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HITS Desert Circuit to Host Four World Cup Qualifiers in 2009

Thermal, CA - July 28, 2008 - The HITS Desert Circuit, which runs from January 20 to March 22, 2009, is the biggest horse show venue on the West Coast, and it is the place to be this winter to see top High Performance sport.

The HITS Desert Circuit will have eight weeks of competition in 2009 and will host four World Cup Qualifiers in the covered arena. At last year's HITS Desert Circuit, Rich Fellers and his amazing horse Flexible won three World Cup qualifiers. They attended their first Rolex FEI World Cup Finals together in Gothenburg, Sweden, this past April and finished second among the best horses and riders in the world.

Fellers attributed part of his success to the preparation that he achieved at the HITS Desert Circuit in the covered arena. The HITS Desert Circuit is one of the few indoor venues for World Cup qualifiers in the United States, and Fellers said, "There is no doubt in my mind that riding in the covered arena really helped me, as a rider, be as prepared as I could be for the World Cup."

This year's Rolex FEI World Cup Finals will be held just one state over in Las Vegas, NV, and is only a four-hour drive from the HITS Desert Circuit. As an added bonus for horses and riders, the HITS Desert Horse Park will remain open after the circuit ends to accommodate stabling for those who need to lay-over before traveling to Las Vegas.

The HITS Desert Circuit will award more than $2 million in prize money next year, and there are at least two Grand Prix events every week. Special nighttime events will also be held in the covered arena, which adds fun classes and exciting events to the schedule. People from all over the West Coast, Canada, Mexico and beyond will travel to Thermal, CA, to see the best in show jumping compete for a chance to represent the United States or their home country in international competition.

HITS West Coast Management Team member Dale Harvey explained that with the World Cup qualifiers comes a responsibility to present the classes as a sport to the public and equestrians alike and as entertainment for everyone. He said, "It's about getting away from the standard production of a horse show, which is about many rings and classes, and more about offering it as a show to the public. I think at Thermal (that is) what we're really trying to do, particularly with the indoor and the evening classes. It's difficult with that many weeks (of competition). We're trying to showcase the World Cup grand prix (classes) and other special events in the covered arena as something special and for the public."

To see some of the best show jumping competition in the United States next year, make your plans to visit and show at the HITS Desert Circuit. For more information, 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



Photo Credit: Rich Fellers and Flexible won three World Cup Qualifiers last year at HITS Desert Circuit and finished second at the 2008 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals. Photo (C) 2008 Flying Horse Photography. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

 

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