NEW BRUNSWICK – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today kicked off the Month of the Horse at the Rutgers Equine Science Center in New Brunswick to the equine industry to highlight the many resources the center offers and all the unique equine activities and facilities in the state.
“Besides being known as the Garden State, New Jersey has always been identified by its vibrant equine industry,” said Fisher. “Whether it is horse racing and breeding, show competitions or trail riding, equine provides the state with revenue, jobs and open space, contributing to the quality of life in New Jersey.”
The state’s equine industry is valued at $4 billion and generates $1.1 billion annually in positive impact to the state’s economy. A Rutgers Equine Science Center study showed there are 7,200 equine facilities on 176,000 acres and 42,500 equine animals in New Jersey.
During his visit, Fisher was treated to a demonstration of the Equine Science Center’s high-speed equine treadmill and a tour of the Environmental Best Management Practices Demonstration Horse Farm. The Center serves as a primary resource for equine research and education to advance the well-being and performance of horses and the equine industry.
“The Equine Science Center is pleased to host the Department of Agriculture and Secretary Fisher here at the equine exercise physiology lab as we kick off the Month of the Horse,” said Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Center Director. “This collaborative program is another example of the wonderful partnership we share with the Department of Agriculture and Secretary Fisher.”
Fisher presented Malinowski with a proclamation from Gov. Chris Christie declaring June 2012 as Month of the Horse. The proclamation states, “The horse has been honored in New Jersey since 1777 when the State Seal was adopted including its image, and was formally designated as the state animal in 1977.”
Fisher noted that New Jersey is home to a number of top equine facilities. The United States Equestrian Foundation headquartered in Gladstone funds programs that train and support top athletes and horses to compete at the Olympics, World Championships, Pan American Games and other top international competitions. The Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern in Allentown hosts the Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event, which has become one of the world’s top eventing competitions. And, the Gloucester County Dream Park is a state-of-the-art equestrian complex created to provide opportunities for horse owners to participate in shows and competitions and for the public to experience horse events firsthand.
For information on the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s equine programs, including the Sire Stakes program to encourage the breeding of Standardbred horses and the Jersey Bred marketing program to identify horses raised in the Garden State, visit the Jersey Equine website at www.jerseyequine.nj.gov. For information about the Rutgers Equine Science Center, visit esc.rutgers.edu.
Fisher outlined some of the equine events planned for the Month of the Horse, including the U.S. Equestrian Foundation Dressage Festival of Champions and Olympic Games Selection Trials in Gladstone June 8-10 and 14-17, the Jersey Classic Horse Show at the Horse Park of New Jersey June 8-10 and the NJ Quarter Horse Association Horse Show at the Gloucester County Dream Park June 22-24.
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