Far Hills, NJ: The Board of Directors of the Essex Horse Trials, Inc. (Essex) is pleased to announce that, following a 19-year hiatus, one of New Jersey's most recognizable equestrian competitions will return to the U.S. Eventing Association and U.S. Equestrian Federation calendar on June 24, 2017. In addition, the Board has affirmed that Mars, Inc., will resume its past association with Essex as lead sponsor of the event.
The Essex homecoming is part of a long-range strategic plan, organized and supported by members of the local community whose goal is the revitalization and growth of high-level equestrian events and competitions in Somerset County and the surrounding region.
"As Chairman of Far Hills Race Meeting Association, Inc., past Chairman of the Essex Horse Trials and current Board member of the new Essex Horse Trials, I am thrilled by the community and corporate support this event is generating," says Guy Torsilieri. "Like me, everyone involved sees the tremendous economic and growth potential of Essex and all of the other premiere equestrian events being planned."
Partnering with The Gladstone Equestrian Association (GEA), both groups are actively developing and promoting clinics, competitions and events in the area to benefit the community. Among these is "Monmouth at the Team," a six-day hunter-jumper competition taking place August 15-21 at the United States Equestrian Team (USET) in Gladstone.
For three decades, Essex was a must-attend competition for both U.S. and international eventers, drawing top riders and thousands of spectators. When last contested in 1998, the event had for many years been run on property located at and around the USET's Gladstone headquarters. Beginning next year, Essex will make its new home at historic Moorland Farm in Far Hills - just a few miles away from where the event was launched in 1968 at the Haller family's Hoopstick Farm on Lamington Road.
Ralph Jones, President of Essex, adds, "We are very happy to partner with Moorland Farm and Mars, Inc., to bring back the Essex Horse Trials to the Gladstone area. It has been 18 years since this iconic event has taken place and there is great excitement among USEA riders to see it return next year."
"Mars, Inc., is proud to be the 2017 Essex Horse Trials' Title Sponsor," said William Clements, VP Sponsorships/Properties. "Essex is a great partnership between Mars, Inc., and the supporters of equestrian Eventing in the New Jersey area."
Open Road Auto Group, Peapack-Gladstone Bank and RWJBarnabas Health will also lend their support to Essex as Presenting Sponsors.
Essex will be a notable addition to Moorland Farm's 230-acre venue and schedule, which until now has been focused on the hugely popular Far Hills Race Meeting (FHRMA) - offering some of the richest purses in America and host to The Grand National, the most prestigious race in American steeplechasing. FHRMA attracts over 35,000 spectators each year and celebrates its 96th running on October 15, 2016. Plans are currently underway for festivities that will celebrate FHRMA's 100th anniversary in 2020.
Eventing, often referred to as an "equestrian triathlon," combines the elegance of Dressage, the thrill of Cross-Country and the precision of Show Jumping. Essex will take place the weekend of June 24, 2017, and will initially offer Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels. Future plans include the addition of a higher-level Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) recognized competition. At any level, Eventing provides a rare opportunity for spectators of all ages and interests, not just in equestrian sports, to witness a discipline that highlights the unique trust and bond between horse and rider. For more information, visit http://essexhorsetrials.org/.
About Mars, Inc.
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington, kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr., joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr., moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a "mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders" - this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Inc., today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience, and more than 72,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
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