HITS Desert Circuit Grand Prix Schedule Features Four FEI World Cup Classes and $300,000 Finale
RELEASE: September 24, 2009
All 16 Events Are Qualifiers for the 2010 $1-Million United States Grand Prix League Grand Prix
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce its grand prix schedule for the 2010 HITS Desert Circuit in Thermal, CA. This year's schedule features 16 grand prix classes held over six weeks of competition, and $800,000 in total prize money will be awarded. There will be four FEI World Cup qualifying classes, and the grand finale is a $300,000 grand prix on Sunday, March 14.
The 2010 HITS Desert Circuit Dates and Grand Prix Schedule are as follows:
— DC I: January 26-31 - $25,000 Grand Prix on Friday; $50,000 Grand Prix on Sunday
— DC II (World Cup Week): February 2-7 - $25,000 Grand Prix on Thursday in the Indoor Arena; $50,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix on Saturday night in the Indoor Arena; $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday outdoors
— DC III (World Cup Week): February 9-14 - $25,000 Grand Prix on Thursday in the Indoor Arena; $50,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix on Saturday night in the Indoor Arena; $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday outdoors
OFF-WEEK: February 16-21
— DC IV (World Cup Week): February 23-28 - $25,000 Grand Prix on Thursday in the Indoor Arena; $50,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix on Saturday night in the Indoor Arena; $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday outdoors
— DC V (World Cup Week): March 2-7 - $25,000 Grand Prix on Thursday in the Indoor Arena; $50,000 World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix on Saturday night in the Indoor Arena; $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday outdoors
— DC VI: March 9-14 - $25,000 Grand Prix on Friday; $300,000 Grand Prix on Sunday
Canada's Olympic Silver medalist Jill Henselwood has been showing at the HITS Desert Circuit for a number of years and plans to once again make Thermal her home-away-from-home this winter.
"HITS always keeps it interesting, with great prize money and now an exciting $1-million grand prix to look forward to," said Henselwood. "The last few years at Thermal have really helped to make my horses ready to compete in the World Cups, Olympics and other international events for Team Canada."
The four World Cup qualifiers will be held in the highly-praised indoor arena that HITS has, which provides riders with a very good preparation for the World Cup Finals. This year, HITS will also provide an indoor schooling ring for this arena.
She went on to say, "The indoor arena at Thermal is a reflection of what it's like to compete at the international level, and it provides exceptional preparation for the riders and our horses. The crowd, difficulty level, and the look of the jumps helps condition the horses to the atmosphere they will face at that level. Plus, the outdoor grand prix events are also great because the younger horses, who are not ready for the indoor competition, have an opportunity to grow during the circuit. That's great for me because I have some younger horses that I will be bringing this year, and I'm very much looking to the future with this new stock of horses. I'll have some exciting new faces with me in addition to Special Ed, who will be preparing in Thermal for the Canadian World Equestrian Games Trials."
Top grand prix rider Mandy Porter of ACP Enterprises, Inc., in Encinitas, CA, was another rider who benefited from the indoor arena experience at last year's HITS Desert Circuit. She and her mount San Diego won two grand prix classes in one week, including the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X FEI World Cup qualifier presented by Adequan during week two.
"I think it's very beneficial to have the indoor arena for World Cup qualifiers at Thermal. It helped those of us on the West Coast to be much more prepared for the World Cup Finals. My horse didn't have experience at that level, and showing in the arena gave us a chance to see whether or not it was something he'd be capable of doing," Porter explained. "It was a very