FAR HILLS, N.J. — A stellar field of world-class riders is entered to compete in the third running of the Mars Essex Horse Trials Country Weekend, June 21-23.
Taking place at historic Moorland Farm in Far Hills, N.J., the event features the newly added Advanced division, which has attracted top riders including four U.S. Olympic veterans.
"I'm really excited that Essex is putting on the event with the Advanced division," said two-time U.S. Olympic veteran Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa., who is the reigning US Equestrian CCI5*-L Champion. "I'm bringing a couple of my up-and-coming horses and giving them a spin around the course. I heard that there is a lot of prize money and it's one of those events that has a bit of history. I'm thrilled to be a part of it."
Other U.S. Olympic veterans entered include six-time Olympian and two-time Olympic Team Gold medalist Phillip Dutton, 2012 London Olympic veteran Will Coleman and 2016 Rio Olympic veteran Lauren Kieffer.
Also entered are Canadian Olympic veteran Jessica Phoenix, two-time U.S. National champion and two-time Olympic alternate Buck Davidson and Ryan Wood of Australia who will be returning with his mount, Ruby, to defend the championship they won last year in the Preliminary division. Wood has also entered Woodstock Bennett to compete in the Advanced Division.
The Mars Essex Horse Trials is a perfect way to spend a weekend in the country. The picturesque surroundings allow spectators to experience the thrill of the Olympic sport of eventing while enjoying a variety of activities including children's activities, a classic car show, a farm stand offering fresh farm-to-table food from local markets, demonstrations, and specialties from artisan vendors.
The Children's Activity Center, sponsored by The Willow School, will offer younger spectators and their parents a fun and creative way to spend the day. The Essex Market will feature a wide range of shopping from saddles and riding boots to jewelry and artwork.
Eventing, often referred to as an "equestrian triathlon," combines the elegance of dressage, the thrill of cross-country, and the precision of show jumping. Eventing provides a rare opportunity for spectators of all ages and interests to witness a discipline that highlights the unique trust and bond between horse and rider. This year, Essex will feature an Advanced division with Olympic-level riders on top horses in addition to other divisions for up-and-coming horses and riders.
About the Mars Essex Horse Trials
For three decades, the famed Essex Horse Trials was a major highlight on the equestrian calendar, attracting top American and international competitors as well as thousands of fans who enjoyed its social aspects as well. The event was originally conceived in 1968 by the Haller Family at Hoopstick Farm. Proceeds from the event benefit the Greater Newark LifeCamp in nearby Pottersville, which provides an enriching day camp experience for approximately 300 Newark-area youths per day for six weeks during July and August.
Moorland Farm, a picturesque 230-acre property, provides the breathtaking setting for the event's current edition. It is the home of the annual Far Hills Race Meeting, a nationally prestigious steeplechase race meeting held each October.
Mars, Inc., the original sponsor of the Essex Horse Trials, returned in 2017 and continues as the event's title sponsor. Presenting sponsors include Open Road Auto Group, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, RWJ Barnabas Health, Running 'S' Equine Veterinary Services, and AIG.
For additional information, please visit www.essexhorsetrials.org.
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