FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 9, 2022
(Del Mar, CA) Friends of Del Mar Horsepark is excited to announce that Struzzieri Ventures Inc. that operates HITS (Horse Shows in the Sun)facilities nationwide will lease Horsepark. We expect Horsepark to reopen in 2023.
On June 6, 2022, the 22nd DAA—owner of the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Horsepark--sent a “Notice of Intent to Award” the Horsepark lease to Mr. Struzzieri, CEO of Struzzieri Ventures, Inc., after the higher scoring proposer withdrew his proposal.
As Tom Struzzieri puts it: “In my over 40-year career, I have coordinated horse shows up and down the State of California. From Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara to Indio and Thermal and indeed over 30 years ago in Del Mar.
The Horse Park in Del Mar remains my favorite location in California. For horsemen to have access to such a jewel in such a desirable location is unheard of anywhere in the US, let alone in California.
HITS feels doubly blessed to not only have a relatively blank canvas to enhance the property but also to have the opportunity to produce many hunter-jumper and dressage events right here in Del Mar. I look forward to starting the project of renovating one of the most iconic horse facilities in the country, and then producing some of California’s most outstanding events!”
According to the HITS press release dated June 9, 2022, “HITS will address the environmental concerns that caused the original closure of the Del Mar Horsepark in 2022. HITS will also improve the footing in the rings, adjust the facility layout to be more exhibitor friendly, and upgrade the quality of the stabling. HITS looks forward to returning to the West Coast for the 2023 show season and welcoming exhibitors back to the storied Del Mar Horsepark, allowing the West Coast to continue its long tradition of top equestrian competitions at the popular venue.”
HITS Inc is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper and dressage horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since then, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper and dressage circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Illinois. (See for more detail.)
Brief background: December 18, 2020, Del Mar Horsepark was abruptly “paused” due to concerns regarding water regulations, resulting in 35 horse show contracts being cancelled. The 22nd DAA that owns the 65-acre property then began figuring out ways to reopen the last dedicated horse show facility in San Diego County. After some deliberation, the 22nd DAA decided to lease out Horsepark through a Request for Proposal (RFP), as outdoor horse events continue to generate a steady cash flow stream regardless of pandemic closures.
Friends of Del Mar Horsepark thanks Tom Struzzieri and HITS for offering to restore this historic facility. We also thank local city council members, the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board, the 22nd DAA staff who worked diligently on the RFP, the residential neighborhoods surrounding Horsepark, the San Dieguito River Park Conservancy, and the more than 17,000 supporters who signed our petition on the Save Del Mar Horsepark.