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Canadian Kim Farlinger and her Mount Cordoba Win the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix

THERMAL, CA (February 8, 2008)--It's amazing what a difference a few days can make! Just ask Kim Farlinger who had an unlucky fall off her mount Cordoba in last Sunday's $125,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by EMO at HITS Thermal. The Canadian pulled off a complete 180-degree turn aboard Cordoba when she outlasted a field of 38 combinations to capture the blue ribbon in Thursday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Thermal.

Farlinger had the only clear round on course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio's tough route to secure $7,500 in prize money for owner Peter Farlinger. Cordoba is 10 and has been with Farlinger for the last three years. When asked what her strategy was to master the route that tripped up some of the top equestrians in the world, Farlinger joked, "I tried to leave all the jumps up."

Farlinger was 15th in the order and stopped the clocks well under the 87 seconds allowed by D'Ambrosio when she finished the round in 84.236 seconds. Richard Spooner and Quirno 3 had one time fault to grab the red ribbon for Oscany, Inc. Spooner, the HITS Desert Circuit's all-time leading money winner, had four horses in the money, including Ezrah who finished third. In total, Spooner collected $9,500 in prize money on the afternoon.

"The course was a lot tougher than I thought it would be," said D'Ambrosio. "There were a lot of pairs with four faults and Richard Spooner had a time fault. It could have gone either way."

After last Sunday's Grand Prix, Farlinger schooled Cordoba on Monday and Tuesday and showed him in both the level 6 and level 7 classes during the week to get him back on track. "Cordoba is a funny guy," said Farlinger. "Today he was great! If he keeps it up we will have a tremendous finish at Thermal with all that prize money still up for grabs."

With the victory, Farlinger earned some valuable points towards the $200,000 Invitational Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, March 16 during the all new Championship Week at HITS Thermal. The top-30 pairs based on prize money won on the 2008 HITS Desert Circuit will be invited to compete in the class.

The Grand Prix action continues on Friday, February 8 when 20 of the best riders in the world shoot it out for the winner's share of the prize money and valuable FEI World Cup Points during the $50,000 Tourneau FEI World Cup Qualifier, presented by Adequan. On Sunday, February 10 another $50,000 in prize money is on the line during the $50,000 Purina Mills Grand Prix.

DC III also features several fun out-of-ring activities. On Saturday, February 9 the HITS Thermal Equine Idol will take place when exhibitors will sing their hearts out for great prizes and bragging rights. The judges for the contest will be Mark Bone of Huntover Farm, John French of Waldenbrook Farm and Kathy Hobstetter of ShowBiz Magazine. The party starts at 6 pm and will have free food and a cash bar for all exhibitors to enjoy.

Finally, the ever-popular Kids Day returns to HITS Thermal on Sunday, February 10 from 12 to 2 pm. The afternoon is full of family fun and entertainment. Children will be treated to free pony rides and a petting zoo, a 25-foot-race car slide, pumper fire truck tunnel, face painting, clowns and a very special Grand Prix rider autograph session.

HITS Thermal hosts WCAR Clinic with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum

Show-jumping icon Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum held a special clinic at HITS Thermal on Thursday night. Beerbaum is American-born but has been riding for Germany since 1998. Highlighting her impressive list of individual accolades, in 1994 she was the first woman to reach the number one spot on the FEI show jumping world rankings list, a spot she held for four consecutive months. Once again, she is on top of the world rankings list

An enthusiastic crowd watched the special two-hour clinic and enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres after the event. "WCAR is privileged to have had the opportunity to have Meredith come to Thermal for this special clinic," said WCAR Executive Director Kathy Hobstetter. "It went great and I appreciate the support and help from HITS. The staff at HITS absolutely went above and beyond on this one."

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

İFlying Horse Photography

Kim Farlinger and Cordoba win the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix at HITS Thermal


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