Hampton Falls, NH - April 6 2011 - The role of the Show Manager at New England's largest international equestrian show jumping competition, the Fidelity Investments® Jumper Classic®, has been appointed to a well-known horse show professional on the east coast circuit. Mike Belisle of Wellington, Florida is taking the reins in this vital position and looks forward to some exciting new changes at the 2011 show to be held this fall in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire September 14 through 18.
Speaking from the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida where he serves as Operations Manager at the east coast epicenter of the sport, Mike expressed excitement about his new role at New England's Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic. He had the opportunity to work at the show in 2007 and 2010, and always looked forward to playing a bigger role.
"I have always enjoyed working at this horse show and I am extremely excited to have this new opportunity," he said. "The Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic is one of the premier jumper horse shows in America and it is amazing to be around a management team that is innovative and passionate about what they are doing."
Mike is no less passionate. He has worked in some capacity in the horse show world since age 16, when he was a member of the jump crew at the equestrian park in Bolton just out side of Toronto. He has since held nearly every type of position there is involved in producing a high level show jumping event.
A native of Canada, Mike obtained a bachelors degree in Marketing, then pursued his interests in the business side of equestrian sports. He currently manages five large horse shows in North America including Oxridge Hunt Club, the premier hunter/jumper show and longest running in Connecticut, Quentin Horse Park in Pennsylvania, and the Ottawa National Capital, one of the largest hunter/jumper shows in Canada and the All Star Grand Prix in Ottawa as well. He is also technical coordinator for Rush Management, Inc. which produces 18 shows. In addition he holds a course design license for the hunter ring and is working towards many other USEF cards.
At 33 years of age, Mike is one of the youngest show managers on the circuit and credits his opportunities to learn with some of the best managers in the industry, from both the East and West Coast of the US and Canada.
"Mike's professional life on the show jumping circuit has given him unique insight to the demands of the sport and the requirements of the competitors," said Melissa Lovasco, President and CEO of the Jumper Classic. "He will be a tremendous asset to our show because he can efficiently and tactfully balance the needs of the athletes with the hour-by-hour demands of a hectic class schedule during every day of the competition."
Mike is already involved in plans for improvements to the 2011 Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic such as moving the schedule around to better accommodate the exhibitors along with improving the all-weather footing rings. "I'm looking forward to being part of the show as it grows. It's very exhibitor friendly and caters to the people who give us the opportunity to hold these events. I am a strong believer in an old saying, 'your only as good as the people you surround yourself with', and with that being said, this show has an amazing core group of staff, sponsors, exhibitors and spectators that already pre-exist. My goal is to add a little to each of them to help bring this premier show to the next level." he said.