Ocala, FL- HITS, Inc. is pleased to officially announce that the Ocala Winter Circuit will once again play host to the 2017 FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO-4* for the third consecutive year. The inclusive show schedule will continue to give additional opportunities to National and International competitors during February 14-19, 2017, the fifth week of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26.
“We are honored to host the Nations Cup for the third straight year,” said HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri. “It truly speaks for the quality of the event in Ocala for the past two years. We are very excited to have the support of the community to further evolve the event for spectators and teams alike in the Horse Capital of the World.”
Ocala Main Street, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) are coordinating “Jump Downtown”— a special event featuring the Annual Parade of Nations Horse Celebration on the Downtown Square in Ocala on Wednesday, February 15th at 6 PM.
The Parade of Nations will honor and welcome this year's teams and equestrians from around the world that are in Ocala to compete in the extremely prestigious Nations Cup, and showcase many of the breeds that make Ocala the Horse Capital of the World. Sponsored by the City of Ocala, this family-friendly event is free and open to the public, making it a can’t-miss opportunity to cheer on world-class athletes and enjoy the equine side of the community.
“With loyal support from Marion County and the City of Ocala, in addition to Ocala Main Street, IHMS and the CEP, HITS will once again welcome show jumping’s biggest players to Ocala to exemplify our continued commitment to growing the sport for exhibitors and spectators alike,” continued Struzzieri.
The Nations Cup Jumping series is equestrian sport’s oldest and most prestigious team challenge, with national teams from around the globe competing for one of the most coveted prizes in this Olympic-level discipline.
Last year, the 2016 Nations Cup at HITS Ocala garnered over 5,000 on-site spectators, as well as an unprecedented figure of national and international media attention. The 2015 event was ranked as the second highest in national and international media interest for its overall division in the official 2015 FEI Nations Cup™ Media Report.
“Now, with two years of experience, we can continue to make Nations Cup Week an extraordinarily special week for both the exhibitor and the loyal spectators of Marion County,” continued Struzzieri. “They say the third time’s the charm – and we are certain the 2017 event will live up to the expectation of excellence that HITS is recognized for.”
Throughout the Nations Cup Week at HITS Post Time Farm, HITS will offer an upgraded hospitality experience in the Overlook VIP Club featuring ringside seating, as well as beer and wine service and the culinary art of Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli of The Tavern at Diamond Mills in Saugerties, New York. VIP tables are expected to sell out and reservations are encouraged.
For Overlook VIP Club information and bookings, contact Chris Mayone at Chris@HitsShows.com. Day VIP will also be available for purchase which includes reserved, ringside seating, lunch with beer and wine service. To purchase Day VIP, please contact HITS at 845-246-8833.
The Ocala Winter Circuit runs for 10 weeks, January 17 - March 26. A total of two FEI events will be held, including the Nations Cup, from February 7 – March 5. The week immediately after Nations Cup will be FEI CSI-2* on February 21-26. The Circuit culminates with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 26. For the complete schedule, please click here.