HRTV PREMIERES HITS AIG $1 MILLION GRAND PRIX, THE BIGGEST EVENT IN SHOW JUMPING, ON THURSDAY, MAY 16 AT 9 P.M. ET
Arcadia, CA, May 13 -- HRTV (R), The Network for Horse Sports, will treat equestrian fans to an outstanding international world-class show jumping event when it premieres a one-hour highlight show from the inaugural HITS AIG Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix on Thursday, May 16 at 9 p.m. ET.
(For viewers who miss the premiere broadcast, the show will be available at HRTV.com On Demand.)
The rich event, which is presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach, took place at the HITS Desert Horse Park in March, featured the world's top 40 riders, each of whom had to earn their berths based on the AIG Thermal Million GP Riders' Ratings.
Anticipation was high for this first-ever HITS Thermal $1 Million finale, and it marked the most prize money ever offered for a Grand Prix on the West Coast. This lofty monetary prize is further testament to HITS's efforts to raise the profile of show jumping.
The event attracted a strong field of U.S. and international competitors to a tough course designed by two-time Olympic medalist Conrad Homfeld.
From the U.S., a group of big-named riders from the East Coast traveled West with their horses to compete. The contingent included renowned McLain Ward (Antares F), Margie Engle (Royce), Jimmy Torano (Walk About), and more. From the West Coast, competitors included Rich Fellars, USEF Equestrian of the Year, and FEI World Cup champion. A newcomer, California amateur Tiffany Sullivan, earned the right to go head-to-head with the top show jumpers in the sport.
The Grand Prix not only featured riders from stateside, but also welcomed an impressive array of equestrian talent. Among the top international performers in the star-studded field was multiple HITS Thermal winner, Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, who was the leading rider during HITS Thermal Desert circuit.
Elisabeth Gingras, Kara Chad, Tamie Phillips, Lisa Carlsen, Jenn Serek, Jill Henselwood and John Pearce represented a strong Canadian contingent.
Additionally, Simon Niziri, John Perez and Enrique Gonzalez competed for Mexico, while Josephina Nor Lantzman joined Enrique Gonzalez to present Brazil. Max Dolger and Helen McNaught participated under the colors of Great Britain, and Nayel Nassar competed for Egypt. Additionally, Mei Mei Zhu (China), Lane Clarke and Harley Brown (Australia), and Duncan McFarlane (New Zealand) were participants in the deep group.
HITS (Horse Shows In the Sun) specializes in hunter/jumper horse shows that judge both horse and rider from the time they enter the ring until they leave on a variety of factors, including grace, style, presentation and appearance.
HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, is a television-based multimedia network dedicated to equine sports. HRTV’s programming features horse racing from top U.S. and international racetracks, as well as a wide range of world-class English horse riding and Western horse riding competitions, news, original programming and award-winning documentaries covering the world of horse sports. The live stream of HRTV is available on a subscription basis to high-speed Internet users worldwide at www.hrtv.com. In the U.S., the HRTV television network is available via telco, cable and satellite in over 19 million homes.