DC III

February 5 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

February 7 -$50,000 Purina Mills FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, presented by Adequan

DC IV

February 19 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

February 21 -$50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, presented by Adequan

DC V

February 27 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

March 1 -$75,000 HITS Grand Prix

DC VI

March 5 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

March 7 -$50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, presented by Adequan

DC VII

March 13 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

March 15 -$50,000 HITS Grand Prix

DC VIII

March 20 -$25,000 HITS Grand Prix

March 22 - $150,000 HITS Grand Prix

The 2009 HITS Desert Circuit prize list was mailed out on Thursday, October 23. It is currently available online at http://www.HitsShows.com.

For further information and to view the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit prize list, please visit http://www.HitsShows.com.



HITS DESERT CIRCUIT FAST FACTS

EVENT: HITS Thermal Desert Circuit

WHAT: Eight-week hunter/jumper horse show circuit produced by HITS, Inc. that runs from January through March annually. The Desert Circuit has been a mainstay of West Coast competition for the past 19 years and offers classes ranging from Grand Prix show jumping to a selection of divisions for both the novice and experienced rider. In addition, four of the 16 Grand Prix events at HITS Thermal are FEI World Cup qualifiers. Total Grand Prix prize money offered for the 2009 season is valued at $725,000, which includes the $150,000 Grand Prix of the Desert during the eighth and final week of the Circuit. The HITS Desert Circuit is the winter show home to some of the most accomplished equestrian riders in the world, including Grand Prix rider Richard Spooner who is the all-time leading money winner at the HITS Desert Circuit, as well as some world-famous current and former Olympians.

WHERE:

HITS Desert Horse Park

85-555 Airport Boulevard

Thermal, California 92274

Phone: 760.399.9200 (during horse shows only)

WHEN: Daily, Tuesday - Sunday 8 am to 4 pm during show weeks.

DC I: January 20-25

DC II: January 27 - February 1

DC III: February 3-8

DC IV: February 17-22

DC V: February 24 - March 1

DC VI: March 3-8

DC VII: March 10-15

DC VIII: March 17-22

SEASON HIGHLIGHTS:

Desert Circuit I:

Friday, January 23, $25,000 Grand Prix

Saturday, January 24, Equitation/Medals in the Indoor ring

Sunday, January 25, $50,000 EMO Grand Prix, $5,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic, and $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic

Desert Circuit II:

Thursday, January 29, $25,000 Grand Prix (FEI) in the Indoor ring

Friday, January 30, $1,000 Pony Hunter Classic night class in the Indoor ring

Saturday, January 31, $50,000 World Cup Grand Prix (FEI) night class in the Indoor ring

Sunday, February 1, $5,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic, $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic and $15,000 Jimmy Williams Classic

Desert Circuit III:

Thursday, February 5, $25,000 Grand Prix (FEI) in the Indoor ring

Friday, February 6, $1,000 Children's/Adult Jumper Classic night class in the Indoor ring and the

Saturday, February 7, $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby in the Grand Prix ring

$50,000 World Cup Grand Prix (FEI) night class in the Indoor ring

Sunday, February 8, $15,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic, $25,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic and $15,000 Jimmy Williams Classic

Desert Circuit IV:

Thursday, February 19, $25,000 Grand Prix (FEI) in the Indoor ring

Friday, February 20, $1,000 Modified Jr/Amateur Classic night class in the Indoor ring

Saturday, February 21, $50,000 World Cup Grand Prix (FEI) night class in the Indoor ring

Sunday, February 22, $5,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic, $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic and $15,000 Jimmy Williams Classic

Desert Circuit V:

Friday, February 27, $25,000 Grand Prix and $5,000 Children's/Adult Hunter Classic

Saturday, February 28, Grooms Class and Pro Medal Class, both night classes

Sunday, March 1, $75,000 Grand Prix, $5,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic and $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic

Desert Circuit VI:

Thursday, March 5, $25,000 Grand Prix (FEI) in the Indoor ring

Friday, March 6, Central Equine Relay night class

Saturday, March 7, $50,000 World Cup Grand Prix (FEI) night class in the Indoor ring, Equitation/Medals in the Indoor ring

Sunday, March 8, $5,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic, $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic and $15,000 Jimmy Williams Classic

Desert Circuit VII:

Friday, March 13, $25,000 Grand Prix

Sunday, March 15, $50,000 Grand Prix, $5,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic and $10,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic

Desert Circuit VIII:

Friday, March 20, $25,000 Grand Prix and Ronnie W. Mutch Equitation Classic

Saturday, March 21, $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby in the Grand Prix ring

Sunday, March 22, $150,000 Grand Prix, $15,000 Jr/A-O Jumper Low Classic and $25,000 Jr/A-O Jumper High Classic

ADMISSION:

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

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.

SPECTATOR PARKING & ENTRANCE:

Main Entrance, off of Airport Boulevard. Parking is free.

EXHIBITOR ENTRANCES:

Stabling Entrance - Permanent and Temporary Stabling

Main Entrance - Horse Show Office and Competition Rings

THE FACILITY: HITS Desert Horse Park, Thermal, California

The newest addition to the HITS facilities, the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California is one of the largest hunter/jumper horse show venues in the United States and is the new home to the HITS Desert Circuit. This 230-acre, state-of-the-art facility officially opened in January of 2007. There are 14 competition rings for hunter, jumper and equitation classes, including a covered ring for all FEI World Cup Qualifiers offered at Thermal. Shaded spectator seating is available at every ring. Spectator parking is located off Airport Boulevard at the main entrance gate. For a map of the property, please click here.

REFRESHMENTS:

The HITS Desert Horse Park offers one of the best on-site Food Service Pavilions in equestrian sports today. The HITS Bar and Grill serves pizza and cold beer in a spacious air-conditioned lounge. Spectators can grab some lunch and find a grassy spot on the berms while watching some of the world's best show jumping with the entire family in the heart of the Coachella Valley.

SHOPPING:

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

LODGING:

For a complete listing of lodging options near the show grounds, please check out our HITS Thermal Lodging Partners

HITS-TORY:

HITS operated its first West Coast winter circuit back in 1991 with great success. In 1992, HITS produced the Desert Circuit in Indio, California where the circuit continued to grow in popularity and success for the next 15 years. In 2007, HITS debuted its newest facility, the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California, just five miles from the former Indio location. The newest addition to the HITS facilities, the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California is one of the largest hunter/jumper horse show venues in the United States and is the new home to the HITS Desert Circuit.

This 230-acre, state-of-the-art facility officially opened in January of 2007 and boasts more than $20 million in improvements over the former location in Indio, including stabling for more than 3,400 horses and 14 competition rings, featuring a covered ring for all FEI World Cup Qualifiers offered at Thermal. The Desert Circuit has been a mainstay of West Coast competition for the past 19 years and offers classes ranging from Grand Prix show jumping to a selection of divisions for both the novice and experienced rider. In addition to offering more than 250 different classes each week, four of the 16 Grand Prix events at HITS Thermal are FEI World Cup qualifiers. Each year, more than 3,000 horses, 10,500 horsemen and 25,000 spectators attend HITS Thermal and more than $1.5 million in prize money is awarded.

The economic impact of the HITS Desert Circuit on the surrounding community is estimated to be more than $120 million, which reflects spending on food, lodging, living expenses and entertainment in the area during the eight-week circuit.

ON-SITE SCHOOL: For information on HITS' School Station please contact Mary Cunning 802.318.6924 or 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



Photo Credit: Richard Spooner competes at the 2008 HITS Desert Circuit.

Photo © 2008 Flying Horse Photography. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.



 

Reader Comments

Be the first to submit a comment on this article!

 

Submit your comments

Name:
Url (Include http:// ): *optional
Email: (will not be displayed)

Comments:


HTML tags not allowed. URL's preceded by http:// will automatically display as links.
  Sign me up for the free EquestrianMag newsletter. We will never share or sell your email address.
Spam Protection 2 + 2 =
 

 

Link to this article

----------------------   It's easy! Just copy code below and paste into your webpage     --------------------

<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/hits-desert-circuit-jumper-schedule-12-08.html">HITS Desert Circuit Offers Complete Jumper Schedule and High Performance Classes</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your link will appear like this:
HITS Desert Circuit Offers Complete Jumper Schedule and High Performance Classes ~ EquestrianMag.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equestrianmag.com and all site contents are Copyright © 2004-2017 Sostre & Associates   Privacy Policy   User Agreement

Equestrianmag.com is a member of American Horse Publications

Developed by Sostre & Associates

 

Table '404073_sostrein_content.views' doesn't exist