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Local Charities Benefit From HITS Ocala Winter Circuit

OCALA, FL (February 12, 2004)—For the twenty-third consecutive year in Florida, Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) will produce its world-class hunter/jumper horse shows, the Ocala Winter Circuit, in Marion County. In an effort to give back to the community that has embraced it, HITS partners each year with several deserving charities from Marion County. HITS is pleased to announce that the following charities will benefit from ticket sales at the 2004 Ocala Winter Circuit: Arnette House, Interfaith Emergency Services, Marion Therapeutic Riding Association, Take Stock in Children, and Silver River Marine Institute.

Charities will be given the opportunity to pre-sell tickets and they will each take a turn as ticket-takers at the gate on weekends. The charities will keep 100% of the proceeds from all general admission tickets sold. By reaching out to their regular supporters as well as to the large equestrian community in Marion County, each charity has an opportunity to garner significant financial support for the good works they do.

“The Public Education Foundation of Marion County is honored once again to have our program “Take Stock in Children” be a Charity Partner with HITS,” said Beth McCall, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We are able to raise funds and talk to people about mentoring in a beautiful setting that exemplifies Marion County and our equine industry. We appreciate this fabulous opportunity that HITS has given us,” she added.

“We are delighted to serve such a variety of worthy causes,” said Tony Hitchcock, Senior Vice President, HITS Horse Shows. “The charities we have chosen definitely bring a lot of energy to the table, and I am sure that they will reap the benefits of this opportunity to partner with the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. These charities represent a bridge from our equestrian operation to year-around residents in the local community,” he added. More than 1500 horses compete each week of the Ocala Winter Circuit with owners and riders representing more than thirty states and three Canadian provinces.

The specific causes that each charity represents are outlined below:

Arnett House strives to improve the state of Marion County children through a safe place residential shelter, family counseling and community outreach programs. Contact Kevin Priest, 352-622-4432.

Interfaith Emergency Services provides emergency food, shelter, clothing, and medicine to needy citizens of Marion County. Contact Gary Linn, 352-629-8868.

Marion Therapeutic Riding Association provides the miraculous benefits of recreational therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving for persons challenged by physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. Contact Lori Blanchard, 352-622-7969.

Take Stock in Children implements a College scholarship program for at risk students that are matched with a mentor through high school. Contact Beth McCall, 352-620-7651;

Silver River Marine Institute provides an alternative education and rehabilitation program for delinquent and dependent youth providing education, training, discipline, and productive work. Contact Mike Nebesnyk, 352-694-0191.

HITS is the largest producer of hunter/jumper horse shows in the U.S., operating five show grounds nationwidethe Ocala Winter Circuit in Florida; Indio Desert Circuit in California; Arizona Winter Circuit in Tucson; HITS Culpeper in Virginia; and the newest addition, HITS-On-The-Hudson, which will premiere in May of this year. In the fall, HITS will present the second annual Marshall & Sterling League National Indoor Finals to be held at Worcester's Centrum Centre, Worcester, Massachusetts. For further information, please visit

For more information on HITS Ocala Winter Circuit, please visit .


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