Tag Archives: HITS

Melissa Strawser and Darwin De Mars Master $20,000 HITS Open Prix at Culpeper Finals

Melissa Strawser and Darwin De Mars. Photo by: Alison Hartwell.

Culpeper, Va. – October 2, 2022 – On Sunday, Melissa Strawser celebrated her one-year anniversary with Darwin De Mars in winning style, earning the victory in the $20,000 HITS Open Prix at the Culpeper Finals. Their partnership began at the same competition last year, and together they have become a dominating force – besting Sunday’s three-horse jump-off after also winning Friday’s $10,000 Open Prix to close out the season at HITS Culpeper.

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North Shore Nabs $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Win with Isabella Bertozzi

Hunter competition took center stage on Saturday during the HITS Culpeper Finals at Commonwealth Park. Once again, Isabella Bertozzi claimed the winning title in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, this time aboard her veteran partner North Shore. Although it was Bertozzi’s first Hunt & Go Derby, she stayed smooth under pressure to lead the class from start to finish with her talented mount.

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Tom Struzzieri Steps Down as CEO of HITS LLC

Saugerties, NY – September 8, 2022 – HITS LLC announced that as planned, founder Tom Struzzieri will be stepping away from his role as Chief Executive Officer at the end of the 2022 season, after more than 40 years at the helm of HITS LLC. Under Struzzieri’s leadership, HITS has become the premier brand known for producing world-class hunter/jumper competitions in the United States. HITS LLC will be led by their world class management team, while the Company actively engages in a search for a new CEO.

Struzzieri will remain a part owner and Director of HITS LLC, and will continue to provide strategic consulting to the Company as well as significant involvement in the launch of the Del Mar, California Showpark in 2023.

Struzzieri commented: “I have been extremely fortunate over the 4 decades of running HITS to have a terrific group of employees who have been by my side through some very hard climbs as we together have grown the company. I remain committed to those people and will be in constant touch as a consultant as we face the next challenges together. On a parallel course, I have also been blessed to have very loyal clients, and because of that loyalty they too can continue to count on me as a liaison to all things HITS related. The future of HITS is bright and I plan on doing what I can behind the scenes to help it shine.”

“It has been a pleasure to witness the industry through Tom’s eyes. He has been, and will continue to be, a guide and advisor to us all,” said Mortimer Singer, Managing Partner of Traub Capital Partners.  “Tom has built a great business and we look forward to continuing our work together as partners.”

With six locations in New York, Florida, Vermont, Illinois, Virginia, and now California, HITS will continue its mission of providing top quality competitions for riders at every level, while improving its facilities, technology and overall customer experience. Exhibitors can expect exciting new developments at the beginning of 2023 as the HITS Ocala Winter Show Series kicks off at Post Time Farm, as well as at Del Mar Showpark, where teams are already in place to begin renovations.

As Struzzieri steps away from his role as CEO, he is fulfilling his life-long goal of cycling across the United States, and will be supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) with Team Alpha. If you would like to consider making a donation, you can do so here: https://www.alphabikeride.com/team.

For more information, visit HitsShows.com.

Jordan Coyle and Centriko Volo Conquer $100,000 HITS Grand Prix at Saugerties

Jordan Coyle and Centriko Volo. Photo by: ESI Photography.

Saugerties, N.Y. – September 4, 2022 – Returning from his home country of Ireland, Jordan Coyle brought a bit of luck back to the United States with him this week, jumping to victory in the $100,000 HITS Grand Prix during HITS-on-the-Hudson VII with Centriko Volo. Coyle proved that his horses are in top form ahead of the HITS Championship’s $405,300 Grand Prix CSI5*, which will be held Sunday, September 11, by besting the seven-horse jump-off to claim the winning title.

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Hannah Isop and Believe Bring Home $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix

The final event ahead of the $200,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final was held on Saturday during HITS-on-the-Hudson VII ahead of the HITS Championship. Riders gathered at the Outside Course to vie for the win during the $5,000 HITS Hunter Prix, presented by Patti Howard of Compass Real Estate. At the end of the day, it was Hannah Isop and Believe who led the class from start to finish with two impressive scores of 88 to earn the victory.

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For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Evan Coluccio and Christian D’Or Make Dominating Debut in $20k HITS Open Prix in Culpeper

Evan Coluccio and Christian D’Or. Photo by: Alison Hartwell.

Culpeper, Va. – August 21, 2022 – Sometimes, a new partnership comes together right from the start, and on Sunday that proved to be the case for Evan Coluccio with his new mount Christian D’Or. The 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Sea Sporthorses LLC arrived at Coluccio’s farm just 10 days ago, and the $20,000 HITS Open Prix marked their competition debut. They showed their new partnership is a winning one by besting a five-horse jump-off to take home the top prize, kicking off an exciting future together.

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Isabella Bertozzi and Cousteau Best $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Perfect weather greeted riders during the Winston National at HITS Culpeper as they gathered at the Main Hunter Ring to contest the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Junior rider Isabella Bertozzi laid down a flawless handy round aboard Cousteau, jumping up from third place after the first round to capture the winning title and lead the lap of honor during Saturday’s highlight event.

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Daniel Kelly and Galena Gallop to $10,000 HITS Open Welcome Victory

It was a race to the finish in Friday’s $10,000 HITS Open Welcome at HITS Culpeper. Daniel Kelly of Purcellville, Virginia galloped home with the victory aboard Galena as the fastest of three double clears during the day’s highlight event. He was able to edge ahead of Jackson Schurtz and Imago Z by just 1/10th of a second, while Juliana Thorbecke and King’s Treasure Evo placed third with a conservative clear round.

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Andre Thieme Captures Great American $1 Million Grand Prix Win

It was a perfect day at HITS Ocala for the seventh Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, where riders from near and far took their shot at the coveted title and the winner’s share of $350,000. The sun was shining as previous Million Winners, first time Million riders, Grand Prix and Olympic Veterans, and newcomers were welcomed under the HITS arch into the Grand Prix Stadium for the richest class in the world so far in 2020 and 2021. Not only was this the seventh Great American Million, but it was also the 22nd $1 Million Grand Prix hosted by HITS.

The course designed by Mr. Bernardo Cabral of Lisbon, Portugal challenged riders to be accurate and earn their shot at the top honors. “This class was a varied group of riders. Some have been in Ocala all circuit, and some came from other parts of the state. It was a big field, so I thought it was a hard class to put together,” said Cabral. “I didn’t make it overly big but it was technical and I thought asked a lot of questions to the riders, but also left an easy way out for the horses if there was a mistake by the pilot.” The first round course consisted of fourteen fences and included several delicate verticals throughout the track, often with wide oxers right before or after, making riders plan their adjustments quickly. The triple bar to the triple combination was a unique effort early in the course, and the last line of a wide oxer away from the ingate to the final vertical foiled many a rider’s plan of making it to the jump-off. Eight riders jumped clean to move on to the jump-off course which featured several new elements as well as parts from the first round course.

Andre Thieme is officially the most decorated HITS Million Winner as Sunday marked his fourth HITS Million title, this time taking home the blue ribbon aboard his own CHAKARIA. “I think everybody can tell by now that this class [HITS $1 Million Grand Prix] means something to me! It’s my goal every year and while I’m not giving away other classes, I definitely don’t put as much effort toward some of the other classes,” said Thieme. “I try to really produce my horses for this class every single time. I try to be sure that everything on the day of this class goes perfect because this is the class that I really want to win each year.”

Thieme’s first HITS Million win came aboard ARAGON ROUET in the 2011 Saugerties Million, followed by his first win in the Great American Million aboard CONTANGA 3 in 2014, and the third being back in Saugerties with CONTHENDRIX in 2017. “Now that I’ve won this class four times, it’s just unbelievable to me,” Thieme exclaimed. “I would have never thought that it is possible, but I have a superstar horse for the first time in my life and it’s just so much easier with that kind of a horse.”

Thieme has been riding CHAKARIA for the past year-and-a-half and said that it didn’t take him long to realize how amazing the chestnut mare is. “I couldn’t believe my luck that for the first time in my life, I was a little bit quicker than someone else buying the horse. She is fast, sound, a fighter, careful, and scopey – I don’t know how to start and how to end; she’s just an amazing horse.”

As Thieme continued talking about the day, he discussed the course, saying, “When I first walked it, I thought that it was probably going to be a little bit too small. I was expecting something bigger for the number of horses entered, to not have 15 clear rounds. Bernardo [Cabral] explained it to me and I realized that the course was a touch trickier than I thought.” Going 41st in the order, Thieme was the fifth to go clean in the first round, giving him an advantage of returning later in the in the jump-off.  Several early riders had rails or other mistakes, so Thieme knew a clear round was most important, but a fast time would put the pressure on the final three. Thieme jumped clear in 34.393 to claim the lead. “It worked for my horse because she is really careful,” said Thieme. “I have to thank Tom and HITS once more because without him we wouldn’t have a class like this and I and many of the other riders really appreciate it.”

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

New Features on Showhorse TV This Summer

©ESI Photograhpy.

HITS and Showhorse TV are excited to announce expanded Live Stream and Video Services to be introduced at HITS Saugerties during the Great American Summer Series presented by Alliant Private Client. Every ring will be streamed live at Showhorse.tv, and videos will be archived and accessible for a full year.

“In an effort to minimize the number of people on the showgrounds this summer, HITS has arranged to live stream from every ring, every day,” said Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of HITS, Inc. “During these very unique times, this allows all of us to help deliver the safest showing experience possible. You and others will be able to access these videos at any time for the next 12 months.” Each week, exhibitors at HITS Saugerties will receive a code to access the live stream and archived videos. The code will be available in Show Office.

Remember, every ring is being live streamed every day. Just create your User Account at Showhorse.tv and enter the code provided by the Show Office and you can watch and re-watch every round from the show.  With Showhorse TV, you’ll never miss out on watching any of the featured classes at HITS Saugerties the Summer.

1) Log in to your account at Showhorse.tv OR create a new account.  Creating the account is FREE.  Just enter a Username and Password on the Showhorse.tv website.

2) Go to Showhorse.tv/discover.

3) Select any “Live Stream” or to re-watch a recorded class choose “Video” for the week you were in attendance.

4) When the Purchase Screen appears, enter the event Promo Code supplied by Show Office for that week.

5) Share the code with friends and family.  Anyone can use the code to access all Live Stream and Video Archives – they’ll just need to create a FREE Showhorse TV account.

Please Note: The Option to enter Promo Code to unlock “Live Streams” and “Recorded Rounds” is only available on the Showhorse TV website (Showhorse.tv/discover), not the Showhorse TV app. After having done so, they will be unlocked and available on the app as well.

More information at HITSShows.com.

Join HITS for the Great American Summer Series

HITS, Inc. is pleased to announce that, pending USEF approval, HITS-on-the-Hudson will be host to a six-week series of shows this summer that will combine three existing Vermont Summer Festival shows and three HITS Saugerties Summer Series shows to create the Great American Summer Series, July 1 – August 9, 2020.

“We are pleased to be working with John Ammerman and the Vermont Summer Festival to create the Great American Summer Series at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York this year,” said Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of HITS. “When John [Ammerman] first found out he could not run shows in Vermont in 2020, we immediately began collaborating to bring our two circuits together to provide exhibitors with a world-class experience this summer.”

The Great American Summer Series will begin July 1 with two VSF Shows, the Vermont Summer Special and Manchester Summer Festival, followed by the three-week HITS Saugerties Summer Series, and finishing with the Vermont Summer Celebration.

We expect to hear from USEF next week and will make our final announcement and publish the Great American Summer Series Prize List then.

Stay tuned for more information at HITSShows.com.

Enjoy the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Style

The Seventh Annual Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, on Sunday, March 22, is less than a month away. The richest Grand Prix in America will feature a great group of Grand Prix veterans and rising stars, including nearly a dozen past Olympians and a dozen more Olympic hopefuls. This year’s Great American Million is an event you don’t want to miss.

Watch top Grand Prix riders including Beezie Madden and McLain Ward representing the United States, Jill Henselwood and Beth Underhill representing Canada, Rowan Willis and Scott Keach of Australia, Sharn Wordley of New Zealand, Andre Thieme of Germany, and more. Be a part of show jumping history, where past Million Champions meet first time contestants all in hopes of securing the crown jewel of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.

General Admission Tickets are $10 for Adults, Children 12 & Under free.
Grandstand seating or bring your own lawn chairs. Snack Bar available.
Season Passes grant admittance to the Great American Million also.

Day VIP Passes are $150 per person and include lunch buffet with beer and wine service.
Day VIP seating will be open style seating in a covered tent overlooking the Grand Prix Stadium.
Day VIP Passes must be purchased in advance and are not refundable.

For more information, contact the Horse Show Office at 352.620.2275 or info@hitsshows.com.

Cheers to 39 Years at HITS Ocala

The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit is HITS’ longest-running horse show series, having started in Gainesville in 1982.  Now celebrating its 39th year, the annual USEF-Rated show jumping circuit returns to HITS Post Time Farm for what may prove to be its biggest season yet in terms of horses, participants, prize money, and economic impact on the surrounding community.

“In this first week we have already seen an increase of 500 stalls for a total of 2,200 stalls rented on-property,” said Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO, HITS, Inc. “We expect that trend to continue the rest of the circuit, putting us on pace to grow by 30% this year, surpassing our previous entry records.”

A Staple Winter Circuit Returns

Having grown from a five-week circuit at its inception to the current 12-week schedule that runs from December through March each year, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit offers USEF National- and Premier-Rated Hunter competition, and 4*, 5*, and 6* Jumper competition.  Eight of the shows boast the highest Hunter Rating of Premier, and increased Grand Prix prize money has raised the number of shows with a 6* Jumper rating to seven.

These highly-rated USEF shows offer exhibitors at HITS Ocala valuable qualifying points for the prestigious “Indoor” horse shows, a number of National Medal and Horsemanship finals, and several USHJA programs.  In addition, points earned and money won throughout the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit count toward USEF Horse of the Year National and Zone Awards.

HITS continues to stay at the forefront of equestrian sport by offering a range of classes for every level of horse and rider, from Leadline to Grand Prix.  With over 450 classes offered each week, HITS promotes one of the most marvelous aspects of show jumping – where a child at his or her very first show may be seen at the competition ring standing next to an Olympic athlete.

This may be never truer than what this year’s circuit will see, where myriad upgrades and unique offerings at HITS Post Time Farm have attracted top riders from around the world.  These riders include half a dozen Olympic athletes and represent at least a dozen countries.  The richest purse in show jumping, the seventh annual Great American $1 Million Grand Prix, will be the ultimate showcase for these riders to cap off the circuit on March 22.

HITS Post Time Farm is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 8 am to 4 pm, from January 15 to March 22. Admission is free every day except Sunday, which is $10 per adult admission ticket for the Grand Prix. HITS Season Passes are also available for $20 and grant access to all ten Sunday Grand Prix. Children 12 and under are free and parking is free. Snack Bar and grandstand seating available. For more information, tickets, and Day VIP opportunities for the Great American Million, please contact the show office at 352.620.2275 or visit HITSShows.com.

The Marshall & Sterling Team Challenge Returns This Week

If you’re showing at the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit this week, be sure to compete in the ALL NEW Marshall & Sterling Team Challenge making its return during Week IX. This multi-round, multi-day team competition for Children’s and Adult Hunter and Jumper Riders is the latest addition to the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League.

Teams of three will compete to be the Champion in three rounds of competition. Teams may consist of any combination of Children’s or Adult Riders. Riders will earn points individually for the Finals, so a team can change from week to week. The Marshall & Sterling Team Challenge Finals will be held at the Marshall & Sterling Indoor Finals at the Great New York State Fair Expo Center in Syracuse, New York, October 23-27, 2019.

Get together with your friends, or make new friends, and enter your team today in the Horse Show Office!

Hunters

The Children’s/Adult Hunter Team Challenge will consist of three rounds: Classic-Style, Under Saddle, and Handy-Style. Rounds will be scored numerically and scores from each round will be added to determine the total score for each Team.

Jumpers

The Children’s/Adult Jumper Team Challenge will consist of three rounds: a two-round Nations Cup-Style on Day One and a stand-alone Table II Round on Day Two. Faults from each round will be added to determine a final score for the Team.

The Qualifying Period for the 2019 Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals ends on August 25, 2019. Riders must be active Marshall & Sterling Insurance League Members in order for points to count. For more information on the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League, visit HitsShows.com or contact League Director Patti Guerriero.