We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!
Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!
Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.
The 2014 HITS Desert Circuit at Thermal
About 25 miles southeast of the famous desert resorts of Palm Springs and just a few miles down the road from those magical Empire Polo Fields sits the desert town of Thermal, California. Significantly smaller in size than its famous counterparts, Thermal is an often overlooked member of the great Coachella Valley. That is until the equestrians descend upon it every winter.
For seven weeks from January through March, Thermal is the second favorite place after Florida for equestrians to escape the winter chill and show off their ponies high flying skills. This year’s Horse Shows in The Sun or “HITS” Desert Circuit kicked off on Tuesday, January 21, and will continue through Sunday, March 16, culminating with the much anticipated AIG $1 Million Grand Prix.
Christian Heineking currently leads the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix Rider Standings as 2014 HITS Desert Circuit commences. Here he is aboard NKH Selena on his way to winning the $50,000 LEGIS Grand Prix of Los Angeles, which helped the pair climb to the top of the standings heading into HITS.
HITS Thermal tends to confine its activities to the daytime so the show participants can get a good night’s rest we presume. Doors are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all competition days, and Grand Prix competitions are held at 2 p.m. every Sunday. Admission is free Tuesdays through Saturdays, but there is a $5 fee for Grand Prix competitions on Sundays. The 320 acre venue offers 14 show rings, a restaurant, bar and exceptional equestrian shopping, including the looks of Riding Habit Revised featured retailer, Animo.
All in all, HITS Thermal offers a perfect place to melt away your winter blues.