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Ford Sponsors $150,000 Grand Prix at Indio Desert Circuit for Fifth Consecutive Year

SAUGERTIES, NY (January 27, 2004)—Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) is pleased to welcome Ford Motor Company back to Indio as the Official Vehicle for the 2004 Indio Desert Circuit, and the title sponsor of the $150,000 Ford Grand Prix for the fifth consecutive year.

Thanks to Ford's generous sponsorship over the past five years, the $150,000 Ford Grand Prix has grown in prestige to become one of the most highly anticipated Grand Prix events of the year. On Sunday, March 14th at 2pm, the top Grand Prix riders in the country will compete for the largest single purse awarded over the six weeks of competition at the Indio Desert Circuit.

The purse alone brings media focus to the Grand Prix, but added attention is generated by the fact that it is the last World Cup qualifying event for the West Coast. The results of the Ford Grand Prix of the Desert will determine which three riders from the West Coast will compete in the World Cup Finals to be held in Milan, Italy, April 21-25. With so much at stake, the air runs electric in the Grand Prix Field for this event, and it always lives up to the excitement level everyone has come to expect.

Rome Murphy, Ford Division's California Marketing Manager, says he continues to be pleased with the response the HITS sponsorship has generated for Ford. Our products meet the needs of all the participants and exhibitors at the equestrian events. From the Ranger pickup for the light duty needs, the F-150 series that offers the largest towing capacity in its class to the F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, F-650 and F-750. Everyone who stops by our display can find a truck that will fit their application and towing requirements.

Mr. Murphy said that the new trucks are designed for functionality and comfort. From the most basic interiors for work and field trucks to the most luxurious interiors found in the Lariat and King Ranch. The new 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel offers increased power and torque, improved fuel efficiency, lower emissions and a quieter range of operation.

In 2004 at Indio, Ford has the "all new" F-150, Super-Duty trucks and SUV's available for inspection. "We're always upgrading our products to meet the ever-increasing demand of the consumers," said Murphy.

Representatives from Ford Motor Company and the local Fiesta Ford dealership will be on-site throughout the Desert Circuit.

Nicole Shahinian-Simpson on Cirka Z - winners of last year's $150,000 Ford Grand Prix
The $150,000 Ford Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, March 14th, at 2 pm in the Grand Prix Field of the HITS Desert Horse Park show grounds.

HITS is the largest producer of hunter/jumper horse shows in the U.S., operating five show grounds nationwide—the Ocala Winter Circuit in Florida; Indio Desert Circuit in California; Arizona Winter Circuit in Tucson; HITS Culpeper in Virginia; and the newest addition, HITS On The Hudson, which will premiere in May of this year. In the fall, HITS will present the second annual Marshall & Sterling League National Indoor Finals to be held at Worcester's Centrum Centre, Worcester, Massachusetts. For further information, please visit


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