Cream Ridge, NJ — After a day of unrelenting rain, skies cleared on Sunday afternoon (June 28) for the second annual open house at, celebrating the month of the horse in . About 350 guests, most of them with no connection or experience with horses, walked up the tree-lined lane, past fields of mares and foals, to the Cream Ridge farm for an afternoon of everything equine.
Fair Wind's Mark Mullen invited several partners and exhibitors to open the doors to the farm and the horse world to the general public, with FFA members parking cars and exhibiting alongside Rutgers University Equine Science program, Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization, NJ Quarter Horse Association, NJ Farm Bureau and Monmouth County 4H, complete with real bunnies in baskets.
Guests were treated to horse and wagon rides around the farm, a demonstration of what the well-dressed racehorse wears with Jacqueline Ingrassia and the very patient Cool Beans, who stood stock still, with ears up for photos and pats from children and adults getting their hands on a horse for the first time.
Retired trotter Independent Act and owner Suzanne D'Ambrose walked throughout the crowd for hours, with "Indy" sampling grass and saying hello to curious children generous with scratches and pats.
Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization members showed the crowd what Standardbreds can do off the track. Helene Gregory was there with Jambalayabar Man, Rob Pennington with Glissade and Worldclass Guy was ridden by Stephanie Jacobs. Nicole Bursac showed off the roan Styled N Misty, while Terry Keynton had Osborne's Shy Cam outfitted for trail riding.
Farrier Tom Mulryne trimmed a horse with a crowd listening to his explanation of equine foot care. Dr. Patty Hogan opened up her clinic for the day, with three fully subscribed tours learning about diagnostic and surgical procedures, as well as seeing horses recovering from or preparing for orthopedic surgery.
"It was a beautiful day and we had enthusiastic participation from many groups and a lot of non-horse people here, visiting Dr. Hogan's clinic, seeing all the demos," said Fair Winds' owner Mark Mullen. "People were very complimentary about the farm and all the horses and activities. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time."
by Ellen Harvey
Harness Racing Communications