HITS Adjusts Entry Policies for the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit
RELEASE: September 11, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chris Mayone
More changes are being announced for the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit, including a new entry policy. The HITS Desert Circuit will run from January 20 to March 22 with eight weeks of competition at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, CA.
After meeting with the Thermal Advisory Committee, which consists of riders, trainers and owners who compete at the HITS Desert Circuit, one consistent theme raised by the members was the challenge that trainers and exhibitors face when attempting to enter their horses in classes for an entire circuit when the entry closing dates are far in advance of the actual horse show dates.
Consequently, it sometimes proved difficult to avoid post entry fees and scratch fees for hunters and jumpers alike. For instance, high-performance rider Joie Gatlin pointed out the dilemma of attempting to anticipate which week of the circuit a level 7-8 jumper might be sufficiently confident to start in its first grand prix. In response to the advice from the committee, HITS has embarked upon a new entry policy that will allow exhibitors to evaluate their horses each week and then make their class entries accordingly.
The new entry policy consists of four new elements. First, HITS has eliminated the late jumper nomination fee. Second, if the horse is entered as a nominated jumper but does not show in a Nominated Jumper Class there is no longer a fee for nomination. Third, exhibitors will have more leniency to nominate or declare for classes and special classes; the class and special class post entry fees have been eliminated. As always, the horse may be required to work first in the order of go. Finally, special classes may be scratched without penalty up until the day of the class. Only special classes scratched the day of the class will have a fee associated with that scratch.
HITS will continue with the entry policies from 2008 related to class scratches; regular classes may be scratched without penalty before the class starts.
"We worked hard on mapping out a policy that would be more accommodating for our exhibitors," said Donna Vale, head horse show secretary and office manager at Thermal. "In 2008, we instituted a more flexible scratch policy that went a long way to help make the process more customer-friendly and this is yet another step in that direction."
The new entry policies for the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit will be outlined in detail in the prize list, which is expected to be mailed in October.
For more information on the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit or to request a prize list, please visit www.HitsShows.com