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Catskills HITS Catskills in New York Adds Week to Summer Series and Increases Prize Money to $1,000,000

SAUGERTIES, NY (May 2, 2001)--Horse Shows In the Sun, Inc. (HITS), producer of six world class hunter/jumper horse show circuits nationwide, has announced dates for the HITS Catskills 2001 summer series of horse shows, including the addition of one more show week. A total of six horse shows will be held at the Kelly Farm in Ellenville, New York, from May to September. Each of the shows will run for five consecutive days and feature a $10,000 Welcome Stake every Wednesday, a $15,000 Open Jumper Prix every Friday, and a $100,000 Grand Prix every Sunday. "In the middle of the summer, we'll have three straight weeks of horse shows with three consecutive $100,000 Grand Prix events--that's never been done in the U.S. before," stated Tom Struzzieri, owner and president of HITS. HITS Catskills will award more than $1,000,000 in total prize money over the six-week series.

Every week, over 250 hunter, jumper and equitation competition classes will be offered. Eight all-weather rings will be in action simultaneously. Up to 2,000 horses and 3,000 horsemen are expected to be on the grounds every week including Olympians, World Cup riders, and Pan American Games veterans from across the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, and Mexico. Competition is held Wednesday through Sunday, from 8am to approximately 5pm. Spectators are admitted free Wednesday through Saturday. Tickets are $5 on Sunday with the proceeds benefiting local charities. Children 12 and under are always admitted at no charge. Parking is also free. Bleacher seating is available at all the rings. An international menu of meals and snacks is available at the HITS food service facility centrally located on the show grounds. The Vendor Courtyard features 15 to 20 shops offering horse-themed gifts, clothes, art, antiques, and jewelry.

Kicking off the season in Ellenville is HITS Catskills I, May 23-27, featuring the $100,000 EMO Grand Prix, followed by HITS Catskills II from May 30-June 3, with the finale $100,000 Nevele Grand Prix. Horses return to the show grounds seven weeks later for three back-to-back weeks of horse shows--HITS Catskills III, July 18-22 featuring the $100,000 Avis Grand Prix, HITS Catskills IV, July 25-July 29, highlighted by the $100,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix, and HITS Catskills IV, August 1-5, showcasing the $100,000 Nevele Grand Prix. Following a three-week break, competition resumes with the final event in the summer series, HITS Catskills VI, August 29-September 2, which features the $100,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix.

World-class course designers will be designing the Grand Prix Field courses each week. Scheduled for the 2001 season are: Paul Duffy, Claregalway Ireland, who is Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of The Show Jumping Association of Ireland and in charge of the Irish Show Jumping team. Paul has been an international course designer for 25 years. William "Buddy" Brown, Wellington, Florida, is a full-time Senior Course Designer with the AHSA and a former Grand Prix show jumping medallist who represented the U.S. internationally. Danny Foster of Ontario, Canada, competed for Canada on six Nations' Cup Teams and was recently named chairman of the show jumping team for Canada. Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, New York, has been a professional in the horse industry for 30 years. Anthony has 32 career Grand Prix wins and has trained four horses that competed in the Olympic Games. Kenny Krome, Westminster, Maryland, holds credentials with the AHSA and FEI as a course designer and judge. He is an active and successful competitor in hunter, jumper, and Grand Prix classes. Michael Curtis, Tucson, Arizona, is a former rider who trained with course designers Pamela Caruthers and John Dohney in Hickstead, England. His credentials include course designing at such prestigious competitions as Spruce Meadows and the Barcelona Olympic Trials alongside Robert Ridland.

This is the sixth consecutive year that HITS Catskills has been held at the 70-acre site. Extensive changes have been implemented at the show grounds this year, including paving the roads, installing a new show office, and reconfiguring the ring layout. Four tents have been added to accommodate the expected increase in entries.

In addition to the changes at the show grounds, the Nevele Grande Hotel Resort & Country Club which is a half-mile from the show grounds, has also launched a dramatic renovation plan that will accommodate the lifestyle of horse show exhibitors. Under new ownership and management, the Nevele Grande has partnered with HITS Catskills not only as the sponsor of two $100,000 Grand Prix classes but also as a host for entertainment events planned for horse show exhibitors. Located five minutes from the show grounds, the Nevele Grande offers nearly 700 luxury guest rooms plus amenities that range from restaurants to racquetball.

Two special events have been planned for HITS Catskills at the show grounds this year. The first HITS Catskills "Taste of the Hudson Valley" for exhibitors only will be presented on Sunday, July 22, from 2pm until 4pm in the Grand Prix tent. Specialty restaurants from the Hudson Valley will each set up a "tasting" table. Guests can visit each "restaurant" and take a sample plate of the specialties the chef has prepared. The Grand Prix tent overlooks the Grand Prix field and Grand Prix warm-up area, providing a first-rate view of the highlight of Catskills III--the $100,000 Avis Grand Prix. The annual Kids Day will be held on Sunday, July 29. From 11am to 1pm, children 12 and under will be treated to pony rides, face painting, a petting zoo, games, prizes, crafts and entertainers. Following the Kids Day festivities, children and their friends and families are invited to stay for the highlight of HITS Catskills IV, the $100,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix at 1pm. Following the victory lap, there will be an Autograph Signing Session. Kids and their parents will be allowed to walk the course, see the jumps up close, and meet the Grand Prix riders.

Charities and charity events have been a part of HITS Catskills every year. Members of local charities pre-sell tickets to the show and keep 100% of the sales. Selected charities act as ticket takers on Sundays and each charity receives a percentage of the total gate from the six shows. This year at Ellenville, HITS is working with Ellenville Little League, Ulster County Girl Scouts, Shadowland Theater, Catskills Animal Sanctuary, and Southlands Foundation.

HITS Catskills not only benefits local charities but also economically impacts the surrounding communities by an estimated $25 million as a result of spending by exhibitors on food, lodging and consumer goods.

DIRECTIONS: Route 209 South, through town of Ellenville and approximately ½ mile past entrance to the Nevele Grande Hotel-show entrance on the left. Route 209 North, show entrance on right approximately one mile outside of Ellenville.

HITS CATSKILLS - Kelly Farm, 8543 Route 209, Ellenville, New York, 12428. Telephone during horse shows: 845-647-1763.


HITS Catskills I, May 23-27
HITS Catskills II, May 30-June 3
HITS Catskills III, July 18-22
HITS Catskills IV, July 25-29
HITS Catskills V, August 1-5
HITS Catskills VI, August 29-September 2
May 27 $100,000 EMO Grand Prix 1pm
June 3 $100,000 Nevele Grande Grand Prix1pm
July 22 $100,000 Avis Grand Prix 1pm
July 29$100,000 Cosequin® Grand Prix 1pm
August 5 $100,000 Nevele Grande Grand Prix 1pm
September 2 $100,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix1pm
Taste of the Hudson Valley For Exhibitors Only Sunday, July 22 2pm-4pm
Kids Day Sunday, July 29 11am-1pm

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