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HITS Catskills Returns to Ellenville for its Summer Series of Competitions

SAUGERTIES, NY (May 16, 2003)—Horse Shows In the Sun, Inc. (HITS), producer of five world class hunter/jumper horse show circuits nationwide, is pleased to announce that it will return to Ellenville for the HITS Catskills 2003 summer series of horse shows. A total of six horse shows will be held at the Kelly Farm in Ellenville, New York, from May to September. HITS Catskills will feature a $25,000 Grand Prix every Thursday and a $50,000 or $75,000 Grand Prix every Sunday. Over $1,000,000 in total prize money will be awarded 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 1,500 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 21-25, featuring the $75,000 EMO Grand Prix, followed by HITS Catskills II from May 28-June 1, with the finale $75,000 Hudson Valley Resort Grand Prix. Horses return to the show grounds seven weeks later for three back-to-back weeks of horse shows—HITS Catskills III, July 16-20 featuring the $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix, HITS Catskills IV, July 23-27, highlighted by the $50,000 Avis Grand Prix, and HITS Catskills V, July 30-August 3, showcasing the $50,000 King Shavings Grand Prix. Following a three-week break, competition resumes with the final event in the summer series, HITS Catskills VI, August 27-31, which features the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix.

HITS Catskills is a member event of the New Marshall & Sterling League. 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 circuit. Stillwell-Hansen and Four Winds Farm are showing their support for the new League by sponsoring the Pre-Green Hunter Division, while The Equestrian Shop is sponsoring 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.

World-class course designers will be designing the Grand Prix Field courses each week. HITS has scheduled six top course designers for the 2003 season. 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'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. Kenny Krome, Westminster, Maryland, holds credentials with the USAE and FEI as a course designer and judge. He is an active and successful competitor in hunter, jumper, and Grand Prix classes. Doug Russell of Loxahatchee, FL, a member of USET, he represented the United States in 1995 at the Pan Am Games and at Monterrey. He has been designing courses for 10 years and still competes regularly in the Grand Prix show jumping ring. Jerry Dougherty, Geneva, IL, holds credentials with the USAE as a course designer and jumper judge. He combines a career in course designing with that of a show manager for a number of successful mid-west horse shows.

This is the eighth consecutive year that HITS Catskills has been held at the 70-acre Ellenville site. Over the years, extensive changes have been implemented at the show grounds, including paving the roads, installing a new show office, and reconfiguring the ring layout.

Two special events have been planned for HITS Catskills at the show grounds this year. HITS Catskills "Taste of the Hudson Valley" will be presented on Saturday, July 19, from Noon until 3pm 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 annual Kids Day will be held on Sunday, August 3. 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 $50,000 Avis Grand Prix at 1pm.

Charities and charity events have been an integral 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 Family of Woodstock, Ellenville Cooperative Nursery School, Kingston Hospital Foundation, Equine Rescue Resource Inc, Ellenville Community Hospital, and Circle of Friends Childcare Center.

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 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 21-25
HITS Catskills II, May 28-June 1
HITS Catskills III, July 16-20
HITS Catskills IV, July 23-27
HITS Catskills V (NY Horse & Pony Show), July 30-August 3
HITS Catskills VI, August 27-31

May 22, $25,000 Grand Prix at 1pm
May 25, $75,000 EMO Grand Prix at 1pm
May 29, $25,000 Grand Prix at 1pm
June 1, $75,000 Hudson Valley Resort Grand Prix at 1pm
July 17, $25,000 Grand Prix at 1pm
July 20, $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix at 1pm
July 24, $25,000 Grand Prix at 1pm
July 27, $50,000 Avis Grand Prix at 1pm
July 31, $25,000 Grand Prix at 1pm
August 3, $50,000 King Shavings Grand Prix at 1pm
August 31, $50,000 HITS Grand Prix at 1pm

Taste of the Hudson Valley, Saturday, July 19 Noon-3pm
Kids Day, Sunday, August 3 11am-1pm


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