ASTAMPTON, NJ (January 18, 2012) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher presented New Jersey Farm Bureau with the 2011 Governor’s Trophy for Horseperson of the Year on Sunday, January 15 at the 55th Annual New Jersey Breeder’s Luncheon in Eastampton.
“Farm Bureau is an outstanding advocate for New Jersey agriculture and recognizes the equine sector’s importance to the entire industry,” said Secretary Fisher. “Their hard work and perseverance have greatly contributed to the continued well-being of our equine industry.”
On behalf of the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board, a committee of past Horsepersons of the Year chose to recognize Farm Bureau for its support of the horse racing and pleasure horse industries and their importance to the commodity side of agriculture.
“Farm Bureau is honored to be receiving this award recognizing our long-time support of New Jersey’s equine industry,” said Richard Nieuwenhuis, NJ Farm Bureau President. “The equine industry is an important component and integral part of New Jersey’s diversified agriculture, impacting our hay and grain growers, as well as providing the public with opportunities for riding and recreation, as well as exposing people to our state’s countryside.”
Farm Bureau testified at hearings in late 2010 on a report by the Governor’s Advisory Commission on New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment, known as the Hanson Report, which presented options for horse racing in the state. They emphasized the benefits to the entire state’s $4 billion equine industry and New Jersey’s economy by keeping horse racing viable.
Farm Bureau has testified on many bills to improve the racing industry in the state, along with supporting the Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeders and owners. They support important resources, the Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern and Rutgers Equine Science Center. They have provided education and outreach on the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Waste Rule and the importance of equine operations participating and they report monthly to the Equine Advisory Board on legislative action.
In addition to the Governor’s Trophy, the annual Breeder’s Luncheon celebrated the state’s best in the equine field in 2010. Other awards presented at the event were:
Secretary of Agriculture Award for the New Jersey Standardbred of the Year: Roll With Joe. The son of Cam’s Card Shark-Classic Wish retired after his November 12 victory in the Messenger Stakes with a career record of eight wins, six seconds and three thirds in 23 starts and earnings of $1,805,102. This year, he won the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, the $500,000 Battle of Brandywine at Chester and $401,000 Messenger at Yonkers and had two second-place stakes finishes, all with driver Ron Pierce. Roll With Joe was trained by Edward Hart and is owned by Thomas Grossman and Michael Kimelman of Blue Chip Bloodstock; Stephen Demeter; Sheila Baird and Scott Kimelman of Not to Worry Stable; and his breeders, Joe and Joann Thomson of Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City, MD.
Secretary of Agriculture Award for the New Jersey Thoroughbred of the Year: Hermosillo. Owned by Kenwood Racing LLC and trained by Stephen DiMauro, the seven-year-old son of Sea of Secrets was bred in New Jersey by Ed Broome. Hermosillo was a winner of five of his 12 starts in 2011, starting the year winning consecutive races at Aqueduct in February and March. In September and October, he had a three-race winning streak, taking the first place $100,000 prize in the Charles Hesse Handicap for the second time in three years, defeating the best New Jersey-breds in training. He then defeated eventual Breeder’s Cup Marathon winner, Afleet, again and capped off the win streak in a one-mile allowance race over another stellar field. Hermosillo finished the year with $228,370 in earnings, bringing his career total to $618,371.
New Jersey Sire Stakes: Green Acres Horse of the Year – Market Share. The son of Revenue S and the Yankee Glide mare Classical Flirt debuted in September and performed flawlessly. He was unbeaten in five parimutuel starts. He won all three legs of the Green Acres series at Freehold Raceway before taking the final in a stakes record time. A winner of $36,250 in 2011, he was trained by Linda Toscano, driven by Jeff Gregory, bred by Hayley A. Moore of Paris, KY and is owned by Richard S. Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA and Gary J. Cocco of Eddyston, PA.
Premier Horse of the Year — Manofmanymissions. The winner of nine of 15 starts and $782,100 in 2011, he was undefeated in New Jersey Sire Stake competition, winning a leg and the final of the series for three-year-old trotting colts. His victory in the $175,000 final on August 13 was the fastest trotting mile in the 39 year history of the Sire Stakes. Trained by Erv Miller and driven by Andy Miller, Manofmanymissions was bred by Kentuckiana Farms General Partnership of Lexington, KY and owned by the Manofmanymissions Stable of Lexington, KY; Mystical Marker Farms LLC of Dyer, IN; and M Biasuzzi Stable of Pompano Beach, FL.
New Jersey Agricultural Achievement Award: Kelly Elizabeth Albanir, Lambertville. Albanir was awarded a $500 scholarship, sponsored by Amy Butewicz, a former New Jersey Equestrian of the Year who wanted to give back to the community. She was selected based upon her essay, which answered the question: “How has your involvement within 4-H helped to shape your future career choice?”
Sara Dubinin Scholarship: Gabby Waldell, Blairstown. Waldell was the winner of a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Sara Dubinin, a Sayreville equestrian who was the victim of a car accident in 2007. She was selected based on her essay on “How horses have affected my life and how horses figure into my future.”
Bell Scholarship: Dale Levitt, Freehold. The scholarship is named for Ernest C. Bell, horse breeder, Salem County 4-H English riding and jumping instructor, and Equine Advisory Board member representing Crossbred Pony. Levitt, a Rutgers University senior, received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue veterinary medicine.
New Jersey Equestrienne of the Year: Rachel VanDemark , South Brunswick, representing Somerset County Horse and Pony Association. VanDemark, 16, a sophomore at South Brunswick High School, was the 2011 winner of the New Jersey State Equine Team Presentation Competition and a 2011 member of the NJ state team at the Eastern National 4-h Horse Round Up for Equine Presentations. She is a current member and served as president of the Mavericks Equine Science 4-H Club last year and regularly competes in 4-H horse shows. VanDemark was chosen based on her ability to communicate and her knowledge of horses, as well as being well-versed in many phases of the horse industry.