Feb 10, 2017

Captain Mark Phillips Appointed Cross-Country Course Designer for 2017 Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event

By Jersey Fresh - Press Release
2016 Jersey Fresh International CCI3* Winners Ryan Wood and Powell. Shannon Brinkman Photo

With plans fully underway in preparation for the upcoming 15th anniversary presentation of the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event – to be held at the Horse Park of New Jersey May 10-14 – Event management has announced that Captain Mark Phillips will assume responsibility for cross-country course design at this year’s competition.

Captain Phillips takes over as JFI Course Designer from John Williams, who has designed the event’s courses for the prior 14 years, since the competition’s inception in 2002. The JFI Organizing Committee – headed by Jane Cory, Event Organizer and Dan Wunderlich, Committee Chair – emphasizes the enormous contribution that Williams has made to JFI as a member of the original team that brought the competition to life, and then over the years as a hard-working, highly influential driver of JFI’s development into a world-class, international three-star eventing venue.

The decision to bring Captain Phillips on board marks further advancement on the trajectory of additions and improvements that have been implemented at JFI, particularly over the past three years. “Both behind the scenes and in more obvious ways, the event has sought to enhance the JFI experience for competitors, spectators and all fans of equestrian sport,” says Dan Wunderlich. “Having Captain Phillips join our team affords us another tremendous opportunity to bring the highest level talent, officiating and accommodations to those who attend or follow JFI during its four-day presence at the Horse Park each May.”

Captain Phillips’ is already hard at work on the four tracks needed to run the cross-country phase for CCI3*, CIC3*, CCI2* and CIC2* divisions of the competition, all of which will take place on Saturday, May 13. As has been previously announced, the 2017 courses will utilize – for the first time – additional property that has become accessible to JFI since the 2016 event. It is anticipated that Captain Phillips’ courses will capitalize on the additional acreage and his unique experience and insight to improve flow, as well as give competitors an entirely new look and feel to their cross-country ride at JFI. “We are very excited and fortunate that Mark was willing and able to step in at JFI this year,” said Jane Cory. “We are especially thrilled that – assuming he gets the nod from the FEI to be Course Designer at the 2018 World Equestrian Games – riders at all levels will be able to experience a taste of what Mark might be thinking for that by coming to New Jersey in just a few months.”

Captain Phillips (Retired, Queen's Dragoon Guards) was part of the British three-day event teams that won a world title in 1970, a European title in 1971 and Olympic medals: gold in 1972 and silver in 1988. He was also a four-time champion at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1981. He remains a leading figure in British equestrian circles, a noted eventing course designer with international assignments, a columnist in Horse & Hound magazine, and has served as Chef d'Equipe of the United States Eventing Team.

Of his new affiliation, Captain Phillips indicates he has thoroughly enjoyed the process so far and looks forward to working with the JFI team, capitalizing on his involvement to generate even more excitement for the Event’s already exceedingly popular Cross-Country Day. “It will be easier to get the horse in a good rhythm, so the courses should ride well,” he said. “And if the horses and riders enjoy it then they will want to come back and jump here again, and that will create more support and sponsorship for the Event.”

The 2017 Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event will take place May 10 -14 at the Horse Park of New Jersey – a premier venue that draws top equestrian competitors across a multitude of disciplines. Marking its 15th anniversary this year, JFI has become one of the most influential international three-day events in the United States. A must-attend by the sport of eventing's leading athletes, JFI has historically helped determine both United States’ and Canadian World Equestrian Games and Pan Am Games Teams and, in 2016, JFI was proud to be – once again – a qualifying selection event for the U.S. Eventing Team that competed in the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games.

JFI invites all to enjoy a fun and action-packed weekend, not only watching equestrian sports’ most exciting riders and extraordinary horses compete at a world-class level, but also partaking of unique shopping and entertainment offerings. Spectators can tailgate during the Cross-Country phase of the competition, walk and picnic in a beautiful park setting, participate in special children’s activities and so much more! Additional details regarding 2017’s schedule of events will be posted and updated at www.jfi3d.com in the coming weeks and months.

The Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event is administrated by the Horse Park of New Jersey, a 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit, Charitable and Educational organization that relies on sponsors, volunteers and members to sustain operations. Further information about JFI is available at www.jfi3d.com. Further information about the Horse Park of New Jersey is available at www.horseparkofnewjersey.com.

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