National Sunshine Series

By September 19, 2015
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The grand prix ring at the HITS Desert Horse Park, home to the Sunshine National Series. (Photo: HITS)

The National Sunshine I and National Sunshine II were reinvented last year, when the shows formerly known as the LA Preview and the LA National were purchased from Langer Equestrian Group, relocating them from the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, CA, to the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal.

More than $1 million in prize money will be awarded during the two-week National Sunshine series, Oct. 28 through Nov. 4. The series culminates in the $350,00 Sunshine Grand Prix CSI 5*. The fall event also includes the Zone 10 USHJA Equitation Championships and a $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

Moving to the Desert Horse Park has enabled the expansion of the shows, adding special classes and evening events under the lights, and accommodating more stabling. “The HITS Desert Horse Park is the best facility on the West Coast,” said show jumping rider and trainer Ali Nilforushan, who purchased the shows last year. They are currently owned by HITS.

Ali has a special place in his heart for these shows. Early in his career, he scored his first grand prix win at the LA National. Born in Iran and now based in San Diego, Nilforushan moved to the U.S. when he was 12 and loves California. He and HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri envision drawing top riders from around the world to the Sunshine Nationals, which this year for the first time will host an FEI CSI-5* class, the $350,000 Sunshine Grand Prix. Show highlights also include a $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, the West Coast Pony Finals, and the Zone 10 Age Group Equitation Finals.

The National Sunshine shows are key qualifiers for the three HITS million dollar grand prix and the HITS $500,000 and $250,000 hunter derbies.

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