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HITS Desert Circuit Takes Advice and Suggestions from Trainers' Committee for 2009 Shows

Thermal, CA - July 17, 2008 - The HITS Desert Circuit will be held in Thermal, CA, from January 20 to March 22, 2009. The first-class horse show will feature eight weeks of competition for hunters and jumpers. HITS, Inc. has been working closely with their West Coast Trainers' Committee since last year's HITS Desert Circuit to implement changes from the advice gathered during discussions with these well-respected industry professionals.

As a result of the meetings with the Trainers' Committee, HITS is proud to announce that numerous ideas received for improvements have already been scheduled to be made to the Thermal facility. "We see the trainers as our partners," said HITS Inc. President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. "Their customers are also our customers. We want to have open and honest communication with trainers, owners, and riders at our shows. Their feedback is invaluable to us and has enabled us to prioritize our efforts on the things that will make the biggest impact on their enjoyment of the shows."

From each meeting, HITS comes away with a laundry list of ideas, takes input, and prioritizes what can be done for the horse show. Struzzieri was in Thermal last week to assess the property, what has been done, and the plans for the property that are yet to be finished.

For 2009, HITS is working on adjusting the timing of the nomination fees and eliminating the special class late fees, giving riders more flexibility as the circuit progresses. The schedule for Young Jumper classes was also discussed, as was the table selection for lower level jumper divisions. HITS is working to incorporate the suggestions from the Committee relating to this into the 2009 schedule.

On the conference call, Struzzieri listed the aesthetic and functional aspects that have already been implemented and those planned to be completed at the HITS Desert Horse Park in time for the start of the 2009 circuit. Included in that list are two newly constructed berms to function as wind protection. The first berm will be installed on the west side of the property and another will be installed in the camper area. Wind protection was another topic that was presented by the Committee as an important area of focus for the coming season.

"We have invested millions of dollars again this year in improving the HITS Desert Horse Park," Struzzieri emphasized. "We are deeply committed to this site and making it the best facility in the United States. I'm very excited with what we've accomplished so far in Thermal and where we are headed with the property."

In addition, new portable tents and stalls are beginning to arrive on-site in preparation for the much-anticipated new temporary stabling that HITS will offer in 2009.

Great strides have been made at HITS Desert Horse Park this year, and even more exciting changes are planned in the next seven months leading up to the start of the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit. HITS is dedicated to improving the facility through the team communication with riders, trainers, and owners that attend their shows.

The 2009 HITS Desert Circuit Prize List is under way with plans to mail in the fall. The next Trainer Committee conference call will be scheduled for mid-fall when the group will discuss progress to date and the final preparations for the 2009 season.

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

DC III, February 3-8

OFF-WEEK, February 9-15

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

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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