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Joie Gatlin wins the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix at HITS Tucson

TUCSON, ARIZONA (February 9, 2009)--California show jumping superstar Joie Gatlin was quick to wear out her welcome at HITS Arizona when she captured the blue aboard SunCal's King in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix to conclude Week II, the Kachina Classic at the Pima County Fairgrounds, in Tucson, Arizona.

"I think everyone in Tucson was happy to see me come and I think they are even happier to see me go," joked Gatlin.

The California girl got the best of 28 riders in the first round and an additional 13 that advanced to the jump-off route en route to taking the first-place check of $7,500. "I really enjoyed competing in Arizona," said Gatlin. "Everyone here was so friendly and I am glad that I invested the time to come to Tucson and compete."

Gatlin had two horses in the money, as she also placed seventh aboard her up-and-coming mount Twindoline. In all, Gatlin collected $8,500 in Sunday's featured class.

Rounding out the top finishers during the Kachina Classic were Brandie Holloway, who rode Hays Investment's Argentina to a red ribbon and Elani Rager who piloted her mount Chamonix to a third-pace effort.

Show jumping action at HITS Arizona continues next week with the Tucson Winter Classic and will feature 80 different divisions with more than 250 classes offered to riders of every level, from beginner to Grand Prix and is highlighted by the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix on Sunday, February 15.

The six-week HITS Arizona Winter Circuit has been a staple of the West Coast show circuits for many years. HITS took over production of the circuit in 1991. Exhibitors who show at HITS Arizona gain valuable experience in the show ring under the eye of some of the country's top judges.

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 Credit: Deb Dawson Photography

Photo Caption: Joie Gatlin in the irons aboard SunCal's King in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.


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