(CREAM RIDGE) -- New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus today welcomed the nation’s Standardbred Horse of the Year into the breeding ranks at Perretti Farms in Cream Ridge, New Jersey’s largest horse farm specializing in the breeding and racing of standardbred horses.
Rocknroll Hanover, a 3-year-old New Jersey-bred horse, retired from harness racing at the end of 2005, after a year in which he won 12 of 18 starts and earned $2.2 million. He was named 2005 Horse of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association. He also was named national Pacer of the Year.
“That New Jersey’s standardbred breeding industry is able to attract the nation’s top horses indicates it has earned the comparison to Kentucky’s thoroughbred breeding industry, which is world renowned,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Breeding farms like Perretti’s are the backbone of New Jersey’s horse-racing industry. These farms add to the quality of life for all New Jerseyans and are an integral part of our Garden State’s diverse agriculture.”
“We're proud to have the opportunity to secure the horse of the decade for the important New Jersey racing and breeding program,” said Anthony Perretti, general manager of Perretti Farms.
Perretti Farms, which sits on 750 acres of permanently preserved farmland, suffered the loss of 12 mares and 12 foals on March 24 in a barn fire. Perretti said, right now, they are in the middle of breeding season and they haven’t let the tragedy slow them down.
“We still have to go on,” said Perretti. “We want the farm to move forward.”
Bob Marks, Perretti Farms Marketing Director (left) and Secretary Kuperus (right) view the site of a barn fire at the farm.
The New Jersey Sire Stakes Program was established by law in 1971 to encourage the breeding of standardbred horses through extra purse money for horses sired by registered New Jersey stallions.
Total purse money for New Jersey Sire Stakes events in 2004 was more than $9.5 million. As a result, the horse racing industry contributes and depends on approximately 80,000 acres of New Jersey’s agricultural working landscape, according to the last data available.
For more information on New Jersey’s equine industry, visit the Jersey Equine website at www.jerseyequine.nj.gov.