CEO, EQUESTRIAN SPORT PRODUCTIONS, WELLINGTON
Wellington in Palm Beach County has been an equestrian center for decades. Bellissimo, who has an MBA from Harvard, founded and runs equestrian-related businesses that have made Wellington even more of a mecca. He has invested hundreds of millions of dollars on venues and facilities, most important of which is the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington and its world-famous Winter Equestrian Festival, now in its 40th year. Bellissimo’s Equestrian Sport Productions, which he founded in 2006, produces that festival and other horse shows The county sports commission says the 12-week festival brings in more than $100 million, filling 90,000 hotel rooms. He also operates equestrian centers in Colorado and North Carolina.
Bellissimo is active with the Palm Beach County Business Development Board. He and daughter Paige are co-founders of ESP’s Great Charity Challenge, which has raised $13.5 million for Palm Beach County charities over 10 years. “Equestrian sports is a challenge,” Bellissimo told Equestrian Living in 2018. “It hasn’t grown in 10 years. You can change that trajectory, but you have to be innovative.”