IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
January 31, 2020
PO Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0330
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(TRENTON) - The 2019 Governor’s Award for Horseperson of the Year was awarded to Jacquie Ingrassia, who has been a harness racing driver in New Jersey for more than 40 years. Ingrassia, who resides in Allentown in Monmouth County, accepted the award at the 63rd Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon on Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn in Hamilton.
“Jacquie Ingrassia’s influence on the equine industry extends beyond the number of wins she has as a driver or the amount of highly successful horses she has trained or owned,” NJDA Secretary Douglas H. Fisher said. “Her love and enthusiasm for the horse racing industry has inspired many to dream and achieve more than what they thought possible. Her life-long passion has made a tremendous impact on this sport.”
Ingrassia’s love for horses began in her native England when she lived near a farmer who raced standardbreds as a hobby. She started exercising those horses under saddle at a young age, then drove her first sulky at age 14. She came to the United States in 1970 where she met her husband Frank. In all, Jacquie has more than $6.3 million in earnings and has won more than 1,100 races.
One of her career highlights was being the first woman to win a harness racing Triple Crown event, the Yonkers Trot with Goalfish. The Ingrassias train 10 trotters, seven of which they own or co-own at White Birch Farm in Allentown.
Other notable accomplishments for Ingrassia include winning the Goldsmith Maid in 2004 with Aeronautess, a Striking Sahbra daughter, owned by Ingrassia and the Arden Homestead Stable; and combining with Sandi Fisher to become the first woman to complete both ends of a daily double. Among her other top horses over the years are Zitomira, Valeris, Hot Off The Press, Gladhand and Turn The Paige. She served for 25 years as a director of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey and is a member of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey and Farm Bureau of New Jersey. She is also a member of the Jersey Shore Sports Hall of Fame.
Other awards presented Sunday were:
Secretary of Agriculture Awards for New Jersey Standardbred Horse of the Year and New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Horse of the Year: Evident Beauty – Evident Beauty, by Trixton out of the Explosive Matter mare Struck By Lindy, swept the preliminary legs and final of her division at The Meadowlands. A winner of $532,734 in 2019, the 3-year-old filly trotter won nine of her 17 starts. Driver David Miller handled Evident Beauty in all her races this season. With a record of 1:52.3, which she took in winning the Premier Division final at The Meadowlands, she was also victorious in open company with wins in a $124,000 Del Miller Division at The Meadowlands, the $282,000 Elegantimage at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and the $135,000 Moni Maker at Hoosier Park. Evident Beauty is owned by Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and R A W Equine. Richard “Nifty” Norman trained the filly that was bred by White Birch Farm of Allentown.
Secretary of Agriculture Award for New Jersey Thoroughbred Horse of the Year: Valedictorian – Owned by Epic Racing, Valedictorian won three of her eight starts in 2019 and placed in three other races. The 6-year-old mare, trained by Kelly Breen, won the $165,000 Eatontown Stakes at Monmouth Park, along with the Suwannee River Stakes and Sand Spring Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The daughter of Temple City finished 2019 with almost $340,000 in earnings and has won 12 of 30 career starts.
Breeder of the Year: Order By Stable – Order by Stable is owned by Stefan Balaszi and housed at Concord Farm in Cream Ridge. Order by Stable was also the United States Harness Writers’ Association Breeder of the Year in 2018. Order by Stable filly Atlanta was a 2018 Hambletonian Winner.
Horse Park of NJ Volunteer of the Year: Chris Boylan – He has been a volunteer for several years at the Horse Park. Boylan is well-known in equestrian circles and has started more than 8,000 races over the years.
Special Recognition: Reed – Owned by Maggie Romano, Reed spent the last 16 years as a service horse in Indiana before being retired last fall and is now home back at the Romano’s farm in Monmouth County. Reed served in various ceremonies during his time with the Indiana National Guard, and received his own retirement ceremony last September in Indiana.
New Jersey Equestrian of the Year: Grayson Link, Franklinville – An 18-year-old Paul VI High School senior, who lives in Gloucester County, she started riding lessons at age 5 and was the Gloucester County Equestrian of the Year in 2018 and 2019.
New Jersey Agricultural Achievement Award: Rachel Ewing, Franklin Township -- $500 Scholarship. A senior at North Hunterdon High School, Rachel has been president of both the Kick Butt Kids and Hunterdon Deadeyes. She enjoys promoting dairy products and was the Hunterdon County Dairy Princess. She attended Citizenship Washington Focus, North Jersey Teen Conference and National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships. She is a certified Youth Rifle Instructor and enjoys coaching young shooters in the Hunterdon Deadeyes.
Bell Scholarship: Camille Duchamp, Princeton – The $1,000 scholarship is presented by the Equine Advisory Board and named for Ernest C. Bell, a horse breeder and one of the founders of the Equine Advisory Board. Camille, a Montgomery High School graduate who is originally from France, is a senior at Rutgers University, and her major is Animal Science.