An Open Letter to Tom Struzzieri

This is not a complaint about one horse show. This is not a whining because it rains a lot at your horse shows. Or the footing is an issue. (Which it is). This letter is about the decades long feeling there is a lack of empathy for your customers which continues to resonate through our little horse community. I am now totally confused as to where we stand with you. Where do your clients (exhibitors) stand with you? Where do our horses stand with you? Where does horse welfare stand with you? It would be comforting to hear some honest answers for once.

I have to admire your ambition for growth, we all have been impressed at one time or another about your remarkable ability to build some sort of business out of horses, purchase show dates, erect show grounds out of nothing, and throw huge prize money into a few classes, generate hype, and we all fell for it. We all wanted to be a part of the essence of the Million Dollar classes, gravitate to big money, big sales, big dreams, big business, and cool perks. I know I did. I spent years showing at Culpeper, Ocala, Indio, and even Saugerties.

There are reviews on your FB page which give you five stars and include all sorts of wonderful positive comments. To find them, you have to sort through some painfully familiar negative ones

Rachel *******· November 18, 2015

So this in many ways is a great well run show. My specific complaint is the way they treated my division. 2’6″ hunters. First classes were cancelled as the ring was too busy. Not rescheduled- which could have been an option. Second the last day of the show they could not be bothered to water and drag the ring. My poor horse has a respiratory problem and almost choked on all the dust. She was coughing and sneezing constantly. If you are going to take my money I deserve the same quality experience as folks showing over bigger fences !!

Jamie ***** reviewed HITS Horse Shows — 1 starJanuary 18 · 
Balmoral is for harness racing, not jumping horses.
Eric ***** reviewed HITS Horse Shows — 2 star March 24, 2014 · 
Decent footing in the rings with cool trees. But, the place is basically a dump, the temporary tents have inadequate electrical power, the pathways are rutted, office staff is hostile, and too few restroom facilities. Not going back.
Ann ***** reviewed HITS Horse Shows — 1 star     March 24, 2014 · 
After having to stand in line since 330 this afternoon for our tables in the VIP tent……got stampeded as we tried to get a table when they opened the doors at 5. Very poorly organized for the $ 1 million class
Margaret ***** reviewed HITS Horse Shows — 1 star     March 24, 2014 · 
HORRIBLE management at the VIP tent! Extremely disappointed in how the seating is being managed.
**
Marge ****** reviewed HITS Horse Shows — 5 star     March 26 at 11:26pm · 
Very good attendance , great competition and the weather was about as good as it gets. Ocala, Florida March 26, 2017
Donna ****** reviewed HITS Horse Shows — 5 star     September 12, 2016 · 
What a great place, hope some day my daughter rides there!

**

In Ocala one year I stood stoically as I was berated for holding up the children’s pony division because of the children’s jumper classic. Jerry Dougherty sped around me as I was wearily heading back to my barn, slammed on the brakes of his golf cart with one leg dangling out to the side, sunglasses on, and said if I didn’t manage my days better, I would have to find somewhere else to show in the winter. He didn’t want to hear my excuse of the shoe being pulled in the deplorable schooling area and that I chose to have it repaired by the farrier before continuing to allow the horse to compete. Meanwhile the long line at the children’s pony ring had dwindled and they had to wait 20 minutes for me to finish with the jumper. I didn’t argue. He didn’t offer me a ride back to the barn. I didn’t cry. When I look back on that episode now (which obviously had an impact) I cannot imagine that happening to me in Ohio, Kentucky, Vermont. or ANYWHERE.

I spent a summer in 2009 sloshing around in the mud and rain, watching the trailers disappear under several feet of water, helping stranded golf carts push through unpaved gravel roads, adorned with potholes so deep fish were spotted swimming in them. I trekked for what seemed miles to the show rings, telling my students they would be so tough and resilient after surviving Saugerties. I think they just ended up tired.

When I came back that fall for the special classes I qualified for, I had to leave two horses home, one sold, one was lame. I decided I probably wouldn’t need the extra grooming stall. Knowing you were sold out and had a waiting list I called you immediately and said I would be happy to sell the three stalls back or to someone else. When I got there, your secretaries refused to acknowledge such actions, forcing me into paying for three extra stalls which had already been promptly sold to someone else on the wait list. I tried not to be bitter about how much money you just made over selling those three stalls twice, but I couldn’t get past it.

I left your company for good right there and then, vowing I would never ever give you another dime. I would never, ever allow myself to be sucked into the HITS circuit again. But, you didn’t give a f**k. You didn’t even notice.

I missed nothing about not attending your shows, and instead made new loyalties, supported new venues. I raised my eyebrows when I heard you helped purchase Balmoral and renovate it. Same when I heard you were involved in a restaurant in NYC.  A running festival. A marina. There were so many grumblings about your current facilities, I thought it was odd you were expanding. Again. and again. Since I personally wasn’t showing with HITS anymore, it didn’t directly affect me. I thought it curious you were quoted in an article about your dedication to making horse shows better, however.

“Every day we’re trying to make the horse shows better,” he said. “I want to make sure Diamond Mills is doing well. I want it to be humming along.”

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/article/DF/20120818/NEWS/308189993

During the 2015 USHJA annual meeting (which you sponsored), I watched you come totally unglued during about how the location for the International Derby Finals are chosen. It is a pretty clear bid process for all of the major USHJA/USEF Finals, but the process did not seem to suit you and there was an enormous amount of angst expressed in the room. Apologies were apparently made later and outside of our view, but it was a pretty shocking site to us sitting in the chairs.

During the 2016 USHJA Annual meeting (which you ALSO sponsored), I witnessed some improvements being made in Coachella. We were all escorted to your facility, fed copies amounts of food and drink, and entertained with a pony club demonstration in the Grand Prix ring. What great fun.

Are you sponsoring the Annual meeting for a reason? Are people like me who speak up the reason? Or is it another reason?  The Annual Meeting needs to be more accessible to our members, less costly, so people will actually show up, and are you able to help with those efforts? I can’t help but feel there is a plot twist in this somehow.

The West Coast riders had been begging for years for improvements, and it looked as though you were answering them. New buildings, new rings, but what happened to getting each day started? No way to sign up for start times online led to lines at 7am similar to Los Angeles rush hour. A living nightmare of a way to start the day. The excitement over the improvements started to wane after dozens and dozens of riders, trainers, and grooms waited hours each morning to negotiate start times.

You also stung a few riders by lowering the height of the Million Dollar GP on the West Coast, claiming that the horses in Thermal would benefit from 1.50m height rather than 1.60. My first thought was maybe the horses are there, but the riders are hesitant to jump 1.60 on your footing. The reaction others had was way more tepid.

At what point do you sacrifice extraordinary prize money for actually just having top notch facilities?

Are you only making 1 Million dollar improvements to Ocala next year because of the threat of WEC setting up shop right next door? That’s what it took? After all these years? I know people who are so excited about that future facility, they are thinking of changing disciplines just to show there.

I don’t even blink about a $1 million dollar improvement happening in Ocala. Try 10. You could put in a $1 million dollar entrance for all we know,  just re-grading the roads to the barns would eat up that $1 million quickly enough. My guess is every year the operating budget alone is $1 million to even get the first two weeks running and we are being distracted with a press release. If you are only addressing 6 of the 12 rings with pushing back the footing and installing drains, that means there are 6 satisfactory show rings in existence? And the schooling areas? http://www.ocala.com/news/20170413/hits-plans-1-million-in-improvements-before-2018

You own this little Show grounds in middle Virginia, which used to be an incredible mecca for show people. I grew up eventing there, I galloped the cross country fences, flew around stadium courses like it was the venue of a lifetime. It is where Superman had that career ending injury. We listened to older trainers tell remarkable stories about a previous owner of the Commonwealth Park facility dropping dollar bills out of a helicopter an hour before the Grand Prix to make sure people would attend the big class.  For years, we watched it fall into a decline while you took on other ventures. You expanded in Ocala, New York, Thermal, Arizona, Chicago. I noticed my friends stopped wanting to show in the Virginia location. The barns were collapsing, the rings were struggling to be safe to ride in. The structures started to really rot.

Last year, when I was injured, my horses came back to Culpeper. My best friend was stabling next door, and she really, really wanted to show my horses at your show, so I agreed to let her show one. I hated to do it, not because of her, but because I had to give HITS money. It killed me, but I got over it, she and the horse were terrific, and it was good publicity for him in the end. This year the same thing happened. I am injured again, and I agreed to have a client take the same horse down to show in the adults this time. I couldn’t sleep. I was riddled with worry. When I woke up on Friday morning and checked my news, my heart sunk. There were several complaints about the conditions in Culpeper, and it was escalating quickly. The weather was not helping, but even with good weather, conditions were far from ideal. The list was long and getting longer. by the minute. By Friday half of the few competitors scratched and went home. Only 10 competed in your Grand Prix. Not even the horse stabled next door coming off a win in Ohio would set foot in that ring.

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No tractor available (broken part) to drag the rings for first two days. Ironically, this place is surrounded by farms AND a Kubota dealer right in town. 


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Constructing and moving a judges stand in the middle of the competition. 


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Seems safe


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One loose pony and it is all over. exposed stakes AND wires to trip over

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wires everywhere

Yes, I get the collapsing barns you replaced were supposed to make us feel better, but really, did you think about layout at all? Or, did you erect the barns simply to get us to shut up? These shows only take place in the summer months, so direct sunlight is actually an issue. There is literally no shade. And when it rains……It rained so much and so hard, water was pouring in from the roof into the actual ‘new’ barn aisles.

Why do so many of your show staff seem so unhappy? Why aren’t the rings seeing a tractor more often? Or, at all? Why does the simple act of retrieving a back number out of the show office intimidate so many people? Why ARE the stalls $300 a week this year? Why is there an extra fee if we choose to use straw? Why is there an extra fee to take deep breaths?

People come to this horse show because it is convenient. We live here. We are close to it. Like people live close to your show grounds in Ocala, bought property for themselves to be in the sunshine state, the same goes for Virginia. Zone 3 is pretty freaking healthy right now, we have a lot of hunters and jumpers. We have other shows in the same vicinity which sell out each year. We also are seeing other show managers think outside the box to help exhibitors.

I am just curious as to how you come to your conclusions with regards to exhibitors. You see, it seems as though you can get away with all of these mediocre to crippling facilities because you simply up the ante for special classes. 1 million for this, 1 million for that, $250k for the Jr/Am, 100k-500k here for hunters,  50k for the young ones. Do you think we won’t jump a Grand Prix for $750k? Or a Derby for less than $500k? Have you met us? Or, is this your way of suggesting we shouldn’t complain? Well, it is really hard not to complain when we can plainly see what’s happening around us.

We do love to compete, but we also really, really need our horses to stay sound to compete. Without the horses, we are nothing. I believe we would be more impressed with our horses LOVING the facility, just as much as that big paycheck, and I believe it is your job to find out exactly what the balance should be.

I don’t feel your blessing to push up the existing footing in three of the six rings and install drains will satisfy your customers. But apparently that will be happening in June. Is that really enough? Do the schooling areas count as being equally important to you since the horses jump more in the schooling areas than they do in the actual show rings? i can guess the answer.

In Virginia, the other event which suffers is our Zone championships. There are people who have no interest in being on our championship jumper teams specifically because the finals are being held at Culpeper. This is kind of irritating. With limited options to hold major events, we have depended on your facility to help us out, and it looks like we will not be able to experience the same competition we had envisioned for our (USHJA) members. I personally believe the priority of the USHJA SHOULD be for it’s members, and not for the show managers, but maybe I am wrong. I believe our members look to the Board of Directors and Zone Committee members for answers, not to you.  Maybe the bidding process for these events needs to be re-evaluated? Maybe the mileage rule caused this, and the responsibility lies elsewhere? A monopoly on the market doesn’t usually mean competitions improve standards each year, after all, where lies the motivation? The dates are yours to keep, after all.

You may have permanently lost the last of your Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and even New Jersey customers last week, I am sorry to say. I think people finally have realized you aren’t here for them, all the patience and tolerance has been wiped out, and that is a sad situation. I loved that facility once. It even could be nice again one day, maybe for the next generation.

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47 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Tom Struzzieri

  1. So accurate and true. A few years back my mate tore her Ddft on rocks ! In the warm up ring in ocala. I actually contacted Billy Maroney with pictures but nothing ever happened .. there were rocks everywhere . I have a farm here in Ocala like many but HITS is a dump

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  2. I grew up going to Culpeper. My daughter showed there also. The footing has the incorrect sand (because it was cheaper) and only a complete overhaul or the rings will correct the issue. He does nothing because people keep going. It should be handled directly by the USHJA. There should be rules and standards in place that horse shows must comply to. If a horse show receives a curtain amount of complaints it needs to be investigated then possibly forfeit its ranking and or dates. That is how trainers, riders and owners have a voice. This is a USHJA problem. I spend a lot of money on my horses. Definitely more than I should, that is for another day, but they will never ever set foot at a HITS horse show again. For my friends that are trainers, I hope this open letter makes a difference. I know there are trainers that have to go to Tom’s shows because some of their clients might insist or they just have to make a living. I hate saying you have to leave my horses at home, but I have no choice. I know what that footing does and I’m the one who has to pay the vet bills. In all honesty, management on a whole has too much power in the horse show industry. It has to change and the trainers need more of a voice.

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    • I couldn’t agree more! Went to Ocala last year and was appalled at the condition of the entire facility! Culpeper has been a huge disappointment as well. I agree that the governing bodies need to hold these horse shows to a higher standard or give the dates to folks who will host shows with the horses and exhibitors best interests as priorities.

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    • I dont go to Culpeper anymore. My horses come home lame despite every effort to avoid it. The main schooing is rock hard, the jumper schooling is ankle deep.

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  3. We live 1hr 15 mins from hits and after horrible weather 10yrs ago I vowed never to return and went to wef instead. Where I have remained ever since. As the stalls at wef reached over $400 and there was more people and horses than the show could hold I got dispondant and asked my husband if we should try Ocala again. I went to december Ocala to see how it was. Booked a prepaid hotel for the days my husband was showing. Got there. Schedule completely different from the price list. Classes just gone. Ended up only being able to show 2 days instead of 4. Lost over $500 in prepaid hotels. Got my numbers almost in tears. Drove to the tent and really started crying. Low slung celining. Super uneven floors. No path to get to the tent – horrible, just horrible. I decided then and there I would pay double at wef for the rest of my life to have a proper tent (you know the one with a metal frame and no ropes) with a proper level floor and traffic flow. I couldnt understand how such a dump would want to offer a million dollar class. Did Ocala really want the top level competitors seeing the slums surrounding that stadium ring? Just sad really. I’ll file bankruptcy at wef in future than waste money on such a disorganized show. Sad really. Just sad.

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  4. If it is all so horrible, why go? Direct your efforts in a different direction that makes you happy. You are spending way too much money on this to be so unhappy about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your question, in reality professionals HAVE to go because they make money by taking clients to shows and many of these shows offer the classes a large show barn demands. In California there are really no options

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      • So your doing the same thing as Tom. Your putting your making money above the safety and well being of the horse. It seems to me its the pot calling the kettle black. I do agree with what your saying about the responsibility of show owners and management but trainers that “let someone take their horse” to a show that is dangerous has the ultimate responsibility .

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      • I didn’t make any money. Not one cent. However, if professionals cannot attend horse shows, I would see how it would be difficult for them to pay bills at the end of the month. We are all stuck here in the same bubble. We all face the same issues. If you want to put me in the same category, you are more than welcome to do so. These have just been my observations over the years.

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      • There are options in California. West Palms offers a 4 week circuit and there are shows in Northern California also. While Tucson is still a HITS show, the footing is good and the grounds inviting. T$ doesn’t own the facility so the maintenance isn’t neglected. Of course it would help if T$ would bring in more jumps or maybe if his sponsors realize that they are not getting much in Arizona. I too remember when the shows are more exhibitor oriented, like the Goodyear days before T$ bought the World Cup qualifier dates. I wrote a similar letter to T$ and rather than give me the courtesy of a response, he assigned it to Joe Dotoli. I hope you get a reply but don’t hold your breath. T$ is all about T$.

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    • I heard a rumor.. not verified so.. that Roberts people approached Struzerri a while back about buying HITS but he wouldnt agree to price. I also heard a few years ago that he wanted to sell the whole business… and a statement from the Roberts people a few months ago was that if they couldnt get show dates they would offer such a nice experience… Obviously that they are going ahead full steam means they are serious! I drive by a few times a week and the arenas are going up!

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    • HITS has its dates locked up for USEF rated shows, but WEC could offer its own unrated shows on the same dates, or could apply to USEF for a waiver for special classes (like a Hunter Derby or Grand Prix). Wish someone would do that — it might create the shock to the system that HITS needs.

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  5. Deloise you HIT the nail on the head..no pun intended. I used to ride and compete in California. We experienced the same only it came slowly. Those were the early days but I’m disappointed about the path the HITS shows have taken. I live in Ocala now. We used to live very close to the show. So sad to see how the property has deteriorated and the complaints keep getting worse. Showing until 5 – 7 every night, footing not properly done, not enough electricity in the tents for fans when it gets hot…It’s a lot of money to spend especially when customers walk away feeling they should be honored they can compete.

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  6. Great article and spot on! We had a poor experience at the M & S Finals several years back. I took the time to send Tom an email after the event with a recap and some suggestions. Rather than the normal, I’m sorry you had a bad experience, thank you for your comments, I received a response that essentially told me that I had no idea what it takes to run a horse show and that I clearly don’t recognize a top notch facility! You can bet we NEVER went back!

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  7. Thank you for voicing so much for all of us that have stopped showing at Tom’s shows. An example of how his shows function was the addition of new tent stalls in Thermal. They looked great but it turned out that the wood was so thin that horses were putting legs through on a regular basis. All flash and no substance.

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  8. Yes & yes. We’re close & we’d really really like to show at Culpeper. After last week, never again. It did rain & that is completely out of anyone’s control. The tractor did NOT touch the schooling ring 1 time Saturday. Not 1 time. I ride in the last division Saturday & the tractor had not driven in that ring 1 time all day either. Disgusting when I know how hard other venues try to do the right thing & make a not great situation the best it can possibly be. I was one of the competitors that scratched Sunday. But they didn’t care. The division & classic were already paid for. They got their money. There were 60 total trips in the adjacent ring (that was wet but very rideable & firm underneath). The staff refused to move our division even though we asked & would have happily waited for the 60 trips to finish before showing.

    The laundry list goes on & on. Electric wires coming up out of the ground outside our stalls, broken jumps, and the pictures of the various buildings have been circulating.

    It’s really too bad, we really want to show here. Never again, Hits…

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  9. Pingback: The Wizard Of HITS Exposed – jaydukeblog

  10. Saugerties – a bloody nightmare. our stalls flooded overnight and we found the horse up to their ankles in water in the morning. I moved them to dry stalls across the aisle that were empty and then went to the office to talk to them. The staff person there was FURIOUS that I moved the horses without talking to her first. The stalls were empty and unsold. then I dared asked for reimbursement on the hay and shavings we lost. I wouldn’t budge and demanded reimbursement. The footing in the rings was like soup without a tractor in site. Never again will we show there.

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  11. I haven’t shown at HITS anywhere for at least 11 years and we used to take 15 horses to Culpeper. Also showed at Ocala for years and Saugerties occasionally. My horses deserve better that those facilities. Once again, Deloise, you nailed it. I am amazed people are still contributing to the poor run management.

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  12. After working for Hits in Ocala, Culpeper and Saugerties for years, this is only the tip of the iceberg! Ask anyone who has quit…….it’s a long list because Tom treats his people as badly as he treats his customers!

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  13. Please edit the title to accurately spell his name so this will pop up in a google search! People need to know! Having been employed by HITS, this is just the tip of the iceberg like Lucie said.

    Correct spelling is Struzzieri.

    I can’t wait for all these new venues to open up !

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  14. There is much more than the quality of horse show that he runs. All the points here are indeed valid. First of all, THERMAL is not Coachella. I would start calling it Coachella as well, before people started to do the research of what’s surrounding the actual show grounds. He placed a facility in front of a reservation where people are living in squalor. There are many article and documentaries “toxic thermal” that explain what’s happening there. The burning of grape stakes that cause cancer, the dumps, hundreds of homeless….yet he has no problem holding a million dollar class and 8 weeks of grand elite horse showing. It’s disgusting and it’s what’s wrong with this county to begin with. People are so shocked when THERMAL facility is getting robbed throughout the circuit. It’s not a surprise. Where is the empathy? He has some of the wealthiest people showing there for many weeks out of the year. Does he hire local people to staff the shows? Believe me, there are plenty of seasonal positions that could be offered to laborers during the circuit. Any proceeds at all to the people he is stomping on?? No. Nothing. He plants trees to hide the smoke burning behind the jumper rings. But yes, lets all complain about footing. Wake up people. His shows are the worst.

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    • Thanks so much for this input. You have no idea how hard it was for me to get people on the West Coast to talk to me about these experiences. You are quite right, it is more than the footing, but honestly the pages and pages I could write would end up an actual book. Today I am realizing how badly people have been affected over the years, and I don’t believe I have really scratched the surface. Again, thank you M. Regards, Deloise.

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      • Thank you for this article. We had horses at Coachella this year. They were stabled in the same tent as a horse that came down with equine influenza. We found this out not by getting a courtesy call from the show but thru social media!! I was horrified that no one from the show would call & let us know! I do understand that they did not wide spread panic but we were in the SAME tent! When I called the show office the lady I spoke to was very nice, but it was like she was reading from a script. When I asked why we weren’t contacted I was told it was to protect the privacy of the infected horses trainer & owner. Ridiculous & inexcusable. We will be waiting for the Blenheim shows in March next year or flying our horses to WEF.

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    • I used to love showing at Indio’s beautiful grounds. I’ve hated crappy Thermal from the start-it is clear the minimum was spent on developing this site. I watched WEF grand prix classes and then the Million from Thermal (yes, it is Thermal regardless of the attempt to dress it up by misleadingly calling it Cochella). So embarrassing to look at WEF and then see the ugly slum shacks and scrubby desert in the background at Thermal, as well as the 10-year-old yellowed astro turf pealing away on the slopes of the premier grand prix ring. What a dump!

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  15. It was Charles Ziff who dropped the $$$ from the ‘copter, when it was Commonwealth Park.

    And there was the little known incident at HITS Thermal, 2013 or 2012-mass colitis outbreak, half a dozen horses died-tainted hay was the suspect. Did HITS replace the hay already on the grounds? Nope.

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  16. For one who showed a generation ago and now watches a daughter involved professionally and grandchildren showing, I am frustrated with the lack of accountability and corruption in the horse show industry and candidly in our legal system, politics etc. Clearly our generation has not done enough to insure there is a means to correct, to think of the greater good, to make thing better for the next generation. It is very sad and clearly spelled out by this letter and I don’t know how to begin to fix things.

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  17. I moved from VA, where I showed at Culpeper before it became a HITS facility, and at HITS Ocala in the winter, to AZ, where the HITS circuit has slowly dwindled in size during the 10 years I’ve lived here. I haven’t been to Thermal, because I want our AZ circuit to survive, and it’s hanging by a thread. And since I’m the President of the Arizona Hunter Jumper Assn., I feel like I have to set the example. The difference between the AZ shows and all the other HITS shows is that the shows here are NOT run at a facility owned by HITS, but at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Tucson is not a wealthy city, and Pima County likewise, so the facility isn’t in wonderful shape. But the footing here, I’ve been told, is much better than at Thermal, and the show staff is very welcoming. And I must admit that HITS pays to keep the Grand Prix here a $25,000 class, unlike our other AZ shows where the Grand Prix is a variable class. My biggest problem with HITS AZ is that, even though the local and state hunter/jumper community has offered to help, no effort is put into getting local sponsors or local publicity that might generate more money for HITS and the Fairgrounds facility.

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  18. Here, here! So true. I told my trainers last year I would not be going back to Culpeper. Crazy expensive! Even with the new barns, there is so much diet in the stalls mt horse couldn’t stay clean. The wash areas are disgusting. Some of the footing is bad. On top of all that, the staff is rude….office, in gate, etc.. .. Two years ago I watched as the show manager loudly berated my trainer at the in gate in front of a lot of people. We pay all this money for the staff to treat us poorly. Don’t they know without us they would not get a paycheck? My trainer took some clients to Culpeper this past weekend. Some of them scratched due to the footing and weren’t even given their money back. I’m glad to see someone share my feelings. Hopefully more people will express their opinion by not going back…..hit them where it hurts! All they care about is the money!

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    • Why is USEF allowing unsafe conditions? Our dressage show TDs (comparable to stewards) have to file reports… and ANY potentially unsafe condition must be corrected immediately. Please send your concerns directly to the national organizations immediately after the shows – or even during the competition! Allowances are made for bad weather, but loose electrical wiring should never happen!

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  19. Years ago I spoke with Tom about two lower-level hunter divisions he had, one for A/A and the other kids. All eight classes for the amateurs were one ONE day, and the juniors showed the next day. So you had horses there all week, and their owners showed one day, eight times! I asked why he didn’t at least split them up so they could show two days and less classes for the horses. His response? “We can’t do that.” Wait, what??? No, that was it! I won’t even go into the very rude response I got from one of his ‘crew’ when I asked why there were so very few showers for all the grooms. It was beyond degrading. I was ad for weeks!

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  20. My wife and I were avid Show Hunter people for decades. But the Struzzieri’s of the world aren’t really horse people. They are horse parasites. After too many bad experiences to list we crossed over to Dressage. What a wonderful relief to go to Dressage Shows.
    Thanks Tom…Hunters, never again!

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  21. And you haven’t even touched the very sad deaths that have occurred year after year in Thermal.
    Even beyond the continual burglaries that happen more and more every year, are the poor people who have died.

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