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HITS Ocala Winter Circuit Enjoys Second Year at Post Time

Saugerties, NY (January 15, 2003)--The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will begin a second season at its new site, Post Time, a 300+ acre property purchased by Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) in 2001. The circuit will run for seven weeks from January 15 to March 9, 2003. HITS has added two new weeks to the schedule this year, January 15-19 and January 22-26, giving exhibitors the opportunity to start their season off early.

The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit will feature more than 250 classes each week and will award over $1 million in prize money. A $25,000 Grand Prix will highlight each Sunday of weeks 1 and 2, and every Thursday of the remaining five weeks. A $50,000 Grand Prix will be offered each Sunday for weeks 3 through 6. Week 7, the finale to the Ocala Winter Circuit, will feature the $100,000 Volvo Grand Prix, presented by Great American Insurance Companies. Approximately 2,000 horses and 4,500 horsemen from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Europe are expected to be on the grounds each week.

The HITS Post Time show grounds will present competition in ten all-weather show rings Wednesday through Sunday from 8am to approximately 4pm. Admission is free Wednesday through Saturday, and the $5 per person ticket sales on Sunday will benefit local charities. Children under 12 are always admitted at no charge and parking is always free. New improvements to the show grounds for the 2003 season include; a Hunter VIP tent with table seating, new Hunter ring, and several new schooling areas. The Vendor Courtyard with over a dozen shops will offer quality equestrian merchandise from tack to 14K gold jewelry. More than 10,000 spectators are expected to visit the show grounds during the circuit.

Corporate sponsorship of the Ocala Winter Circuit has seen further growth this year. Marshall & Sterling returns to sponsor the New Marshall & Sterling League classes including, the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling Children's/Adult Jumper Classic, presented by Corona Lexol. The HBO Junior Medal and the Charles Owen Children's and Adult Medals are an integral part of the new League, and will be offered during each week of the Ocala Winter Circuit. Stillwell-Hansen and Four Winds Farm are showing their support for the League's Pre-Green Hunter Division, while The Equestrian Shop supports the Pony Hunter Division. Exhibitors will compete in Marshall & Sterling League classes to earn points towards a qualification for the National Indoor Finals to be held September 17-21 at Worcester's Centrum Centre, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Rio Vista Products and EMO Insurance will each sponsor a $50,000 Grand Prix, while Adequan and Peterson & Smith will each sponsor a $25,000 Grand Prix. State Line Tack will sponsor the Adult Amateur Hunter Division at the Ocala Winter Circuit, as well as at all other HITS horse show circuits. Volvo is the title sponsor of the grand finale to the Ocala Winter Circuit, the $100,000 Grand Prix, with Great American Insurance Companies as the presenting sponsor. Merial, maker of GastroGard, is another leading sponsor of the Ocala Winter Circuit. The company will be performing a complimentary scooping of horses at the show grounds.

World-class course designers with Olympic and Pan American Games experience will be flown in each week to design the jump courses in the Grand Prix field. This year, the course builders are: William "Buddy" Brown, Wellington, Florida, who competed at the Olympic Games in Montreal. Danny Foster, Ontario, Canada, a former show jumper who won an individual Gold Medal and Team Silver Medal at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba. Anthony D'Amrosio from Mt. Kisco, New York, winner of 32 Grand Prixs, two-time world record holder for the indoor puissance, and trainer of four horses that competed in the Olympic Games. Leopoldo Palacios, Caracas, Venezuela, former international show jumping competitor and designer of the show jumping courses utilized at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and former Grand Prix rider Javier Fernandez of Jalisco, Mexico.

HITS Ocala Winter Circuit showcases the week's winning riders in special 'Champions of the Week' presentations held every Sunday in the Grand Prix field prior to the Grand Prix show jumping event. Bayer Corporation and Legend, will present the Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider Award and the Bayer Legend Leading Jumper Rider Award during these presentations. The leading hunter and jumper riders will receive a Bayer Legend jacket, similar to the jacket supplied by Bayer to the United States Equestrian Team members who competed at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

Charities and charity events are also an integral part of the Ocala Winter Circuit. Local charities are the ticket-takers on Sundays. HITS donates 100% of the gate receipts to these charities. This year the charities are Silver River Marine Institute; Interfaith Emergency Services; Arnette House; Children's Home Society; and Take Stock in Children.

The Ocala Winter Circuit not only benefits local charities, but also economically impacts the community surrounding the show grounds. Based on an average stay of 30 nights, horse show participants buy clothes, horse feed, lumber, flowers and other products during the five-week event, spending approximately $30 million.

NEW HITS Ocala - January 15-19
NEW HITS Ocala - January 22-26
Off week - no show January 29-February 2
Ocala Winter Classic - February 5-9
Ocala Winter Festival - February 12-16
Ocala Masters - February 19-23
Ocala Tournament - February 26-March 2
Ocala Winter Finals - March 5-9

$25,000 Grand Prix - Sunday, January 19 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Grand Prix - Sunday, January 26 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Grand Prix - Thurs., February 6 at 1:00pm
$50,000 EMO Grand Prix - Sunday, February 9 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Adequan Grand Prix - Thurs., February 13 at 1:00pm
$50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix - Sunday, February 16 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Peterson & Smith Grand Prix - Thurs., February 20 at 1:00pm
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, February 23 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Grand Prix - Thurs., February 27 at 1:00pm
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, March 2 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Grand Prix - Thurs., March 6 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Junior / Amatur-Owner Jumper Classic - Sunday, March 9 at 10:00am
$100,000 Volvo Grand Prix of Ocala presented by Great American Insurance - Sunday, March 9 at 2:00pm

Ocala Welcome Brunch - Sunday, February 9
Family Day - Sunday, February 23
Grand Finale - Sunday, March 9
Champions of the Week Presentations are held on Sundays prior to the 1:00pm Grand Prix.

POST TIME TRAINING FARM - 13710 U.S. Hwy 27; Ocala, Florida 34482; Tel: 352-620-2275. Website:

HORSE SHOWS IN THE SUN - HITS Corporate; 319 Main Street, Saugerties, New York 12477; 845-246-8833; Fax: 845-246-6731; website:

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