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Inaugural Festival to Showcase Jersey Bred Racehorses

For Immediate Release: September 18, 2003


Hope Gruzlovic




Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus today encouraged horseracing fans to visit Monmouth Park on Saturday, September 20, for the first ever Jersey Bred Festival. The festival will feature a full card of races exclusively for New Jersey bred thoroughbreds.

”This inaugural festival is the perfect opportunity to spend a day outside enjoying the excitement of live racing and celebrating the important contributions New Jersey’s equine industry makes to the Garden State,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Our horse farms and parks are among some of the most beautiful open spaces in New Jersey. A successful equine industry ensures these areas stay green and that agriculture in the state remains diverse and strong.”

Equine is the third largest sector of New Jersey agriculture. According to the New Jersey Equine Industry Survey issued in 1996, the most recent year for which statistics are available:

• An estimated 81,000 acres across New Jersey are used solely for equine-related purposes. An additional 86,000 acres are used for activities, such as hay production, that support the industry.

• New Jersey is home to 49,000 horses and ponies. Of that, 15,050 are the racing breeds, standardbreds and thoroughbreds

• The total estimated value for all horses and ponies is $682 million.

• The equine industry employs approximately 6,000 workers, with a total compensation of $112 million.

The racing card for Saturday’s festival will feature three stakes races: The Friendly Lover Handicap, six furlongs, for 3-year-olds and up; The William A. Purdey Handicap, one mile and 70 yards, for fillies and mares, and The Slady Castle Handicap, one mile and 70 yards, for 3-year-olds and up.

The festival will also include a new owners seminar sponsored by Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, display booths, a parade of breeds, pony rides, face painting, autograph sessions, live music and a foot race featuring local mascots. Festival goers will receive a free tote bag with admission while supplies last.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Post time is 12:55 p.m. Monmouth Park is located on Route 36 in Oceanport.