MANALAPAN, NJ – October 15, 2014 – Margret “Maggi” Romano, a founding member of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association, has been selected to receive the 2015 Spirit of the Horse Award from the Rutgers Equine Science Center.

Romano, who resides in Clarksburg, NJ, is the wife of Anthony Romano, a member of the Board of Directors of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.

“The award recognizes people whose lives have been impacted by horses and who continue to give back to horses and the equine industry through dedicated time and service,” said Dr. Karyn Malinowski, director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center. “Maggi is a person who eats, breathes and lives horses 24/7/365. She doesn’t take short cuts when the well-being of a horse is involved. Her philosophy is that when dealing with horses one should give 110 percent at least, but never less than 100 percent.”

As a young person in Germany, she went with her father every year to Aachen to watch the international jumping competition. After high school, vocational school, advanced night school and an office job, she traveled to New York in 1977, and she was introduced to standardbred horses at the Meadowlands.

Romano served two years as president and one year as show manager of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey [SPHO/NJ]. She is a board member of the New Jersey Horse Council, serving two years as president and as a delegate to the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board, where she served two years as vice chair and two years as chair.

She currently serves as a delegate to the New Jersey Agricultural Convention and as the delegate from New Jersey to the Coalition of State Horse Councils and American Horse Council, where she serves on the Racing Advisory Committee.

Maggi and her husband, Tony, currently have eight horses on their farm — one active standardbred racehorse, six retired racehorses that she either owned or adopted, plus a mixed breed that she rescued in 2014.

“Of course, it’s an awesome honor to receive the Spirit of the Horse Award, but I still haven’t figured out why me, so I don’t know if I can live up to it,” Romano said. “Previous recipients were tops in their profession and received national accolades. Maybe, it’s because I am just an example of the many people who love and care for horses, day in and day out, without expecting and receiving fame and glory. And for all those people, I gratefully accept the Spirit of the Horse Award.”

Previous recipients include: Sandy Denarski, Dr. David Meirs II, Dr. Stephen P. Dey, Elizabeth Durkin, Toni Nigito, Rick Wills, Nancy Jaffer, Linda Toscano, Dr. Patty Hogan, and Peter Cofrancesco III.

Romano will receive her award at the Rutgers Equine Science Center’s Evening of Science and Celebration on Monday, November 10, 2014 at the Cook Campus Center, 59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From 5 to 6 p.m. is the optional tour at the Red Barn on College Farm Road. A light supper will be available from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by the Science & Celebration, featuring speakers Angela Howard on “Preparing for Disaster” and Dr. David Horohov on “The Inflammatory Response to Exercise.”

Maggi Romano’s Spirit of the Horse Award and the Gold Medal Horse Farm Award to Wood Hollow Farm of Colts Neck, NJ, will be presented by the Equine Science Center.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for full-time students.

For more information, contact Kyle Hartmann at, call 848-932-9419 or visit