Struzzieri Announces the Sale of HITS Thermal and Tucson Desert Circuit To Focus on Ocala
Friday, August 9, 2019
Saugerties, NY - HITS, Inc., and CEO Thomas Struzzieri has announced the sale of the Thermal, California series of horse shows and the winter circuit in Arizona. The sale includes the eight winter Desert Circuit shows and the two fall shows that make up the Sunshine Series of events, and the six weeks held at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson.
Founded in 1992, the Desert Circuit quickly became the centerpiece of the HITS collection of circuits. The series now attracts over 3,000 stalls in a given week and sets new standards for prize money awarded, including the AIG $1,000,000 Grand Prix. This past fall, the Sunshine Circuit rented 2,000 stalls and is now on pace to shatter entry records for the 2019 season. The Desert Circuit has long been a destination for top horse-rider combinations and for several seasons hosted four FEI World Cup Qualifying events a year.
“The timing of this sale is perfect for both HITS and myself. My team and I have successfully shepherded this product from just an idea to one of the largest horse show franchises in the world,” says HITS CEO and founder Tom Struzzieri. “Three ingredients made this the perfect recipe for a sale. One, it allows me to travel a bit less and spend more time with my fantastic family. Two, this allows HITS to concentrate fully in the winter on the very important HITS Ocala Circuit.” The Ocala Circuit is the oldest program in the HITS collection of shows and its facilities are also the largest, spanning 450 lush acres in the Florida neighborhood known as the 'Horse Capital of the World.' Struzzieri says that the sale will allow him to devote significant financial and staffing resources toward ensuring that the Ocala facility remains an essential winter hunter-jumper destination. Like the Desert Circuit, the Ocala Winter Circuit sets new standards for prize money awarded and Struzzieri says his clients will now see even greater innovation at the Ocala facility. “The Great American $1,000,000 Grand Prix remains the crown jewel of prize money on the East Coast and I am confident that it will only grow because of this sale,” says Struzzieri.
The third reason for the sale, says Struzzieri, is his certainty that the shows in Thermal are in good hands. “This partner group, led by Steve Hankin, is committed to continuing to offer quality events in the desert in California. They have plans to continue to improve both the property and the event to ensure a great experience for all the existing and new customers.” And, as a result of the sale, Struzzieri will do the same in Ocala, dedicating enormous resources to his own facility to guarantee an extraordinary customer experience in the new HITS winter centerpiece. “They made us an offer we couldn’t resist!” he says. “My only regret is no longer having the opportunity to enjoy the California series with my long supportive West Coast customers and friends.”
“The Thermal and Arizona winter circuits are centerpieces of the show schedule on the West Coast, and we look forward to building on the strong success Tom has created. Tom and his team have been incredibly supportive of efforts throughout this process. We have an enthusiastic group of California equestrians committed to supporting the sport going forward and will be announcing more about our plans soon,” commented Hankin.