July 12, 2013, Middleburg, Virginia ~ Mark Bellissimo of Wellington, Florida, today announced the purchase of The Chronicle of the Horse and related media properties in a transaction that closed on July 12, 2013.The Chronicle of the Horse is one of the industry’s most respected magazines and was founded in 1937.
“I’m so proud to be part of the long tradition of the Chronicle which is a leader in its industry,” said Bellissimo. “I am committed to keeping the organization’s core mission of being the most trusted resource for equestrian sport by offering independent journalism and the highest editorial integrity.”
The acquisition also includes www.chronofhorse.com, which is the top ranked equestrian news site and community in the world not focused on racing. In 2012, the website attracted more than 2.95 million unique visitors and presented over 70 million page views. In 2013, unique visits to the site are up over 52 percent from the same period last year. The purchase also includes the Chronicle’s massive vintage black and white photo library that has followed most major equestrian sporting events since the late 1930s as well as the digital publication, The Chronicle Connection, winner of a 2012 Eddies award for editorial excellence.
Bellissimo, whose Wellington Equestrian Partners LLC owns and operates the world’s largest and longest running equestrian event, the Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.), as well as the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, purchased the world-renowned magazine independently and plans to continue the editorial excellence associated with the 76-year-old publication. The company, which had been owned for the last 61 years by the Ohrstrom family of The Plains, Va., will continue to feature up-to-the-minute news and need-to-know stories across the various equestrian disciplines.
Over the next few months the Chronicle will be introducing new products and services that will strengthen the information flow within the industry including an enhanced website and state-of-the-art mobile applications.
While the Chronicle will continue to be the news hub and community for the industry, Bellissimo also believes it can be instrumental in developing improved spectator interest in horse sports, developing the personalities of the athletes, highlighting the lifestyle, showcasing products and services, promoting training and education, enhancing animal welfare, and developing a network for philanthropy.
He is looking forward to enhancing the Chronicle’s position within the sport horse industry and navigating the unique opportunities of this business with his family, alongside the current staff, who will remain based at the historic roots of the institution in Virginia.
“Mark brings a fresh vision and business acumen, along with knowledge of our sports and a respect for the tradition and integrity of these products,” said executive editor Beth Rasin. “I firmly believe that this new partnership will ensure the future of this esteemed publication and resources and will benefit not just the Chronicle but horse sports as well.”