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Kyle King is victorious in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit

OCALA, FL (January 26, 2009)—Two unrated weeks of horse shows came to a close on Sunday afternoon at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Florida when Kyle King won the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix aboard Niki Gogette's Gigolo to secure $7,500 in first-place prize money and wrap up the HITS Ocala Pre-Circuit 2.

King outlasted 27 riders on Course Designer Jamie Alder’s opening round course and an additional 14 that advanced to his jump-off track en route to winning the blue for the second consecutive Sunday. Last Sunday, King was in the winner’s circle aboard Blair Cudmore's Paola.

"Gigolo is a really nice horse that I’ve just begun to ride. We competed in the Grand Prix Saturday night in Jacksonville and went clean in the first round but had a rail down in the jump-off," said King. "He is just a naturally fast horse with a big stride."

King and Gigolo were one of seven duos to post double-clear efforts in Sunday’s feature class. Sharn Wordley laid down the first clear round of the jump-off when he went fifth aboard his mount Epsom Pierreville. They stopped the clocks in 36.311 to finish in third place.

King and Gigolo went next in the order and set the new Great American Time to Beat at 33.465 to establish a time that no other pair competing in the jump-off could catch.

"It was a very nice tune up for the rated shows," said King. "The course was not horribly scopey or over the top. It was great because most of the horses are just getting started."

Also jumping double clear in Sunday's $25,000 HITS Grand Prix were Tracy Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude, Deborah Connor and Hiberia Rouge, Callan Solem and Allison, Hugh Graham and Executive Privilege 3E and Kirk Webby and Hennessey to finish second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

"It was great to see the horses jumping well so early on in the season," said Alder. "I wanted to make this course nice and inviting for all of the horses. Sunday's Grand Prix was a perfect ending to the two unrated weeks."

The HITS Ocala Pre-Circuit 2 also featured The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Center Exhibitor Party. Exhibitors were treated to refreshments, heavy hors d'oeuvres, exhibitions and seminars. Over 150 exhibitors enjoyed a great evening at The Sanctuary. For those arriving at HITS Ocala for the rated shows, The Sanctuary will be hosting a Welcome Party on Friday, February 7 from 5 pm to 9 pm. For more information, please contact Brenda McDuffee at The Sanctuary at sanctuaryestrc@aol.com.

The 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit now takes a one-week break before returning for six consecutive weeks of rated competition in the heart of horse country. On tap for the Ocala Winter Classic is a full week of divisions and classes, including the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix and the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix.

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: ©Lili Weik Photography; Kyle King and Gigolo on course during the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix


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