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A Rite of Spring, Garden State Horse Show Announces 57th Annual Event

April 16, 2008, AUGUSTA, New Jersey— Now in its 57th year, Garden State Horse Show is eagerly anticipated by many as it signifies the beginning of the spring show season. Garden State (GSHS), which boasts the distinction of being New Jersey’s largest horse show, runs May 7-11, 2008 at Sussex County Fairgrounds. The competition is keen as the show attracts many of the country’s top show hunters and jumpers. In fact, the $50,000 Grand Prix, to be contested Saturday afternoon, May 10, has been known to draw several members of the U.S. Olympic show jumping team.

While GSHS holds a AA rating and features many highly competitive divisions, the show also offers a wide variety of classes to suit every ability of horse and rider. Several years ago the showgrounds underwent a major expansion, adding 5 large rings with excellent footing. This addition, known as “the Annex,” is situated a little apart from the original showgrounds, creating a nice relaxed atmosphere. “It’s perfect for the younger children and less experienced riders as it’s a bit quieter and more low key up there,” explains Tim Cleary, horse show manager.

The $50,000 Junior Essex Troop Grand Prix, always a highlight of the show, will be held on Saturday, May 10 with a start time not before 4:00 p.m. The course designers will set a challenging course, yet aim to have a number of horses “go clean” and return for an exhilarating jump-off against the clock.

Just prior to the Grand Prix, sharingVillage Cancer Survivors will be center stage at GSHS. The children, members of a group known as Driving for Surviving, will entertain the crowd driving tiny ponies with carts.

In their effort to keep GSHS on the list of exhibitors’ favorite shows, Cleary says they have added a couple of special classes this year – one for hunters and the other jumpers. The Bit O’ Straw Hunter Classic gives riders who show over modest 2’6” fences their own two round classic. The $2,500 Troop Jumper Derby, with fences set at 3’6”, gives intermediate jumper riders an option to jump just slightly higher than in GSHS’s enormously popular $2,500 John H. Fritz Challenge class with 3’3” fences.

GSHS has always been known for its outstanding officials. This year is no exception with highly respected judges including Linda Andrisani, Susan Barrett, Leo Conroy, Tucker Ericson, Barry Lobel, Michelle Morosky, Betsy Perry, and Steven Rivetts.

When it’s time to take a break from the action in the rings, Garden State features a fine assortment of shops situated between the two show areas. Tack shops, jewelry, handbags, clothing, specialty coffee, monogramming, and ice cream are among the shopping choices. Dining options are available both on and near the showgrounds.

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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