Equine Sport Group (ESG) is an equestrian consulting group composed of internationally and nationally active individuals who are currently managing international competitions, teaching elite level riders, providing veterinary support services and competition administration. We have associates located throughout North America and Europe with more than 200 years of combined industry experience.
The Washington International Horse Show where Straus was CEO from 2009-2011. ©Shawn McMillen
Eric Straus, President
Eric Straus, President of Equine Sport Group, has more than 40 years of national and international equestrian sports experience. He is senior executive with proven expertise in both for-profit and not-for-profit environments including: sports and event management, the equine industry, museums, hospitality, foundations, and property management.
Straus is a well-respected leader in sports governance and is skilled in equestrian facility operations. He serves as an active competition manager, and an international and national competition official. His equestrian career began as a competitor and partner in a world-class Three Day Event farm.
Coupled with his career in equestrian sport, Straus has held numerous equine-related board and committee positions including Secretary, Executive Committee and member of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation Board, Senior Vice President and Executive Committee member of USA Reining, among many others.
Straus’s professional affiliations also include Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) designations as a Licensed Level 3 Chief Steward in Show Jumping and Reining, Licensed Technical Delegate for Reining, FEI and USEF Course Director. Likewise, for the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), Straus is a Steward General for Reining, is a Licensed Registered Jumper Judge and Registered C1 Steward.
Straus also officiated at the 1987 Pan American Games, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, 2002, 2006 and 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games™, 2015 World Cup Finals, North American Junior Young Riders Championships 1997-2016, 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and 2017 World Cup Finals.
Straus with Juan Manuel Cossio, president of the Mexican National Federation, at the Nations Cup in Mexico.
“My experience touches nearly every facet of equestrian sport – from being a competitor, stable owner to serving on committees, serving as the CEO of the Federation, to acting as an international official, managing international and national horse shows, and working on WEG – my range of experiences allow me to have a 360-degree perspective helping me to understand what others are thinking because I’ve been the guy on the other side of the conversation. I can relate to their concerns and formulate better strategies and more effective plans. The result is hopefully an excellent experience for our competitors.”
Equine Sport Group
Equine Sport Group is a multi-disciplinary equine consulting group with core expertise in horse welfare, stable management and care, veterinary support, training programs from grassroots to advanced and sport governance.
• ESG selected to provide strategic and consulting services to the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
• Eric L. Straus appointed as the Technical Coordinator for the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
• ESG provided management services as Secretary General to the Pan American Equestrian Confederation.
• ESG conducted site inspections for the 2018 ODESUR Games in Cochabama, Bolivia.
• ESG provided pre-event and onsite management services for the 2016 North American Junior Young Rider Championship.
• ESG provided equestrian marketing consultancy services to the Federación Boliviana de Deportes Ecuestres.
• ESG formed a strategic partnership with Sai Ma Sports, leading to a multi-year Cooperation and Marketing Agreement with the Chinese Equestrian Association. ESG and Sai Ma provided competition management services to the Chinese Equestrian Association for the China Tour, a series of international show jumping competitions.
• Attended the Fourth Annual Equestrian Forum of Western China as a guest of the Chengdu Equestrian Association.
• Secured the largest private stable in Beijing as a client. Arranged for client's Head Trainer to receive two months of training and competition experience during the 2012 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida under the supervision of the USA Show Jumping Chef d' Equipe. Concurrently, the Head Trainer worked with selected US Olympians.
• Provided governance and strategic planning assistance to the Foundation for The Florida Horse Park.
Tryon International Equestrian Center
General Manager, Equine Operations
TIEC is a multi-discipline equestrian facility, site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer I managed all aspects of equestrian competition, facility usage, sourced new events and managed external relationships.
Initiated and oversaw a review of staffing and operational modifications leading to improved bottom line equestrian sector results. Improvements included: systemized event operations, expanded the competition calendar, updated event staffing, enhanced venue usage, successfully managed internal and external relationships. Acquired an existing international equestrian event.
Senior Vice President, Equine
HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows at five venues throughout the United States. Reporting directly to the President, focused on soliciting high level international equestrian events and improving the customer experience.
• Managed the 2015 Furusiyya Fédération Equestre Internationale Nations Cup from the bid through completion producing record attendance, global media exposure and numerous competitor accolades.
• Lead effort to improve the equestrian customer experience and improve on-site competition management by introducing best in class cloud based information system.
• Expanded and improved external relationships with primary national and international organizations.
• Managed government relations in Ocala, Florida.
Washington International Horse Show, Assn. Ltd.
Chief Executive Officer
The Washington International Horse Show is a fifty-five year old championship equestrian competition and entertainment event held at Verizon Center in downtown DC. The horse show is a 501 (c)(3) with an annual budget of $3,000,000 that attracts national and international elite competitors who compete for more than $400,000 in prize money.
Reporting directly to the President, responsible for all daily operations, sponsorship development, marketing, venue relations, interaction with DC government agencies and equestrian sport oversight.
Developed an innovative marketing and sponsorship plan that attracted eight new corporate sponsors and increased total sponsorship revenue by 20%.
Successfully negotiated a multiple year lease at a lower base rent at Verizon Center.
Increased event attendance on key nights and grew ticket revenue by 5%.
Led team that narrowed 2008-year end loss of $308,000 by 85% to $46,000 in 2010.
The Clark Estates, Inc.
New York, NY
Senior Vice President
A privately owned for-profit company managing $1.6B in assets providing financial, insurance and management support for the principal and Clark related entities in Cooperstown, New York including: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers' Museum, The Clark Foundation, Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, The Otesaga Hotel, The Cooper Inn, Leatherstocking Corporation, The Clark Sports Center and The Clark Scholarship Office.
Reporting directly to the Chairman, responsible for daily operations and for 30 staff members in New York City. On behalf of The Clark Estates, Inc. I concurrently assumed and performed these added responsibilities:
Member of three-person senior management team responsible for all strategic and operational decisions.
Significantly improved operational efficiencies by leveraging new technologies and improving hiring practices and performance review standards.
Successfully managed lease negotiation, build out and office relocation from Wall Street to Midtown.
Strengthened security processes and developed first disaster and recovery plan. Directed and managed evacuation on September 11, 2001.
Developed strategy and responsible for oversight of government relations in Washington, D.C. and Albany, New York securing $25 million in grants.
Represented The Clark Foundation by board participation, grantee site visit analysis and supervision of Foundation staff and consultants.