National Sunshine Series Kicks Off with Opening Day Festivities and $50,000 FEI Sunshine Welcome

Thermal, CA (October 31, 2014): Since this summer, Nilforushan Equestrian Events and HITS, Inc. have been working together on the National Sunshine Series, and true to plan, Week I kicked off this week with fierce competition, festive celebrations and perfect desert weather.

Cabanas, craft cocktails and a trendy Taco Bar adorned the berm at Wednesday evening’s Welcome Party setting the stage for a new and unique boutique show experience at HITS Desert Horse Park. The air of excitement around this venue continued for Thursday night’s $50,000 FEI Sunshine Welcome class featuring familiar West Coast faces, both four legged and two. Showcasing recent facility upgrades, the Grand Prix Stadium was re-configured following more of an indoor size format complete with a large screen and live feed, vibrant music and top-notch VIP cuisine courtesy of Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli. 
Designed by Ken Krome, the $50,000 Sunshine Welcome course set an inviting tone for horse and rider alike.  New York and Juan Pablo Gnecco of San Jose, California, cruised to victory after two clean rounds besting twelve in the jump-off to take home their piece of inaugural National Sunshine glory.

-Kathy Hobstetter for HITS, Inc.

(C) ESI Photography - New York and Juan Pablo Gnecco take home blue at the inaugural $50,000 FEI Sunshine Welcome at HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, CA. 
Place Horse Rider Owner Prize $ Rd. 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 New York Juan Pablo Gnecco $16,500 0 0 35.53
2 Quiebo Du Tillard Enrique Gonzales Enrique Gonzales $10,000 0     0 35.66
3 Urus 2 Liubov Kochetova Liubov Kochetova $7,500 0 0 36.56
4 Veyron Liubov Kochetova Liubov Kochetova $5,000 0 0 39.21
5 Copias Justin Resnick AMA Marketing & Mgmt, Inc.  $3,000 0 4 35.86
6 Son Of A Gun John Pearce Forest View Farm Inc.  $2,250 0 4 43.77
7 October Hill's Cluny Christian Heineking October Hill Hunters & Jumpers $1,500 0 8 38.72
8 Arivederci Alex Pamela Bilek  Peter Petschenig $1,250 0         8 43.53
9 Raging Bull Vangelis S Nayel Nassar Nayel Nassar $1,000     0 8 47.94
10 NKH Quanto Christian Heineking NKH Llc $1,000 0 -- --

About HITS, Inc.
HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.

While hosting the richest weekend in show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson, HITS also formed the Triple Crown of Show Jumping. This includes the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Mortgage Call, in Thermal, California, the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Wells Fargo, in Saugerties, New York.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit Stay connected with HITS, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Media should contact the HITS Media Team at 845.246.8833 or e-mail

2015 Horse Show Dates

HITS Desert Circuit  |  Thermal, CA  |  January 13 - March 15, 2015
HITS Ocala Winter Circuit    |  Ocala, FL  |  January 13 - March 23, 2015
HITS Arizona Winter Circuit  |  Tucson, AZ  |  January 28 - March 8, 2015
HITS Culpeper Show Series  |  Culpeper, VA  |  April / July / August / September
HITS Saugerties Show Series  |  Saugerties, NY  |  May-June / July-August / September
HITS Championship  |  Saugerties, NY  |  September 2-6, 2015
HITS Marshall & Sterling Insurance National Finals  |  September 9-13, 2015
National Sunshine Series  |  October 28 - November 8, 2015