2011 HITS Arizona Winter Circuit Features Six $1 Million Grand Prix Qualifiers

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Tucson, AZ - HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that the 2011 HITS Arizona Winter Circuit will host six crucial qualifiers for both the $1 Million Grand Prix and the all-new $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final that will take place September 10-11 at HITS-on-the-Hudson, in Saugerties, New York. The 2011 HITS Arizona Winter Circuit will get underway on Wednesday, February 2 and run for six consecutive weeks until Sunday, March 13.

For the first time ever, HITS Arizona will feature a weekly hunter classic for exhibitors. The $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, a 3’3” two-round Hunter Classic, will be one of the featured events for hunters during Weeks I through V. Then, during the Arizona Desert Finals (March 9-13), the prize money doubles for the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix. All six classes at HITS Arizona will serve as qualifiers for hunter riders looking to cement a spot in the astronomical $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final.

“We are very happy to introduce a weekly hunter classic to the schedule in Arizona this year,” said Tom Struzzieri, HITS President and CEO. “For the past couple of years during Week VI we’ve offered this type of class and it has been a popular event. Many of our Arizona customers expressed an interest in a weekly installment of that, so this is an exciting new update to the schedule. I expect that many of our customers in Arizona will take advantage of the early qualifying opportunities for our new $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final as well as the $1 Million Grand Prix.”

“That’s very exciting news,” said HITS Arizona Veteran Kris Nixon. “I believe that the 3’3” format of the class will definitely attract more of my customers who may have been intimidated by some of the higher fences to jump in and give this a shot.”

Nixon, who runs Noontide Farm in Colorado, has been coming to HITS Arizona for as long as she can remember and is hoping to add the $500,000 HITS 3' 3" Hunter Prix Final to her calendar.

“We are going to aim for that,” said Nixon. “I know I am going to have some customers who are going to be thrilled when they hear the news. We head east in the fall and show at HITS Culpeper and Capital Challenge so my customers like to travel.”

The $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix Final will be a culmination of more than 30 Devoucoux Hunter Prix qualifying classes offered at all HITS horse shows from January 19 through September 4, 2011. The Final will be take place September 10-11 as part of the Million Weekend in Saugerties, New York. More information for the $500,000 HITS 3’3” Hunter Prix, including complete qualifying specifications, will be available online in the upcoming weeks.

HITS Arizona boasts phenomenal weather, a welcoming family atmosphere, a full slate of classes at every level, fabulous exhibitor parties, great facilities, and to top it all off – a thrilling $25,000 HITS Grand Prix each Sunday throughout the six-week circuit, which will provide opportunities for High-Performance riders to get a competitive head start on qualifying for the $1 Million Grand Prix, which will take place September 11 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

“We are looking forward to another great season at HITS Arizona,” said Nixon. “The weather is usually better in Arizona than at home in Colorado and I have had some great success selling horses there. The people are friendly, the competition is great and the staff is wonderful. We always have a nice time. ”

Other exciting news for the HITS Arizona Winter Circuit includes the return of the PCHA rating for all six weeks of the circuit. As always, HITS Arizona will offer a full complement of classes for hunter, jumper and equitation riders.

The 2011 HITS Arizona prize list is currently in development and is expected to be mailed in late October. HITS is also working with its Arizona Lodging Partners to secure the best accommodations and rates for its customers. To request a copy of the HITS Arizona prize list or to check out the complete list of Lodging Partners, please visit HitsShows.com.

2011 HITS Arizona Winter Circuit Dates:
Sundance Welcome: February 2-6
Kachina Classic: February 9-13
Tucson Winter Classic: February 16-20
Sahuaro Classic: February 23-27
Arizona Winter Festival: March 2-6
Arizona Desert Finals: March 9-13  

HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix on September 12, in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com.

Photo: Michelle Parker and Reina on course in the $25,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health at HITS Arizona. The 2011 six-week circuit boasts a $25,000 Grand Prix each week and the all-new Devoucoux Hunter Prix classes throughout the duration of the circuit.  © Brent Ericsen Photography.