Thomas G. Struzzieri - Biography
Thomas G. Struzzieri is the President and Chief Executive Officer of HITS, Inc., the largest hunter/jumper horse show production company in the United States. Based in the Village of Saugerties, New York, HITS is a national company producing horse shows in Thermal, California; Ocala, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; Culpeper, Virginia; Crete, Illinois and Saugerties, New York.
Born on Long Island in 1958, Struzzieri has been in the horse business for most of his life. A graduate of Vassar College, in the 1970s and 80s he operated Rose View Stables in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he trained hunter/jumpers and produced local horse shows. In 1982, Struzzieri launched Horse Shows In The Sun in Gainesville, Florida. With Struzzieri at its helm, HITS has grown from a single Florida horse show to a nation-wide horse show production company operating 56 horse shows annually at six HITS-owned or-leased properties located in New York, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and Virginia.
As an industry innovator, Struzzieri has developed and offered new classes, leagues and opportunities to compete that have revolutionized the hunter-jumper horse show industry. In 1991, he founded the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League to encourage and enhance the competition level of Children and Adult Hunter and Jumper riders. Today the Marshall & Sterling League holds qualifying classes at over 1,300 U.S. horse shows and holds its annual week-long Finals at HITS facility in Saugerties, New York. In 2010, Struzzieri introduced the richest purse in show jumping with the Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix. Since then, the Saugerties Million has been joined by the Diamond Mills $500,000 and Platinum Performance $250,000 Hunter Prix Finals and Black Barn $250,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix, coining the last few days of the HITS Saugerties show series as the Richest Weekend in Show Jumping. In 2012, Struzzieri took the million dollar prize money classes bicoastal offering the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in California and the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Florida, creating the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping. At the international level, Struzzieri has been selected to run the highest level of internationally-recognized FEI show jumping competitions in the United States including a FEI World CupTM Qualifier and the U.S. FEI Nations CupTM team competition.
Struzzieri is also recognized as a skillful horse show facility architect designing and building state-of-the-art facilities from the ground up in Saugerties, New York and Thermal, California and converting former race horse venues to show jumping facilities in Ocala, Florida and, most recently, Crete, Illinois, just 30 minutes outside of Chicago.
Active in the United States’ national federation, the United States Equestrian Federation, Struzzieri has served on its Board of Directors, Competition Management Committee, and Planning and Executive Committees. He is also a founding member of the United States Hunter/Jumper Association, serving on its Board of Directors and as Chairman of its Show Management Committee.
In his community, Struzzieri is a member of the M&T Bank Hudson Valley Advisory Committee and former member of the Board of Trustees of SUNY Ulster County Community College, the Board of Directors for the Ulster County Development Corporation, and the SUNY New Paltz Advisory Committee. In addition, he served on the Kingston Hospital Board. Most recently Struzzieri was named 2012 Business Person of the Year by SUNY New Paltz School of Business, and was the recipient of the 2012 John W. Galbreath Award presented by the University of Kentucky Equine Industry Program.
Mr. Struzzieri resides in Saugerties, New York, with his wife, Jane, and their three children.