The Rutgers Equine Science Center (ESC) and New Jersey Department of Agriculture joined forces to kick off the "Month of the Horse" – a celebration of all things equine throughout the month of June.
Karyn Malinowski, director of the Equine Science Center, and Douglas Fisher, New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture, spoke about the importance of a thriving equine industry in New Jersey at the celebration on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick. Among the special guests were Assemblyman Robert Clifton (R-12) and North Brunswick Councilwoman Cathy Nicola.
"Besides being known as the Garden State, New Jersey has always been identified by its vibrant equine industry," said Secretary Fisher. "Whether it is horse racing and breeding, show competitions or trail riding, equine provides the state with revenue, jobs and open space, while contributing to the quality of life in New Jersey."
The state’s equine industry is valued at $4 billion and generates $1.1 billion annually in positive impact to the state’s economy. A recent Equine Science Center study shows there are 7,200 equine facilities on 176,000 acres and 42,500 equine animals in New Jersey.
"The Equine Science Center is pleased to share in celebrating the "Month of the Horse" with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and Secretary Fisher," said Malinowski. "This collaborative program is another example of the wonderful partnership we share with the department."
Secretary Fisher presented Malinowski with a proclamation from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie declaring June 2012 as Month of the Horse. The proclamation states, "The horse has been honored in New Jersey since 1777 when the State Seal was adopted including its image, and was formally designated as the state animal in 1977."
Malinowski, Secretary Fisher, and Assemblyman Clifton welcomed guests during a demonstration of the Equi-Ciser™, a machine to aid with conditioning and exercising horses. The Equi-Ciser™ is a large circular structure which resembles a merry-go-round.
Guests witnessed a demonstration of the high-speed equine exercise physiology treadmill involving thirteen-year old Standardbred mare, Snowdrift. The treadmill is used in a variety of research projects to advance the well-being and performance of horses. The ESC has conducted several recent equine research projects utilizing the treadmill, including the effects of age and training on glucose metabolism in horses, nutritional studies on the efficacy of natural food products (such as cranberries, ginger, orange peel, and black tea) on exercise endurance, and research on oxidative stress and inflammation.
As part of the visit to the Rutgers equine facilities, Secretary Fisher and Assemblyman Clifton were treated to a tour of the nearby Ryders Lane Environmental Best Management Practices Demonstration Horse Farm. The 40-acre working horse farm was created to provide solutions to many of the problems facing farm owners and stable managers, including preserving water quality, proper nutrient and waste management, weed control, fencing, rotational grazing, soil enrichment, and proper farm and pasture management. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture played a key role in assisting a team of Rutgers researchers and several state and federal agencies in the establishment of the Ryders Lane farm as a learning center in 2010. Take a virtual tour of the Ryders Lane farm.
Several equine events have been planned for the Month of the Horse, including the U.S Equestrian Foundation Dressage Festival of Champions and Olympic Games Selection Trials in Gladstone June 8-10 and 14-17, the Jersey Classic Horse Show at the Horse Park of New Jersey June 8-10, and the NJ Quarter Horse Association horse Show at the Gloucester County Dream Park June 22-24.
Search This Site: