Horses in the Sun Hosts the First Triple Crown of Show Jumping

Currently training at Meadow Grove Farm in the Lake View Terrace suburb of Los Angeles, Saree Kayne has been riding in equestrian jumping shows for nearly 10 years. Among the shows that Saree Kayne has competed in across the United States and Canada are events on the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) Thermal Desert Circuit. The seven-week series of hunter-jumper shows is held from January to March at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California.

Along with the Thermal Desert Circuit, HITS operates winter horse show circuits in Ocala, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as summer circuits in Saugerties, New York, and Culpeper, Virginia. The Ocala and Thermal circuits both culminate with $1 million grand prix horse jumping competitions, leading up to a third $1 million dollar prix at the HITS Championship, which constitutes the final week of the Saugerties circuit. Together, these three grand prix comprise the first established Triple Crown of Show Jumping. Additionally, the HITS Championship hosts two hunter prix finals, with awards totaling $250,000 and $500,000, as well as a $250,000 junior/adult-owner division jumper prix.

Before it became a national horse show managing company offering some of the largest award purses in the world, HITS began with a single horse show circuit held in Gainesville, Florida, in 1982. Since establishing the organization with this initial circuit, HITS has been led through its subsequent development by president and CEO Thomas G. Struzzieri, and the enterprise now has 35 employees at its headquarters in Saugerties, New York. Moreover, HITS continues to seek new ways of expanding its operations within the event management field. In 2011, HITS added a HITS Triathlon Series and HITS Running Festivals to its roster of competitions.

HITS has also garnered the support of a number of corporate sponsors across a broad range of industries. Zoetis, AIG, and Great American Insurance Group each sponsors one of HITS’ $1 million grand prix. Other major sponsors include Purina, Bayer, Antarès, CardFlex, and Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern. Likewise, HITS has developed a large network of media partnerships to facilitate coverage of its events.


Training a Horse to Jump

Saree Kayne, a doctoral candidate at Stanford University, splits her time between academics and competitive horseback riding. Although she started jumping horses at the age of 16, which is older than most, Saree Kayne has competed for several years with her barn, Woodacres Stables LLC, and has many wins to her name.

The first step of training a horse to jump is getting the horse used to going over poles. Laying around four poles on the ground and walking the horse over them begins the learning process of going over the jumping poles. Incorporate the poles into regular training sessions and, once the horse is comfortable with them, practice trotting and cantering the horse over the poles. For horses that are too intimidated by multiple poles, starting with just one and gradually increasing the amount helps.

As the horse gets used to the ground poles, add a cross-rail jump at the end. Cross-rail jumps are relatively short and, thus, more inviting to horses learning to jump. The design of the jumps guides the horse toward the middle and makes stepping over the jump easier if the horse is apprehensive about jumping fully.

Once the horse is comfortable with single jumps, develop a gymnastic grid, which brings together multiple cross-rail jumps and teaches the horse how to maintain a controlled pace throughout multiple sets. Typically, setting the jumps around 10 feet apart is enough, but some horses require a larger space depending on their size and stride. Increasing the height of the final jump adds a bit of difficulty and starts the process of training a horse for higher fences.

Bill Callahan Album Dream River Earns Critical Acclaim

A PhD candidate in cultural anthropology at Stanford University, Saree Kayne studies the organizational structure of the International Olympic Committee and its effect on the Olympic Games. During her free time, Saree Kayne enjoys reading Henry James novels and listening to the music of Bill Callahan.

Hailing from Silver Spring, Maryland, Bill Callahan has spent more than two decades making music and recording albums under both his name and the band name Smog. Considered one of the most influential bands among the indie folk movement of the 1990s, Smog produced classic albums such as Sewn to the Sky, The Doctor Came at Dawn, and Burning Kingdom, which feature stripped-down, understated instrumentation to accompany his trademark baritone vocals.

In 2013, Callahan released Dream River, the fourth album he recorded since dropping the Smog moniker in 2005. Hailed by music review outlets such as, which named the album one of the best of the year, Dream River features Callahan’s trademark subdued style while marking a departure from his previously melancholy themes.

Phi Beta Kappa Membership Requirements

Saree Kayne is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University, where she is writing a dissertation on the relationship between the culture and the production of the Olympics. While studying at the University of Chicago as an undergraduate, Saree Kayne was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

An academic honors organization, Phi Beta Kappa was established at the College of William and Mary in 1776 with the hope of encouraging liberty and freedom of thought and inquiry. The society invites all eligible academics to apply for membership. Members must meet the following requirements:

1. Members must be undergraduate students and candidates for a bachelor’s degree who have completed approximately three-quarters of their studies.

2. Members must have a good working knowledge of at least two languages.

3. Members should have completed at least one college-level course in math, statistics, or logic.

4. Members are encouraged to have a variety of courses to show breadth and depth of study.

5. Members must also possess good moral character.

To learn more or to apply for membership, visit

Department of Anthropology at Stanford: Graduate Student FAQ

graduate of the University of Chicago, Saree Kayne is a doctoral student in Stanford University’s cultural anthropology program. Prior to being admitted to Stanford for her PhD, Saree Kayne researched its graduate anthropology program carefully. Below are some commonly asked questions by prospective Stanford graduate students.

Q: How long does the average PhD program last?

A: Following the first three years of study, graduate students tend to do one to two years of fieldwork on average, and then spend time writing their dissertations. The entire process can take anywhere from five to many years, though the “average” time tends to be between seven and eight years for a degree in cultural anthropology.

Q: What are the funding options for graduate students?

A: At Stanford all admitted graduate students receive the same five year funding package for financial support, which includes a stipend and tuition costs. Stanford is exemplary in its graduate student funding and many other universities, if they offer funding at all, do not offer it uniformly for all their students. One significant benefit to being a funded graduate student is health insurance during the academic year.

Q: What is the estimated cost of living on campus at Stanford?

A: These costs vary, and depend on how much aid the student is receiving, both institutionally and personally. According to Stanford’s standard budget, total non-tuition expenses for an academic quarter (four months) are just over $9,000.