MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Susan VanBlarcom and Samatha Whitley of Sommerfield Farm in Pittstown have been named New Jersey Horse Shows Association's 2017 Trainers of the Year. Derby Day by Briarwood Farm of Ringoes has been named the NJHSA Horse Show of the Year.
The awards were presented at the NJHSA's annual Night of Champions dinner Saturday, Jan. 13, in Morristown, N.J.

Trainers, volunteers and riders of all ages were honored for their accomplishments during the past show season.

Clifford Bell of Stanton was selected by NJHSA members for the association's Junior Sportsmanship Award as someone who has exemplified good sportsmanship and good horsemanship.

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The NJHSA Member's Choice award went to VanBlarcom for dedication and an outstanding effort behind the scenes throughout the year.

VanBlarcom and Whitley won the Trainer of the Year award as the trainers whose students have earned the greatest number of high-score award ribbons in NJHSA-sanctioned shows throughout the season, which ended Nov. 30. Second place went to Jolene and Brian Cash of Hidden Acres Farm in West Milford. and third went to Katie Moriarty of On Course Riding Academy of Lafayette.

The Show of the Year is one selected by the membership as deserving special recognition for a particularly outstanding effort in such factors as facility, staff, scheduling, prizes, atmosphere, service, footings, rings, courses, and more. Briarwood's Derby Day is a benefit that last year raised $32,000 for Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center in memory of Briarwood founder Jack Benson. In total, the event has raised nearly $200,000 for the center.
Other winners:

  • Pre-Children's Pony champion Sophie Schaeffner, reserve Soleil Yax, third Catherine Ulassin
  • Pre-Children's Horse champion Kayla Torster, reserve Rachel Phillips, third Angelina Matos
  • Mini-Stirrup champion Ria Ohtsu, reserve Rylie E. True, third Uma Yax
  • Short Stirrup champion Olivia Soucie, reserve Scarlet Matteson, third Madeline Gilfedder
  • Beginner Rider champion Ashley Tomson, reserve Sarah Fisher, third Lia Jacobs
  • Low Adult champion Dawn R. Mazzaccaro, reserve Kelsey Kaub, third Jamie Vaz
  • Adult champion Jessica Smith, reserve Cody Dalton, third Linda Corvari
  • Junior Bronze Medal champion Emma McEwen, reserve Bella Clemente, third Audrey Schulze
  • Mini Maclay champion Emma McEwen, reserve Audrey Schulze, third Melanie R. Dunton
  • Gold Medal champion Zoe Kirsch, reserve Ashley DeLise, third Morgan Giordano


  • Itty-Bitty champion Redford owned and ridden by Sara Mazzaccaro, reserve Cartier owned by Ponies Unlimited LLC and ridden by Isabella Paradise, Devon Owen and Rachel Landoline, third Matilda owned and ridden by Theresa Nitti
  • Pre-Preliminary champion Ring of Fire owned and ridden by Jacki Howell, reserve Lordsong owned by Kaitlyn Roman and ridden by Kaitlyn Roman and Leah Wild, third SMF Bodacious owned and ridden by Amanda Tom
  • Schooling champion Hercules JB owned by Jessica Brittain and ridden by Emily Conway, reserve Surprise Engagement owned by Ponies Unlimited LLC and ridden by Destanny Gencarelli, third Strawberry Daiquiri owned and ridden by Emma Toke
  • Child/Adult champion Minister of Magic owned by Bethany Fischetto and ridden by Brianna Dean, reserve Cartier owned by Ponies Unlimited LLC and ridden by Destanny Gencarelli and Nicole Kapusta, third Jet Pilot owned by Ponies Unlimited LLC and ridden by Nicole Kapusta and Noa Zielinski


  • Schooling champion Donhattan owned by Alison Keeney and ridden by Alison Keeney and Nancy Wallis, reserve Sambuca owned by Genna Centolanza and ridden by Genna Centolanza and Erin Centolanza, third Samba Knight owned by Linda Corvari and ridden by Linda Corvari and Sarah Stewart
  • Suitable champion SF Peter Pan owned and ridden by Kaitlin Hofer, reserve Winston GG owned by Grace P. Gara and ridden by Grace P. Gara and H. Cahill, third Reunited owned by Grace P. Gara and ridden by Grace P. Gara and H. Cahill
  • Children's Small/Medium Pony champion Northwinds Top Secret owned and ridden by Ella Witt, reserve Milo owned by Tracy L. Collins and ridden by Ella Witt, reserve ICloud owned and ridden by Rylynn Conway
  • Children's Large Pony champion Mapleside Sir Galahad owned by Susan VanBlarcom and ridden by Mae Gordon, reserve Kinda Funny owned by Theresa Tolar and ridden by Ava Girdusky, third Glencoe Melody owned by Lisa Pellow-Stoner and ridden by Alexandra Stoner
  • Children's Horse champion Cassini's Home Run owned and ridden by Angela P. Jager, reserve Coppertone owned and ridden by Christina DiBrigida, third As Good As It's Get owned and ridden by Angelina DiLeo
  • Pre-Children’s Pony champion Luck of the Irish owned by Katie Moriarty and ridden by Sophie Schaeffner, reserve Skippin Stones owned by Penny Schell and ridden by Catherine Ulassin, third Ricky Martin owned and ridden by Soleil Yax
  • Pre-Children’s Horse champion Secret Service HRH owned by Lisa C. Wood and ridden by Emma K. Hall, reserve Prince of Tydes owned and ridden by Rachel Phillips, third Portofino Ramiro owned and ridden by Hannah Jablons
  • Low Adult champion Sandstone Snowstorm owned by Sandy Styzle and ridden by Kelsey Kaub, reserve After Party owned and ridden by Cynthia Rowe, third Colour Magi owned and ridden by Amy Porchetta
  • Adult Amateur champion Rumor Has It owned and ridden by Jessica Smith, reserve Mycroft owned and ridden by Cody Dalton, third Clooney owned by Laura Burke and ridden by Meredith Maxwell and Laura Burke
  • Short Stirrup Champion Hidden Springs Basil owned by Susan VanBlarcom and ridden by Olivia Soucie, reserve Clovermeades's A Day In Roan owned and ridden by Scarlet Matteson, third Wish Upon A Star owned by Mia Fernandez and ridden by Madeline Gilfedder
  • Beginner champion Skys The Limit owned by Ponies Unlimited LLC and ridden by Abby Wallace, reserve Moment Of Truth owned by Robert Beck and ridden by Brea Sculthorpe, third Rio owned by Laura Ganny and ridden by Sarah Fisher

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