Horse Park of New Jersey expands board of trustees, plans future | NJ.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 10:40 AM | Kathy Culler (Administrator)


By Jane Meggitt for Horse News

The Horse Park of New Jersey (HPNJ) Board of Trustees now has two additional members, with number rising from 16 to 18. The change in the by-laws was approved by voting members of the HPNJ at the annual meeting, held June 22 at the HPNJ pavilion.

HPNJ president Jacques Roszel, of New Egypt, explained that two state agencies — the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environmental Conservation — are involved as custodians of the HPNJ. Each agency appoints three citizens to serve as trustees, so the board consisted of 1/3 appointed officials and 2/3 elected public members. The elected officials were formerly 10 in number, and will now rise to 12. Roszel said the two additional members will be appointed when the HPNJ board feels it is appropriate.

Voting members of the HPNJ also re-elected three trustees running for new terms. The additional two trustees will be voted on at a later date. Those re-elected were Erika "Ricki" Neuberg, Millstone, N.J. the owner of Nearaway Farm and a thoroughbred owner and breeder. She also works to retrain racehorses to second careers. On her application, she wrote that she is interested in fundraising for the HPNJ, including getting larger contributions from new sources. She would also like to get new shows to use the facilities.

Bruce McNab, of Millstone, and his wife, Barbara have trained and raised quarter horses on their farm for 40 years, and has been on the HPNJ since its inception. Currently serving as treasurer, he has held the office of vice-president in the past. "I will work in every possible way to continue the progress of the HPNJ into the future as a world-class show facility," McNab wrote in his application.

Kathy Culler, of Upper Freehold, is a riding instructor at the Into the Woods Farm. She is the founder of "Friends of the HPNJ," a Facebook group exceeding 1,000 members. She also designed and transferred the membership management to a new website, with a database allowing better communication with members. She currently serves as chairwoman of the Membership, Schooling and Education committees. In her application, Culler wrote that she believes "this property is a jewel that must be preserved, nurtured and managed so that it can thrive far into the future."

At the meeting, Roszel said Culler did a "fantastic" job of getting the HPNJ into the tech age "in a better way." According to Roszel, "Membership is now online, and all activities are posted quickly. It's a user-friendly website."

Roszel noted that the HPNJ was off to a good start this year, with the Jersey Fresh, various breed shows, the previous week's Middlesex County Horse Show and the upcoming Monmouth County Horse Show in August, along with a Combined Driving Event in September.

The HPNJ has embarked on a capital campaign to install new footing in the East and West rings. Roszel said that the entire cost is estimated at $350,000, or $175,000 per ring, and that the East ring will be done first Trustee Allyson Jeffrey, Millstone, heads the capital campaign. She reported that, so far, fundraising efforts, including a successful endeavor at the May Jersey Fresh event, have raised about $10,000. An auction, possibly held in conjunction with another HPNJ event, is another potential fundraiser, she said. Dr. Armand Leone, a member of the 1980 Olympic Equestrian Show Jumping Team and a former Chairman of the Board of the USET Foundation serves as the campaign's honorary chairman. Also joining the campaign is Marilyn Payne, a trainer, competitor, judge and breeder of eventing and dressage horses. She served as the president of the ground jury at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky.

Jeffrey said that ring work would include complete excavation, along with installing under-drainage, throughout the entire ring. A new, synthetic material will be installed on top. There is a 20-year materials guarantee on the product, which will be installed by Martin Collins Equine Surfaces. The company has installed rings worldwide, including California's Sonoma Horse Park, FEI World Cups in Europe, and the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, according to its website.

Attendee Mary Alice Goss, Freehold, asked whether clubs could rent stalls and/or camper spaces at the HPNJ to hold rides in the neighboring Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. She said that Fair Hill, Maryland had such an arrangement. Roszel said it was something the board could consider. He explained that the proposal would have to go before the HPNJ's financial committee, which meets on the third Monday of each month, and if approved, would go to the full board for a decision.

For information on or to donate to the "Capital Campaign for Arena Competition Surfaces," visit www.horseparkofnewjersey.com/donate.  All donations are tax-deductible.

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