HITS Ocala Winter Circuit is back in the horse capital

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB)-- The hunter and jumpers company "HITS" is back in the horse capital for its winter circuit, with equestrian riders of all levels competing.

From now until March 22 equestrian athletes will compete for some serious prize money and recognition.

It's expected that more than five million dollars in prize money will be awarded throughout the series.

"We're really here to bring a quality event for the winter months,” said President and CEO of HITS, Tom Struzzieri.

Now in its 39th year, Horses In The Sun, also known as HITS, holds one of the largest and most popular show circuits in the country.

The company recently consolidated down to focus more on its Ocala series.

President and CEO of the company, Tom Struzzieri said they have seen tremendous growth.

"It's incredible growth. To see these numbers get this big, really, it really pleases us at HITS,” Struzzieri said.

He said the circuit is expected to see around 500 horses a week, with 10 to 12 show rings active at a time.

And with the upcoming Olympics, the circuit may garner some major attention.

"While none of these classes are Olympic qualifying classes, certainly classes like the 200,000 dollar classes and the one million dollar class will be watched very carefully by the coach of the U.S. team. He'll probably come up himself because certainly success in those classes, demonstrates that you could potentially be on our come Japan in August,” he added.

The hits Ocala winter circuit will end with the seventh annual great American one-million Grand Prix on Sunday, March 22.