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Changes Afoot at Post Time for 2004 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit

Saugerties, NY (January 20, 2004)Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) is pleased to present the 2004 HITS Ocala Winter Circuitthe circuit will run for seven weeks from January 21-M arch 14, at Post Time, a beautiful 300+ acre property located right in the heart of Ocala horse country.

For the 2004 season, HITS has made some significant improvements to the showgrounds at Post Time. To accommodate the growing number of horses, HITS has reconfigured the two main hunter rings and added two new schooling areas to match. In addition, a new redesigned and enlarged jumper ring will provide an excellent opportunity for horses and riders to get greater experience before moving up and showing in the Grand Prix Ring.

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 for 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 King Shavings Grand Prix of Ocala. 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. 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. EMO Insurance will sponsor a $50,000 Grand Prix, while Peterson & Smith will sponsor a $25,000 Grand Prix. Marshall & Sterling returns to sponsor the Marshall & Sterling League classes including the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling League Children's/Adult Jumper Classic and the $25,000 Marshall & Sterling League Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic. The HBO Junior Medal and the Charles Owen Children's and Adult Medals are an integral part of the 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 qualifying for the National Indoor Finals to be held September 22-26 at Worcester's Centrum Centre, Worcester, Massachusetts.

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: 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 Red Hook, 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. Michel Vaillancourt, Schomberg, Ontario, winner of the individual Silver Medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, 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; Marion Therapeutic Riding Association; 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.

Ocala January 1 - January 21-25
Ocala January 2 - January 28-Feb 1
Off week - no show February 4-8
Ocala Winter Classic I - February 11-15
Ocala Winter Festival II - February 18-22
Ocala Masters III - February 25-29
Ocala Tournament IV March 3-7
Ocala Winter Finals V - March 10-14

$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, January 25 at 1:00pm
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, February 1 at 1:00pm
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Thursday, February 12 at 1:00pm
$50,000 EMO Grand Prix - Sunday, February 15 at 1:00pm
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Thursday, February 19 at 1:00pm
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, February 22 at 1:00pm
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Thursday, February 26 at 1:00pm
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, February 29 at 1:00pm
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Thursday, March 4 at 1:00pm
$50,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, March 7 at 1:00pm
$25,000 Marshall & Sterling Junior / Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic - Sunday, March 14 at 10:00am
$25,000 Marshall & Sterling Child / Adult Jumper Classic Sunday, March 14 at 12:00 noon
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Thursday, March 11 at 1:00pm
$100,000 King Shavings Grand Prix of Ocala presented by Great American Insurance - Sunday, March 14 at 2:00pm

Kids Day - Sunday, February 29
Grand Finale - Sunday, March 14
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:


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