Photo Credit: Sally Moehring
HITS | OCALA
As one of the sponsors, we are excited to announce the HITS 2018 Winter Circuit has returned to Marion County, and brings with it over three months of world-class hunter/jumper competitions. The city of Ocala has been privileged to host this renowned event featuring the biggest names in equestrian sport since 2002, and continues to build a rich relationship with what has become one of the top rated hunter/jumper shows in the world. Every year the show begins in early December and runs through late March, showcasing the talents of riders and equine athletes alike. For the past three years, this competition has attracted world class talent leading up to the HITS $1 Million Grand Prix finale. The HITS Ocala Grand Prix is the second jewel in the HITS triple crown between Grand Prix’s in Thermal, California and Saugerties, New York.
Photo Credit: Mareish Media
A Little HITS-tory
For over 30 years, HITS has been dedicated to promoting hunter/jumper sports in the United States. Horse Shows In The Sun, aka HITS, was officially launched in 1982 right here in Central Florida with founder Thomas Struzzieri’s first horse show circuit in Gainesville, which would grow into the HITS Winter Circuit. Since then, HITS has become one of the biggest and most respected names in hunter/jumper competitions, attracting only the best and brightest riders from around the world. The Winter Circuit moved to Ocala’s Post Time Farm in 2002 and has been a signature equestrian event in North Central Florida ever since. In 2014, HITS debuted the Ocala $1 Million Grand Prix as the thrilling conclusion to the final phase of winter events, completing what is popularly known as the “HITS Triple Crown.” The first HITS $1 Million Grand Prix was launched in Saugerties, New York in 2010 followed by Thermal, California’s $1 Million Grand Prix at Desert Horse Park in 2013.
Photo Credit: Sally Moehring
HITS Post-Time Farm has grown into nearly a small city of its own, with extensive amenities to accommodate the thousands of spectators, competitors, and equine athletes. Its 450 acres encompasses 40 barns with nearly 1,200 temporary stalls, 12 competition rings, 52 miles of fencing. During the competition, you can expect over vendors offering food, fine equestrian gifts, and riding equipment. The farm’s Overlook VIP Club offers an exceptional show experience with tented lounge and tables overlooking the competitions. Breakfast and lunch are prepared by the expertly trained culinary staff of the Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern in Saugerties, New York and special menus crafted by Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli for the days of the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping and $1 Million Grand Prix. This year, there are improvements to the grounds of the already phenomenal venue, enhancing the landscaping and aesthetics for guests and temporary residents alike.
Photo Credit: The Slaven Family
HITS may be a world-class showcase of hunter-jumper sport—but what does that mean? What should a first-time spectator expect? The term “hunter-jumper” actually refers to two different classes of competition, which are conducted and judged in different ways. Hunter classes evaluate horses based on their appearance, confirmation, and the manner in which they complete their course of jumps. The ideal hunter jumps smoothly and quietly, with a consistent pace and long stride. Hunter courses are usually designed with natural like features and jumps similar to those found in fox hunting and hunter paces.
Jumper classes are much more fast-paced and straightforward. Speed and accuracy are central. Riders strive to have the fastest round with the least “faults”—faults include knocked-down rails, a horse’s refusal to jump, and completing the course in more than the time allotted. If a horse refuses a jump twice, both horse and rider are eliminated from the class.
HITS Post Time Farm
13710 US Hwy. 27
Ocala, Fl. 34482
8 AM-4 PM
Grand Prix events 11:30 AM Thursdays and 2 PM Sundays
Wednesday – Saturday: Free admission
Sunday: $5 general admission. Children 12 and under admitted free
FEI Nations Cup and $1 Million Grand Prix: $10 general admission. Children 12 and under admitted free
For more information on VIP packages and passes, contact the show office at 352.620.2275.
Showcase Properties of Central Florida is a proud sponsor of this renowned event. For more information about HITS or purchasing property in Marion County, please reach out to us. Have a great season! #DiscoverOcala #OcalaStrong #LoveWhereYouLive