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Joy Lutheran members visit HITS

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By Patricia A. Woodbury
On Thursday, March 8, an adventuresome group from Joy Lutheran Church attended the Horses In The Sun (HITS) competition held at the Post Time Farm on U.S. 27. From all accounts, this group of 19 members thought the day was a HIT. It was a beautiful sunny day and the horses were impressive, graceful “jumpers.” Twenty three horses competed for the $25,000 prize. There were three finalists and the successful winner was a 16 year old young man who had two perfect rounds.
HITS, Inc. is a special events management company focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows.
The company is based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties. The first HITS horse show circuit was in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter-jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.
It has been described that the key to HITS success is its strategy of producing a series of horse shows over several weeks, in desirable destinations, with first class competition facilities and unmatched, professional operations. The Ocala Winter Circuit is an annual seven week event.
These events offer competitive opportunities for riders in a broad range of ages and skill levels. The competitors and horses come from all over the country.
While their main focus is on the competition, the event also provides a social gathering for them. The competitors are on the road 30 weeks out of the year traveling to and from horse shows. They and their families make up a community with lasting relationships. The winners of each circuit go on to the United States Grand Prix League (USGPL) finals which are held during the last week of the HITS Culpeper, Virginia show series for the $100,000 prize.
A very nice surprise for the Joy group was the invitation to lunch provided by Sullivan-GMC. One of the church members, Mike Noble, is employed at Sullivan’s and was able to arrange for the group to eat a fantastic lunch in the restaurant tent, catered by a local restaurant.
This enjoyable luncheon topped off the day and the group is thankful to Mike and Sullivan-GMC. The Joy members thought the adventure was so successful; they would like to make this outing an annual church event.