Tom Struzzieri is the founder of HITS, Inc., the largest equine show jumping production company in the world, and has been running world-class events since 1977. Known for its innovative leadership, HITS, Inc. organizes, staffs and manages 37 weeks of horse shows with more than 50 Grand Prix events per year throughout the United States. Through Tom’s leadership, HITS has introduced three of the most important advances in the sport of show jumping, starting with the Marshall & Sterling League, a national grass roots league which began in 1991 and now encompasses more than 1,700 events annually with thousands of members competing for qualified spots in an annual national championship. In 2010, he created and produced the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix, the largest purse for an equine show jumping event in the world. The Pfizer Million was an instant success and has already become one of the sport’s most coveted titles. In 2011, building off the success of the Pfizer Million, Tom broke another record when he introduced the first-ever Diamond Mills $500,000 Hunter Prix Final, aimed at engaging a large audience of equestrians who, until now, have not had an event of this extraordinary prestige to call their own.
Tom is renowned in the event world as being able to blend world-class competition with world-class athletes, while at the same time developing and nurturing entry-level competitors all at the same event. In 2006 he joined forces with Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. a California-based private equity firm, to expand and grow HITS. As a result of this alliance, Tom is now able to bring his visionary thinking to the sport of triathlon with the introduction of the all-new HITS Triathlon Series.
Tom’s foray into triathlon was inspired by his own personal experience with the sport after receiving training sessions with accomplished triathlon coach Mark H. Wilson for his 50th birthday. Wanting to set a positive and powerful example to his three children that fitness and good health is an essential ingredient for living life to its fullest, Tom embraced the challenges and rewards of his training. As many others before him, he became instantly hooked on the sense of fulfillment, well-being and personal accomplishment that came from his triathlon training. Overcoming personal obstacles with the challenges of the swim, bike and run only made it more of a passion and eventually a business interest. Tom recently just completed his first half-distance race and his wife Jane is also a triathlete, having recently competed in a sprint distance race.
Inspired not only by his new-found personal passion but also the similarities to his experiences in the equestrian sport, Tom has now set out to join forces with Mark to offer the world of triathlon something new and different with the HITS Triathlon Series. The combination of Tom’s skills in the world of event management and Mark’s endless knowledge of triathlon make them a perfect duo to bring forth a fresh, innovative concept that will engage existing athletes and help to inspire new ones to grow the sport.
From the minds of Tom Struzzieri and Mark H. Wilson, we are proud to introduce the HITS Triathlon Series: A distance for everyone!TM