The New Indio Horse Show


For the past 15 years, Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) has produced a six-week winter horse show circuit at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif. Previous to that venue, the annual horse show was held in conjunction with the Riverside County Fair and Date Festival. Yes, dates. Fields of huge palm trees laden with date fruit surrounded the fairgrounds. Horse show exhibitors were just another part of the fair’s entertainment and often vied for parking space and arena time with other fair participants. The move to the Empire Polo Grounds was a welcomed reprieve, allowing horses and riders to have their own home turf. Soon, however, they outgrew even that facility.

Hence, this year the HITS Desert Circuit has relocated to its new and final home, just five miles east to the town of Thermal. The 2007 HITS Thermal Desert Circuit officially began Jan. 23. Except for a week-long break in mid-February, the show continues until March 11. Essentially, each week repeats the same basic class schedule, although there is variety in the specific grand prix jumping events and special entertainment presentations.
Thermal’s 230-acre facility features 12 competition rings, stabling for more than 3,000 horses and 1.2 million square feet of riding area, making it the largest hunter/jumper horse show venue in the United States.

“I feel extremely proud of the new showgrounds and truly feel it is the best equestrian facility in the world. Our customers deserve a place like this to call home in the winter,” said Tom Struzzieri, president and CEO of HITS.
For more information on the 2007 HITS Thermal Desert Circuit—from daily results and show champions to special events—visit the official website at


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