Saugerties, NY – May 5, 2017 – HITS Balmoral Park, in partnership with Showplace Productions, opens its gates on Wednesday, May 10th. Over the course of the past year, under the direction of HITS founder and CEO, Tom Struzzieri, the nine-decade-old racetrack has a new lease on life as a state-of-the-art Equestrian Show Jumping venue. And therefore, after a 16-month pause, horses will once again roam the grounds at the 200-acre facility just south of Chicago.
What has emerged out of the renovation is the culmination of decades long attention to detail and hands-on approach, a hallmark of HITS. “The character, history, and sheer scope of Balmoral Park provided an extraordinary slate to develop an exceptional facility to serve the Midwest,” said Struzzieri. “I look forward to welcoming our clients to a full Horse Show season, and providing Chicago easy access to top-notch equestrian sport.”
From what began as one oval, HITS has created nine spacious competition rings for the Show Jumping enthusiast—five show rings for Hunters and four show rings for Jumpers, including a large Grand Prix Arena. Riders will also see an extraordinary commitment to horse comfort with even more space dedicated for warm up, and meticulous care to build all new footing with a combination of sand and carpet fibers.
Illinois-based Pat Boyle, head of Showplace Productions, has long admired HITS venues. For years, he and Struzzeiri have played with the idea of collaborating, so when Balmoral Park came on the market, the opportunity arose for Struzzeiri and Boyle to combine their strengths. Boyle is thrilled to be managing HITS Midwest event as, “Chicago now has a truly world-class equestrian venue to host the most prestigious outdoor International competitions.”
In a preview of the property, John Berkos, a professional trainer, rider and judge, said, “I travel the country coast-to-coast and see the finest show facilities in North America — HITS Balmoral Park is on track to blow the rest of them away!”
To date, 13 of the old barns have been fully renovated into comfortable, safe, modern stabling to house 800 horses. Additionally, exhibitors will find mindfully located green spaces to walk and hand-graze, and dozens of paddocks for turn-out. Midwest trainer Scott Gentry gives the new Balmoral Park high marks, “I don’t know if HITS could have done a better job with this one— there’s nothing like it in the Midwest. I will be at every one of those horse shows.”
At HITS Balmoral Park, all rings are visible from the 4,467 seat, mint-condition, climate-controlled grandstand. The Grand Prix Ring is center stage and sits directly in front of the VIP Clubhouse. Former racegoers will recognize the original tote board and finish line from the historic track thoughtfully integrated into the new facility, along with familiar relics, photos and memorabilia throughout.
Balmoral Park will continue to provide upscale, state-of-the art hospitality. With three Bars and five Foodservice locations, including a Coffee Shop right next to the show office, HITS Balmoral Park will be a treat for both Exhibitor and Spectator, alike.
For more information on HITS Balmoral Park, click here.
Edited press release courtesy of: HITS, Inc.