By all accounts, the 2011 HITS Desert Circuit was the single best season of show jumping since 2007 when the new show grounds in Thermal debuted. Circuit discounts for permanent and tent stabling, coupled with the appeal of four World Cup qualifiers, 16 qualifiers for the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, and five Devoucoux Hunter Prix qualifiers for the first-ever Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, helped to attract large groups of returning customers, as well as scores of new comers. The maturation of the show grounds brings the property to life, with customers seeing first-hand the vision and promise that the HITS Desert Horse Park holds for becoming the top winter show destination in the country. Property updates that added atmosphere and color to the show grounds had an immediate and positive impact on trainers, exhibitors, owners and spectators, alike.
For 2012, HITS management plans to once again expand upon property enhancements with some major renovations that came right from the suggestions of top riders and trainers who have been loyal to the circuit for years. Thousands of new trees and desert-friendly shrubs are taking root. We are building new berms that will create enhanced sightlines and atmosphere. Hunter riders will be happy to see the new row of maturing palm trees going in along the berm facing the airport on the east end of the show grounds.
Three new rows of permanent barns will soon be added to the property behind the vet building to provide additional inventory for exhibitors interested in permanent barn accommodations. Foundation work for that project will be underway this month.
The $200,000 Grand Prix of the Desert returns next year and all Grand Prix, including the four World Cup qualifiers, and all Devoucoux Hunter Prix will once again qualify riders for the Pfizer Million and Diamond Mills Hunter Prix final in September of 2012.
HITS recently held a call with the West Coast Trainer & Rider Committee to discuss additional plans and priorities for the 2012 season. If you have an idea or something to share, please see a member of the Committee, listed below, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 HITS Desert Circuit Trainer & Rider Committee
Tracy Baer, John Bragg, Shelley Campf, Archie Cox, Lori Derosa
Rich Fellers, John French, Joie Gatlin, Karen Healey
Susie Hutchison, Rudy Leone, Guillermo Obligado