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USA to present the Catena Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Award at HITS Ocala and HITS Thermal

SAUGERTIES, NY (December 23, 2008)--HITS is pleased to announce that Catena, USA will sponsor the Catena Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Award that will be presented to the leading female Grand Prix rider based on Grand Prix prize money won at both HITS Ocala and HITS Thermal in 2009.

The presentation of the prestigious Leading Lady Award will contribute to a pair of great finales on both coasts. In Ocala, the Catena Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Award will be awarded at the conclusion of the $100,000 DeLuca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Group on Sunday, March 15 during the all-new Ocala Winter Celebration horse show.

Odds-on favorites to be presented a brand-new Catena watch include Tracy Fenney, Patty Stovel, Tracy Magness, Beth Underhill, Michelle Spadone and Callan Solem. In fact, Fenney was the leading Grand Prix rider in Ocala in 2008, while Magness took the top honors in 2007.

"It's nice to recognize the women in the sport," said Solem. "I think it's a fantastic award and certainly something extra to shoot for."

While the East Coast has its share of fantastic female Grand Prix riders, HITS Thermal also features some of the best female riders in the sport, including Canadian Olympic Silver Medal winner Jill Henselwood. Other top female riders with an inside track on the Catena Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider Award include Joie Gatlin, Mandy Porter, Jill Humphrey, Kim Farlinger, Jenn Serek, Helen McNaught, Keri Potter, Katherine Bardis and Ashlee Bond.

The presentation of the Leading Rider Award during the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit will take place after the $150,000 Grand Prix of the Desert on Sunday, March 22.

The watch that will be awarded to the top female Grand Prix rider at each circuit will feature 29 hand-cut diamonds and a white mother-of-pearl dial with 12 diamonds on the dial of the timepiece."Wow, that's awesome! I am very excited and appreciative of Catena's sponsorship of the sport," said Gatlin. "What a great addition to HITS Thermal!"

The time honored standards of Swiss-watch making excellence have been synonymous with Catena since 1950. Catena continues that tradition by combining Swiss craftsmanship and artistry with the latest technology to design a collection of truly unique equestrian timepieces. Today, Catena benefits from the experience and knowhow of the third and fourth generations of a Swiss family of watchmakers. For more information on Catena, please visit http://www.catenausa.com.

Show jumping at HITS Ocala gets the ball rolling for HITS winter horse shows on Wednesday, January 14 for the first of two unrated weeks of horse shows. After a week off, HITS Ocala will resume with six consecutive weeks of AA-rated competition lasting throughout the winter in the heart of horse country. On the West Coast, action starts at HITS Thermal on Tuesday, January 20 with the first of eight weeks of AA-rated competition.

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: ŠLili Weik Photography; Callan Solem and Mianta compete during the 2008 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.


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