HITS Ocala wins bid to host the 2017 FEI Horse Nations Cup
OCALA, Fla. -- HITS post time horse farm in Ocala is the host for the 2017 FEI Nations Horse Cup competition starting Thursday.
HITS's CEO says it was tough bidding to get the event in Ocala for the 3rd year in a row.
Tom, Struzzieri said, “This community is the best community in the country to bring a horse sport to and I run them all over the country."
Tom Struzzieri has been running the hit's horse organization since the 1980's.
He says he was in a tough bidding race against another organization in west palm to host this years FEI Nations Cup.
Once bidding ended, the horse capital of the world was awarded the event.
Tom Struzzieri said," It says a lot about HITS, and a lot about Ocala and Marion County that we're able to get this event here because it’s a lot of top cities that wanted this. So, that fact that we're able to get the event here in Ocala again means everything to me."
35 riders from across the nation will be competing for a spot to represent their country at the FEI Nations Cup finals in Barcelona Spain in September.
Each team consists of five riders and the total prize purse for the event is 100-thousand dollars.
Hayley Waters, is an Ocala rider who will be showcasing her skill set throughout this weekend’s competitions.
Hayley Waters said, “Well, I'm definitely excited because this the first international class here this winter. I have won a couple of the national standard Grand Pre’s, so I'm hoping that those events have prepared me for this weekend, but overall, I’m definitely excited."
Struzzier says he hopes this weekend’s events raises awareness for horse competitors around the world to want to come and compete in the circuit for years to come.
The HITS Ocala winter circuit event generates more than 90-million dollars in total economic benefits to the area.
Tickets for admission cost 10 dollars
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