HITS, Inc., Announces Updates on Improvements to Thermal Facility
RELEASE: October 30, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
HITS, Inc., is pleased to announce its latest updates on the improvements happening at the HITS Desert Horse Park for the upcoming season. The site will hold the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit, an eight-week circuit of horse shows held from January 20 to March 22. HITS has worked with a committee of horse owners, riders and trainers that compete at the HITS Desert Circuit to improve their facility and give competitors a way to voice their opinions and concerns. Many improvements have been made since last year's show.
One of the most exciting changes to this year's program are the scheduling changes. These include new classes to be featured in the indoor ring in addition to the four World Cup qualifying grand prix events. These new, special classes will bring excitement and fun to the schedule and give riders outside of the high-performance division a chance to compete in the indoor ring.
A total of 16 grand prix events will be held during the eight-week circuit, including the four World Cup qualifiers. The season finale for high-performance riders is the $150,000 grand prix in Week Eight. In addition to these grand prix classes, the Ronnie Mutch Equitation Classic will return for junior riders, and the highlight for hunters will be two installments of the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.
By having regular conference calls with the committee, HITS has been able to prioritize changes and improvements to the horse show grounds themselves. These include berms placed across the property for wind protection. One berm has been built around the perimeter of the west side of the property. Another is nearing completion in the RV park. The berm between hunter rings 1 and 2 is nearly complete. This new area will house a second VIP area overlooking the hunter rings, and credentials from the main VIP Club will provide access to the Hunter VIP tent as well. The new hunter VIP tent will offer continental breakfast and beverage service, while the Oasis Club will continue to offer a full breakfast and lunch service Wednesday through Sunday.
Due to the new berm between the rings, the lights posts and road have been moved to improve traffic flow. All of the berms that are between hunter rings will be given new grass landscaping to match the grand prix ring berm. In addition to artificial grass surrounding the hunter berms, other landscaping projects are under way for the season. The trees and flowers that were planted over the past two seasons have started to mature and are making the HITS Desert Horse Park bloom beautifully.
Hunter riders will be pleased to know that the footing has been updated in hunter rings 1 and 2. The new footing that was installed matches what was used in the grand prix and indoor rings in 2008, to rave reviews.
The VIP Oasis Club will have wind protection as well this coming year since the north and west sides of the building have been enclosed. HITS has worked with the same builder who designed the club, and it will include windows on the west side so that occupants will be able to view hunter ring 1 as well.
New booths for in-gate personnel are currently being built for every show ring. This will help with organization and safety at the rings.
For those competing in the high-performance divisions, new entry procedures have been implemented. The adjusted policies for nominating high-performances horses no longer have penalties for late nominations or changing nominations. Full details on all the entry policies and the new schedules are available in the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit Prize List
The new temporary stalls and new tents have arrived on the grounds and will be installed and ready for the 2009 circuit. These 2,400 new stalls feature wood and steel dividers and were very popular when they debuted this summer at HITS Saugerties.
Course Decorator Flora Baptiston has been hired for the 2009 circuit. Baptiston was