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HITS extends the 2009 Ocala Winter Circuit with a new rated week and schedule for the season

OCALA, FL (September 5, 2008) – HITS is pleased to announce that the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will feature a sixth week of AA-rated competition. The new week, named the Ocala Winter Celebration, will take place March 10-15, 2009 and serve as the climactic end of the circuit with several championship classes, including the featured class the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group.

"This is a great addition to the Ocala Circuit, and one we've wanted to make for some time now," said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. "We had a terrific season last year and I'm looking forward to being able to offer our Ocala exhibitors something fresh and exciting for 2009."

The 2008 season at HITS Ocala saw record numbers of exhibitors. The Circuit has consistently grown in popularity year after year. The property is centrally located in the heart of horse country, Florida's Marion County, which is known as the Horse Capital of the World. One of the aspects of the winter circuit at Ocala that is probably most unique is the fact that HITS offers competition and opportunities for every level of rider, from beginner all the way to Grand Prix. Exhibitors who frequent the circuit find the grounds and culture at HITS Ocala to be a welcoming one that offers a well-rounded and high-caliber competition atmosphere.

Callan Solem, an accomplished Grand Prix rider and a regular at HITS Ocala, is excited about the upcoming season. "We always stay in Ocala an extra week because the weather is really nice that time of year and now being able to show is an added bonus," said Solem. "I was thrilled when I heard that there will be an extra week in Ocala this coming year!"

With the addition of the sixth rated week, the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit now offers exhibitors eight fun-filled weeks of competition starting with two consecutive pre-circuit shows, which begin on January 14. The rated series kicks off on February 3 and will continue until Sunday, March 15.

In honor of the extra week, HITS has freshened up the schedule for Ocala with some exciting new classes and increased prize money. Highlights include:

Pre-Circuit (1/14-25): $20,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Jumper Championship.

Ocala Winter Festival (Week II: 2/10-15): The Central Equine Relay returns on Friday night. The weekend features the $25,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High and $15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low Classics.

Ocala Masters (Week III: 2/17-22 – President's Week): An all-new Hunter schedule, plus on Saturday night the $15,000 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Adult Jumper Classic in the Grand Prix ring. Then on Sunday the $10,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic in the Main Hunter ring, the $10,000 Junior Hunter Classic in the Grand Prix ring and a $75,000 Strongid® C2XTM Grand Prix close out the week.

Ocala Tournament (Week IV: 2/24-3/1): $5,000 Children’s Hunter Classic on Saturday night.

Ocala Winter Finals (Week V: 3/3-8): $10,000 ASG Software Solutions USHJA International Hunter Derby Classic Saturday night and the all-new $5,000 Pony Commotion will take place on Sunday morning in the Grand Prix ring.

Ocala Winter Celebration (Week VI: 3/10-15):$25,000 Team Barber Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High and $15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Low Classics followed by the $5,000 Adult Hunter Classic on Saturday night. The season closes out with the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, Parade of Champions and the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group on Sunday.

As always, HITS Ocala will offer nearly one hundred Circuit Awards in 2009 to recognize the tremendous effort and achievements of exhibitors from all over the country. In addition, HITS Ocala is sanctioned by several organizations, including AHJF, CFHJA, FSHJA, GHJA, M&S League, NCHJA, NFHJA, SCHJA, USEF, USGPL, UHJA and new for 2009, the WTHJA.

The 2009 HITS Ocala prize list is currently in production and will be mailed in mid-October. To request a prize list, or for more information on the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please visit http://www.HitsShows.com.

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: © 2008 Lili Weik Photography; Callan Solem and Mianta win the $50,000 Duggan Equipment Grand Prix at the 2008 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.


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