Friday, February 3, 2012


Feb 02 - Yesterday I ran into a long-time RV friend of ours at TT Palm Springs. Gail said she really wanted to go to the HITS Horse Shows in the Sun being held in our area. I had read a blurb in "Things To Do This Week". HITS is a six-week hunter/jumper horse show circuit. The Desert Circuit is the winter show home to some of the most accomplished equestrian riders in the world, including the Grand Prix Circuit! And admission was FREE!! I was all ready to go!!

This morning we drove over to the HITS Desert Horse Park near the Airport in Thermal. The weather was perfect. The Horse Park was a beautiful setting with, I don't know how many rings for practice and competitions. It was like a 10-ring circus with a lot more rings!

We started out browsing around and asking where we might have the best view of some of the competition. There were horses and riders everywhere! We were close enough that we could pet the horses, or to be run over by some of them!!

This rider passed in front of us headed for the ring.

We were told where we could sit to see a couple of rings at one time. At first we watched the Jumpers competition. We knew this because another spectator told us.

As I said earlier, the setting was absolutely beautiful! Bronze statues in the VIP only area.

We thought we were VIPs.

We next went to watch the Hunter competition. More jumping but the ring was larger with more and higher jumps. In addition to these modifications, we noticed that the riders would complete the course, pause and then ride a slightly different course at a much faster speed than before. We did figure out that apparently the first part of the course was judged for skill and the second part of the course was judged for speed.

When the Hunter class competition was over, we wandered around the Horse Park a bit and ended up at a ring on the other side of the Park. Here the Amateur and Junior Classes were in competition.

What the heck was the difference in all these classes?? To us they all looked the same!! After we returned I went on line and discovered -

Hunters are judged subjectively on degree to which they meet an ideal standard of manners, style, and way of going. Hunters have meticulous turnout and are tightly regulated. See the HOT Hunter below!

Jumpers are scored objectively, based entirely on a numerical score determined only by whether the horse attempts the obstacle, clears it, and finishes the course in the allotted time. Jumpers are not scored on turnout and are allowed a wider range of attire and equipment. Courses are colorful, creatively designed and more complex and technical than the Hunter class.

Juniors are riders under 18 years of age.

Amateur Owner. Divisions restricted to non-professional adult riders who ride horses owned by themselves or members of their immediate family.

And, The Grand Prix Circuit is a higher level of competition. It presents more technical and complex courses with a greater degree difficulty. Unfortunately, the Grand Prix competition did not start until 3 PM. Our day ended at about 1:30.

Thank you so much Gail, for a wonderful day at the Horse Show!! You know, we are really fortunate to have such an event as this to come to our area!!

1 comment:

Betty Graffis said...

Beautiful horses and Faye your pictures are so clear. It made me feel like I was right there when I was looking at them. :) And hooray for the new look on the Pickleball courts.