Equestrian Living: Where Do You Winter Circuit?

by Emily Baker

Here in Colorado, the indoor arenas and chilly weather can get a little monotonous in the winter.  Every year I look forward to my pseudo beach vacation at our Winter Circuit destination of choice in Thermal, CA.  But where else might our fellow Colorado Equestrians be spending their winter circuit this February and March?

Thermal, CA: Formally the HITS Thermal Desert Horse Show, the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit is a popular spot for many Coloradans.  Located near the spot of the popular Coachella music festival, this beautiful locale boasts mountains views and toasty weather.  Spanning from late-January to mid-March this horse show has numerous nationally televised events that draw huge crowds of spectators.  One such event is the AIG $1 million Grand Prix on March 18th.  Even if you won’t be in the desert to watch it, be sure not to miss it on Equestrian TV.

Ocala, FL: If you’re looking to travel a little bit further and get a little bit warmer this winter, head out to the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit in Florida.  This show is a full ten weeks long ranging from mid-January to the end of March.  It’s located at the lush and beautiful HITS Post Time Farm. It also features the $450,000 Longines Nations Cup and then the Great American $1 million Grand Prix as the culminating event.

Tucson, AZ: Not looking to drive quite so far?  Check out the HITS Arizona Winter Circuit on the Pima Fairgrounds.  For six weeks in February and March you can enjoy the warmer weather of Arizona while keeping your horse in the indoor stabling.  This show is characteristically smaller than Coachella and Ocala but will qualify one leading Grand Prix rider for the AIG $1 million Prix in California.

Wellington, FL: Not a jumper?  The Adequon Global Dressage Festival is also a winter circuit for dressage riders.  Located at the beautiful and luxurious Equestrian Village in Wellington, Florida, the Festival spans six weeks from mid February to the end of March.  This dressage event is interspersed with Grand Prix jumping and culminates with the 3* Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle. 

Are these not any of your Winter Circuit locations?  Let us know!  We’d love to learn about some new winter horse shows.