Mark Bellissimo Leads Group Buying Colorado Horse Park, Joining Wellington & Tryon Holdings

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PARKER, Colorado, Dec. 19, 2014–Mark Bellissimo announced Friday formation of a new partnership that has has contracted to buy the Colorado Horse Park, the largest horse park west of the Mississippi.

The Colorado Horse Park in Parker (CHP) in Parker, Colorado less than 30 minutes from Denver, joins Wellington, Florida and Tryon, North Carolina in holdings by partnerships headed up by Mark Belissimo.

The Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dressage Festival in Wellington make up the world’s largest and longest running horse show at 12 weeks while the state of the art Tryon facility opened earlier this year. Mark also staged the Central Park Horse Show in the heart of New York City in September and the glamorous Mar-a-Lago jumping event on Palm Beach which will be held for the third year next month .

The partnership, to be named Colorado Equestrian Partners, includes Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, Roger and Jennifer Smith, Howard and Gwen Dvorkin, Lisa Lourie and Diana and Jenji Mercer. They are also partners in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, which operates the WEF and GDF in Wellington and the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina.

The 148-acre (60Ha) Colorado venue was founded by Helen Krieble in 1992 and hosts more than 40 events a year. It has 11 competition arenas, an RV park, two covered arenas 300 permanent stalls and enough portable stalls for more than 1,000 competition horses. The partnership has also contracted to buy an additional adjoining 47 acres (19Ha) zoned as residential.

CHP’s “Summer in the Rockies” series over six weeks is a prominent hunter/jumper circuit. The facility hosts dressage, hunter-jumper and eventing competitions and hosted the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships three times.

CHP also has a long term contract on 276 contiguous acres (111Ha) which contains a cross-country course designed by Eventing Olympian David O’Connor.

“Helen has been one of the great visionaries in equestrian sport and has done an amazing job in creating the Colorado Horse Park,” Mark said. “Her passion for the facility and her impact on the community over 23 years is inspirational. We are honored to continue Helen’s legacy.”

Helen Krieble said, “I am thrilled that Mark and his partners have contracted to acquire the Horse Park. It has been my passion for 23 years, and I am confident that it will be in good hands.

“It was important to me that the Horse Park was kept intact. The contract includes the purchase of an additional 47 acres that abuts the horse park. I believe this will ensure CHP has the ability to operate effectively and preserves the area from future residential development. This is a great day for Colorado equestrians, residents, and businesses.”

Mark Bellissimo added, “We are excited about the future of equestrian sport, and we believe the CHP facility can be a significant central hub to serve all disciplines and to continue to develop the hunter/jumper, dressage, and the eventing disciplines as well as a catalyst to develop the next generation of horses and riders.

Colorado has a great equestrian tradition, and we hope to cultivate that market as well as bring new riders into the sport. We contemplate great investments in the park over the next few years and making it one of the premier facilities in the world.”

Consistent with its other facilities, the partners will be developing philanthropic initiatives as well as developing outreach programs to work with community schools to raise awareness to the opportunities in horse sports.

The impact of WEF and GDF on Palm Beach County is substantial.

The winter circuits host participants from 50 states and 33 countries and has more than $8 million in prize money. The GDF is the world’s largest dressage competition and includes seven CDI competitions over winter. The WEF and GDF events contribute close to $200 million (€165 million) in annual economic impact on Palm Beach County and generate more than 120,000 bed nights at local hotels.