The 22nd Agricultural District on June 6, 2022 awarded the contract to manage the historic equestrian facility to Tom Struzzieri, CEO of Struzzieri Ventures, Inc., after a previous show management company pulled out. The popular equestrian site was abruptly closed in December 2020 due to new water regulations requiring a $3 million-$4 million investment in infrastructure improvements. Some 35 horse show contracts were cancelled with the closure of the facility.
Mr. Struzzieri’s company, HITS (Horse Shows in the Sun), operates similar facilities nationwide and plans to bring back the Del Mar Horse Park as a world-class event facility in time for the 2023 show season. HITS will be working through the end of this year to install a new drainage system to filter storm and runoff water, as well as improve footing in the rings, adjust the layout to be more exhibitor friendly, and upgrade the stables.
Friends of Del Mar Horsepark collected over 17,000 signatures petitioning the 22 DAA, owner of Del Mar Fairgrounds and Horsepark, to find a way to reopen the 65-acre facility. They were aided by local city council members, the Fair Board and staff, and supported by the San Dieguito River Park Conservancy.