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Skilled Contractors Make Vision For HITS-On-The-Hudson A Reality

Horse Shows In The Sun To Premiere World-Class Equestrian Facility In May

SAUGERTIES, NY – April 21, 2004 – In May 2002, Tom Struzzieri, owner and president of Horse Shows In The Sun, walked the site for his new horse show facility with excavation contractor Glen Metzger. The pair surveyed the land and devised a preliminary sketch for HITS-On-The-Hudson. Throughout the two years of planning and construction, that sketch underwent several revisions at the hands of engineers Bob Hagopian and Mark Day. Despite the necessary changes, the plans have remained true to the original vision for HITS-On-The-Hudson.

“First and foremost, we set out to build a horse show facility that was tailored to the specific needs of the Hunter/Jumper exhibitor,” said Tom Struzzieri. “A lot of thought went into the design of the show grounds, and the end result is a practical and convenient place to show, with all of the added comforts one would expect at a world-class sporting facility.”

The property on which HITS-On-The-Hudson now stands was unused for a number of years. Metzger Construction Co., Wappingers Falls, New York, worked on every square foot of the 200-acre property to prepare the ground for the installation of the show rings. In the Northeast some inclement weather is inevitable, so each ring has an underlying drainage system to ensure that there are no interruptions to competition. The excavation crew adopted minimally invasive practices to help maintain a careful balance between functionality and the preservation of the natural beauty of the Hudson River Valley. Grass berms and native stone walls were formed to help blend the show grounds into the surrounding landscape. From start to finish, the excavation work and the installation of the footing took nine months to complete.

“A large proportion of our budget went towards footing,” said Tom Struzzieri. “We pride ourselves on the quality of our footing, and for HITS-On-The-Hudson we are using a combination of what is popular in Europe right now, together with the type of footing used at our other show sites.”

John Hornbeck Construction, Rosendale, New York, is responsible for the impressive buildings that form a radius around the feature Hunter and Jumper arenas. The VIP Pavilion is the focal point and within easy access are the permanent restrooms, administrative offices, veterinarian building, vendor boutiques, and restaurant with dining courtyard. Crews are doing the finishing work on some of the buildings, with May 1st being the projected date of completion.

HITS horse shows are favored by hunter/jumper exhibitors because the emphasis is placed on the needs of their horses. At HITS-On-The-Hudson this guiding principle is clearly evident when one sees the six state-of-the-art barns that line the entrance to the show grounds. Barnmaster Barns was awarded the project and their crew flew in from California to construct the barns. Construction began in November of 2003 and despite the severe winter weather, the job was completed by the end of February. Plans are already in place to add more permanent stabling for the 2005 season.

With the final preparations being made for a May opening, the staff at HITS is excited to see the arrival of the first horses. On the original rough sketch drawn up by Tom Struzzieri, the feature Hunter and Jumper arenas were designed to be theatrical in nature with the rest of the facility emanating out from them. “When you stand in the arenas and take in the view of the Catskill Mountains, I believe we have achieved that,” said Tom Struzzieri. “We look forward to welcoming our exhibitors to share in the experience.”

The HITS-On-The-Hudson Grand Opening celebration is scheduled for Sunday, May 30th. The festivities will pay tribute to Equestrian Olympians – past, present and future. There will be demonstrations of the international sports of Dressage and Driving. Guests at the celebration will sample the local produce of New York’s bountiful Hudson River Valley, specially prepared by several of the area’s finest gourmet restaurants. The Bard College chamber music group will entertain as guests take their seats ringside to enjoy the highlight of the day – the $75,000 HITS-On-The-Hudson show jumping Grand Prix.

Spectators will be admitted free to HITS-On-The-Hudson, Wednesday through Friday. Tickets are $5 on Saturday and Sunday with the proceeds benefiting Family of Woodstock. Children under 12 will be admitted without charge, and parking is free.

HITS produced its first series of horse shows – a three-week circuit in Gainesville, Florida – in 1982. Today HITS produces five horse show circuits – the Ocala Winter Circuit in Florida; Indio Desert Circuit in California; Arizona Winter Circuit in Tucson; HITS Culpeper in Virginia; and the newest addition, HITS-On-The-Hudson in New York. Individually, each is a first rate horse show series; collectively, they represent the largest group of equestrian events under a single management group in the United States.

HORSE SHOWS IN THE SUN – HITS Corporate; 319 Main Street, Saugerties, New York 12477; 845-246-8833; Fax: 845-246-6731; website:



Show jumping takes place daily, starting at 8:00 AM

HITS-On-The-Hudson I – May 26-30
HITS-On-The-Hudson II – June 2-6

HITS-On-The-Hudson III – June 9-13
HITS-On-The-Hudson IV – July 21-25
HITS-On-The-Hudson V – July 28-August 1
New York Horse & Pony Show VI – August 4-8
HITS-On-The-Hudson VII – September 1-5

$25,000 Grand Prix Every Thursday

$75,000 Grand Prix Every Sunday

Week I, Grand Opening - Sunday, May 30th

Week II, Antique Show – Saturday, June 5th and Sunday, June 6th

Week III, Equine Art Exhibit – Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th

Week IV, Taste of the Hudson Valley – Saturday, July 24th

Week V, Chili Cookoff – Saturday, July 31st

Week VI, Kids Day – Saturday, August 7th

Week VII, Seniors Day – Saturday, September 4th

HITS-On-The-Hudson –


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