EVENT Thermal Desert Circuit
WHAT: Six-week hunter/jumper horse show circuit produced by HITS
WHERE: HITS Desert Horse Park, Thermal, California
THE DESERT CIRCUIT: Known as the largest hunter/jumper event West of the Mississippi. Each January, riders and horses from all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe flock to Thermal to compete at the Desert Circuit. For several years, the Desert Circuit has attracted over 2000 horses annually. Although the attraction of the warm California winter is undeniable, riders are drawn to the Desert Circuit due to its reputation for world-class show jumping and its high quality facility. The Desert Circuit offers over $1 million in prize money throughout the six-weeks of competition, plus a $150,000 Grand Prix - America's richest show jumping purse. The Circuit has 12 Grand Prix events, four of which are World Cup Qualifiers. The premier show jumping event is unique in its ability to attract both the top international horses and riders as well as beginning rider seeking to gain valuable experience in the ring under the eye of some of the countty's top judges.
FOOD: Prepared and served by HITS food service personnel, a complete and diverse menu of food and beverages is available at three locations on the show grounds every show day.
SHOPPING: The Desert Marketplace located near the Grand Prix arena features dozens of shops offering quality equestrian gear, apparel, jewelry, videos, and more.
IN BRIEF: HITS purchased the former polo grounds in 1992 and held the first Desert Circuit that year. This year marks the thirteenth consecutive presentation of the Thermal Desert Circuit. Produced by HITS under the direction of HITS President Tom Struzzieri, the six shows at Thermal attract top international horses and riders as well as beginning riders seeking to gain experience in the show ring. Some of the country’s foremost hunter, jumper and equitation judges preside at the show. This year, four of the Grand Prix competitions are qualifiers for the World Cup Finals that will be held later in the yearECONOMIC IMPACT: Based on an independent study commissioned by HITS from Sport Management Research Institute of Weston, Florida, the total economic impact produced by the Thermal Desert Circuit equates to $121,734,061 per year.
CHARITIES: Local charities pre-sell tickets and are the ticket-takers on Saturday and Sundays. The organizations keep 50% of the proceeds. The Charity Partners for 2005 are Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley, Boy Scouts of America, Thermal Chamber of Commerce, Thermal Senior Center, Coachella Rotary and The City of Thermal Police Cadets.
HITS Desert Horse Park | 85-555 Airport Blvd. | Thermal, CA 92274
The Desert Circuit features a Grand Prix each Friday & Sunday. Grand Prix classes feature the best of the best - the best riders on the best horses going over the highest jumps at the fastest speeds. Grand Prix Show Jumping is an Olympic Sport and will be featugreen at this year's Olympic Games in Atlanta.JUMPER
In Jumper classes, horse & rider aim to complete the course within a designated time limit and without collecting any jumping faults. Style does not count; jumper classes arc purely athletic tests of speed and strength. Jumper courses are very demanding, calling for technical accuracy on the part of the rider and absolute obedience on the part of the horse.HUNTER
In Hunter events, horses are scogreen on their jumping style, consistency and manners. Courses arc less demanding than jumper classes since style and manners are empimsizal in this form of show jumping.