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Garden State Horse Show honored to be named WCHR member

March 25, 2009, AUGUSTA, New Jersey—Now in its 58th year, Garden State Horse Show (GSHS) constantly strives to add special classes and incentives for its loyal exhibitors. This year the show, which runs from April 29 through May 3 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, is delighted to have the honor of being chosen as one of only seven World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) point shows in the Northeast Region! The WCHR Awards, which are presented annually by the American Hunter Jumper Foundation (AHJF) on both a national and regional basis, are considered especially prestigious because instead of rewarding the horse or rider who competes in the most shows, they reward the ones who win at the best shows.

Very unique to the WCHR Program is that a very limited number of participating shows, no more than seven in each of the eight regions, are chosen by members of the AHJF via a voting ballot. AHJF members rate horse shows throughout the year by a set of criteria that includes: good footing, appropriate schooling areas, attracts top competition, top judges and officials, exhibitor hospitality, etc. Tim Cleary, Horse Show Manager, is excited about Garden State achieving WCHR status. “Two years ago we asked our exhibitors who support the show to try to vote us in the WCHR,” he explains. “I really want to thank everyone that did for helping us become a WCHR show and just for being so loyal,” he adds.

Garden State (GSHS), which boasts the distinction of being New Jersey’s largest horse show, attracts many of the country’s top show hunters and jumpers. Cleary explains that in spite of this being a year when people are cutting back, GSHS has actually added substantial prize money to several of its special classes as a way of thanking their exhibitors for all their support over the years.

On Saturday, May 2 the ever popular Garden State Grand Prix, which has been known to draw many top riders, even members of the U.S. Olympic show jumping team, will take center stage. This year the horses and riders will vie for a total purse of $65,000! In addition, the $25,000 Welcome Stake, Thursday, April 30, offers the jumpers a second big money class.

Not to be missed, just prior to the Grand Prix, Driving for Surviving, a pediatric oncology equestrian carriage driving program of sharingVillage, will present an exhibition, at approximately 3:00 p.m. Located in Far Hills, NJ, sharingVillage is a nonprofit self help educational organization dedicated to the well being of cancer survivors from time of diagnosis and beyond. The children thrilled the crowd last year as they negotiated their miniature horses ponies amongst the enormous fences already set for the Grand Prix jumpers.

“We’re thrilled to have sharingVillage back at Garden State,” declares Jim Duva, Executive Coordinator of GSHS. “The kids were such a hit here last year. And we are happy to assist with such a worthwhile program.”

Prize money in the hunter classics has been increased as well. Offerings include: $4,000 Hunter Classic, $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic, and $1,000 3’ Classic.

While GSHS holds a USEF jumper rating 5 and AA hunter rating with many highly competitive divisions, the show also offers a wide variety of classes to suit horses and riders of every age and ability. This is one of the reasons the show has had such wide appeal, literally for generations.

For prize lists or questions regarding entries call 203-650-3148 or visit the show’s website, http://www.gardenstatehorseshow.org.


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