Event: Indio Desert Circuit
What: Six-week hunter/jumper horse show circuit produced by Horse Shows In The Sun, Inc.
Where: HITS Desert Horse Park, Indio, CA
When: Wednesday through Sunday, 2005 show dates are:
January 25-30, Desert Circuit I
February 1-6, Desert Circuit II
February 8-13, Desert Circuit III
February 15-20, Off Week-No Show
February 22-27, Desert Circuit IV
March 1-6, Desert Circuit V
March 8-13, Desert Circuit VI
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 Indio Desert Circuit. Produced by Horse Shows In The Sun, Inc. (HITS) under the direction of HITS President Tom Struzzieri, the six shows at Indio 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 year.
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m.
Directions: Take I-10 to the Monroe Street exit in Indio. Go south approximately five miles to Avenue 52, and then turn right onto Avenue 52. Horse Show entrance is two miles on right.
Parking: Parking is free Wednesday through Sunday.
Admission: No admission charge Wednesday through Friday. Saturday or Sunday admission is $5 per person, children under 12 free. Admission proceeds benefit local charities.
Show Grounds: 10 all-weather hunter, jumper and equitation rings located on 80 acres.
Classes: Approximately 250 classes take place per week including two grand prix classes each week.
Attendance: Per week, approximately 2,000 horses and 6,000 horsemen are on the grounds. More than 25,000 spectators attend during the six-week event.
Prize MOney: Over $1,000,000
· $30,000 Ariat Grand Prix, Every Friday, 1 p.m.
· $50,000 EMO Grand Prix, Sunday, January 30, 1 p.m.
· $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Cosequin, Sunday, February 6, 1 p.m.
· $75,000 Bayer Grand Prix of Indio, Sunday, February 13, 1 p.m.
· $75,000 Ultimate Equine Grand Prix, Sunday, February 27, 1 p.m.
· $75,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix, Sunday, March 6, 1 p.m.
· $150,000 Ford Grand Prix of the Desert, Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m.
· Kids Day, presented by KDFX Fox 11, Sunday, February 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
· City of Indio Day, Celebrating Indio's 75th Anniversary, Sunday, February 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
· Seniors Day, sponsored by Coachella Rotary, presented by KESQ TV3, Sunday, March 6, 12 p.m.- 1 p.m.
· World of the Horse, presented by The Desert Sun, Sunday, March 13, 12 p.m.-2 p.m.
· Circuit Awards, Sundays, Prior to 1 p.m. Grand Prix
Charities: Local charities pre-sell tickets and are the ticket-takers on Saturdays and Sundays. The organizations keep 50% of all proceeds. The Charity Partners for 2005 are Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley, Boy Scouts of America, Indio Chamber of Commerce, Indio Senior Center, Coachella Rotary, and The City of Indio Police Cadets.
Food: Prepared and served by HITS food service personnel, a complete and diverse menu of food and beverages is available at two 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.
Economic Impact: Based on an independent study commissioned by HITS from Sport