California Riding Magazine • August, 2012

HITS Happenings
Tom Struzzieri buys back his company shares as $1 million classes near.

Horse Shows In The Sun President & CEO Tom Struzzieri has purchased the shares of HITS held for seven years by Leonard Green & Partners, LLC (LGP).

Tom founded HITS in 1981 and under his guidance the company has grown into one of the leading equine event production companies in
the world.

In 2006, private equity firm LGP purchased two thirds of the company from Struzzieri.

"I am most appreciative of the involvement of LGP in HITS for the last seven years," Tom says. "With their help, HITS has been able to continue to be innovative and successful in the sport of show jumping. Many significant changes have taken place through this partnership. The construction of the new HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal and the introduction of the biggest prize money classes in the world come to mind as the biggest game changers."

The purchase back by Tom guarantees continuity and demonstrates the commitment that he has for the sport and the HITS show series, which shows no evidence of slowing down. HITS recently announced a West Coast version of their famed Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix with the Thermal $1 Million Grand Prix to be held March 17 in California.

"Planning is underway for the third-annual Pfizer Million event Sept. 9 in Saugerties, NY, which will be paired with the second-annual Diamond Mills $500,000 Grand Prix, the all-new HITS $250,000 Hunter Prix Final, the popular Marshall & Sterling Junior Medal Final, the PHA National Medal Final and musical concert by GRAMMY award winning artist Michael McDonald.

"While back on the West Coast, we are already preparing the show grounds in Thermal for a special season in 2013 as we will be accommodating more clients than ever with the addition of the new class. Ocala next winter will also see some facility improvements, including the addition of a new outside course. With over 50 Grand Prix classes a year, the biggest prize money classes in the world and the coordination of the ever popular Marshall & Sterling League, I expect HITS to continue to be the industry leader," Tom concludes.

Several West Coast-based riders have qualified for the $1 million Saugerties class next month. These include Francie Steinwedell-Carvin, last year's runners-up Duncan McFarlane and Mr. Whoopy, Helen McNaught, and Mark Watring. Meanwhile, next year's Desert Circuit in Thermal fires up Jan. 22 and concludes with the big money class on March 17.

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