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VIP Club will feature Ocala's finest restaurants during the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit

OCALA, FL (November 10, 2008)—Ocala's finest cuisine will be served in HITS Post Time Farm's VIP tent during the 2009 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, when several fabulous local restaurants will be highlighted during very special VIP gatherings each Sunday of the AA-rated horse shows.

Horse and Hounds, which has been a favorite restaurant and watering hole for HITS exhibitors for many years, will have opening day honors and provide the VIP luncheon on Sunday, February 8 and on Sunday, March 15. Crowds of HITS exhibitors can often be found at Horse and Hounds thanks in part to its close proximity to HITS Post Time Farm on Highway 27, but mostly for its lively bar and great dining experience.

"Once just isn't enough," said Wendell Landry, owner of the Horse and Hounds Restaurant. "We are thrilled to host two special VIP lunches at the horse show in 2009. And as always, we welcome all HITS exhibitors to our nearby restaurant for a few months of fine food, fine spirits and a lot of fun."

On Sunday, February 15 VIP, patrons will get a special visit from the Gauchos that patrol Ipanema Brazilian Steak House. This experience is sure to be a true indulgence of the senses as exhibitors will experience the taste and flavor of Brazil in this traditional-style Churrasco, where Gauchos will serve each VIP table from skewers of sumptuously grilled meats. Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse is located on South Pine Avenue in Southeast Ocala and is the perfect spot for large client dinners.

Felix's restaurant will cater the VIP lunch on Sunday, February 22. The historic 1890's setting of Felix's restaurant is sure to delight the HITS exhibitors. Located just past the square on Highway 40, the pink Victorian house is where award-winning dining resides, providing great aged beef, sumptuous vegetarian dishes and the attractive half-portion option. Felix's truly has the most diverse high-quality dishes that will appeal to all. While the dining is one of the best Ocala has to offer, the atmosphere is 'Ocala casual'. VIP Patrons who enjoy Felix's first fabulous luncheon in February will get a second chance to indulge on Sunday, March 8.

On Sunday, March 1 there is no need to pack a bag or spend hours on a transcontinental flight. A passport to Asia awaits during the special VIP luncheon catered by Sky Asian Fusion. Executive Chef Tony Trinidad takes ingredients from across cultural boundaries and adds a personal flare to create dishes that interpret classic Asian flavors with contemporary ingenuity. Sky Asian Fusion is located on the sixth floor of the Holiday Inn, just off of Route 200 and is considered the 'hippest' place to dine and socialize in Ocala.

Also added to the impressive roster of VIP restaurants in 2009 is the popular breakfast spot, On the Flipside Café. On the Flipside Café provides a wide selection of breakfast delights and wonderful lunches. They will provide a brunch on Saturday, February 14 in the VIP tent and then will serve an early morning breakfast on Sunday, March 8 during the popular $5,000 Pony Commotion. On the Flipside Café is located conveniently off of Interstate 75 on route 200, next to Barnes and Noble and PetSmart.

The HITS Ocala VIP Club overlooks the Grand Prix ring and the Hunter Stadium. Membership for a table seating eight includes continental breakfast Wednesday through Saturday, and the special catered lunch on Sunday. Membership for the VIP Club is only $550 per week. Membership information for the VIP Club can be found in the 2009 Ocala prize list. There are still Gold Level Sponsorships available that include a table for the entire six-week Circuit. For more information call 845-246-8833, go to HITS website http://www.HitsShows.com or e-mail Lisa@HitsShows.com.

"There is no better place to be at the show for great times with friends, fun and great food. It is truly the place to be and tables sell out quickly", said HITS' Account Executive for Cor porate Sponsorship Lisa Engel. "The VIP Club provides a bird's-eye view of the majestic Grand Prix and Main Hunter rings and on Sundays it's the perfect place to watch some of the top show jumpers on the East Coast compete."

By all accounts it looks to be another banner year for the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. So, exhibitors are encouraged to make their plans early. To help with that, HITS has some great lodging partners for this year's shows. They include 12 hotels and one long-term leasing partner. Click here to view the complete list. HITS, Inc. has negotiated special exhibitor rates at certain hotels as well, so be sure to check for special HITS customer rates for early bookings.

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: ©Chris Mayone for HITS; Hunter rider Lisa Christmann gets a visit from the Guachos during a trip to Ipanema Brazilian Steak House while in Ocala. The Brazilian Cowboys will be at HITS for a special VIP lunch on Sunday, February 15.


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