FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Suzanna (Suzee) Norris
At HART: Suzee is the “Heart of HART” – and the soul of the organization. Her vision and tireless persistence have allowed HART to grow deep roots that secure a strong and successful future for the organization. It is Suzee’s goal to create a world-class organization with strong advocacy to ensure more OTTBs are safely retired and retrained for second careers.
In addition to ensuring that the horses are well looked after, her responsibilities include adopting out OTTBs based on suitable matches and professional evaluation, community outreach, and the fiscal health of the organization. As the matriarch of HART, she views her employees, volunteers, boarders, and students as a family unit that together can do great things, and easily instills a sense of belonging and importance to everyone around her.
Off the Clock: Luckily all members of the family are as smitten with horses and devoted to HARTs mission as is Suzee. Her oldest daughter Skyler is an accomplished rider at age 14 and is a great asset at the barn. Skyler, under coaching from the Suzee and the HART team, has qualified her mare, Ella, also a HART graduate, for the American Eventing Championships at Training level. Her middle daughter Hunter, at 8 years old, is competing in Intro level dressage and learning to canter and jump at home. Suzee’s youngest daughter Noa is 5 years old and happily spends her time atop her pony Gizmo riding backwards and going over ground poles. Suzee, when not managing organizational duties or developing young thoroughbreds, squeezes in fleeting moments at Disney World and the beach with her three children.
Background: Suzee retired from engineering in 2006 to pursuit a full-time career in horses. (She has a B.S.in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida – Go Gators!) She has been riding avidly since the age of 7, has ridden hunters, jumpers, eventers, and dressage horses, and her endless hours on the back of many horses has led her to a place of great understanding of our equine friends and how that understanding can open many doors to success in our own personal lives. Suzee’s greatest asset has been her passion for horses, her desire to learn and grow, and the undying motivation to leave this world a little better place for both horses and humans.