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Monday, June 9, 2014


MANALAPAN, NJ – June 9, 2014 – New Jersey’s standardbred horsemen will celebrate June, the Month of the Horse in New Jersey, with donations of the new book, Standardbred Old Friends; a personal appearance by the retired racehorse Indy and an open house at Fair Winds Farm.

The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey is donating 20 copies of Standardbred Old Friends, featuring the work of award-winner equine photographer Barbara Livingston and text by racing writer Ellen Harvey of Freehold, NJ, to New Jersey regional and consortium libraries as well as local libraries in communities located near racetracks and training centers.

Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, from age 19 to 37.  Some became multimillionaire world champions but most have more modest racing credentials, moving on to retirement or second careers, including as pleasure and show horses or mounts for law enforcement.  The book’s 153 photos and 43 stories were selected from thousands of photos and 150 interviews. 

The Monmouth County Library System has a series of events at its various locations, including a personal appearance by Independent Act – aka Indy – who made the successful transition from racehorse to show competitor under the care of his owner, Suzanne D’Ambrose of Neptune, NJ. 

Indy will be at the Library Headquarters, 125 Symmes Drive in Manalapan, on Monday, June 30, 2014 at 6 p.m.  The well-mannered trotter will meet the public, accept carrots and horse treats, and pose for photos.  He will also be at the Fair Winds open house.

Fair Winds Farm, a standardbred breeding farm that is home to dozens of mares and foals, and site of the Hogan Equine Clinic, will host an open house on Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  The farm is located at 74 Red Valley Road in Cream Ridge, NJ.

Prominent equine surgeon Dr. Patricia Hogan will show visitors the workings of her clinic, where hundreds of horses, mostly thoroughbreds and standardbreds, are treated each year.

Blacksmith Tom Mulryne will demonstrate how horse hooves are kept healthy by regular trimming and shoeing, and there will be kids’ activities and information from the NJ Farm Bureau, Future Farmers of America, Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Pony Club, Rutgers Equine Science Center and the Monmouth County 4H.

This is a rain or shine event. Visitors are asked to leave dogs at home and to be aware that there are very few paved surfaces on the farm, so it may be rough going for wheelchairs and strollers. 

New Jersey is home to thousands of pleasure horses, show horses and racehorses.  In 1977, to honor its importance in New Jersey’s economy and quality of life, the horse was named the official state animal.  In May 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman proclaimed June as the Month of the Horse, a practice continued by her successors.  Month of the Horse festivities opened on June 6 with an appearance by New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher at the Gloucester County 4-H Fairgrounds.

-Submitted by Carol Hodes