We hope you’ve recovered from your Rolex hangover, because the next big three-day of the season is almost upon us, and the organizers of the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event have promised an all new look and feel to raise the bar at the competition this year. If you’re not already planning to head to Allentown, New Jersey, next week, you’re going to miss out on #jerseyrefresh.
Lisa Mackintosh, Jersey Fresh’s longtime press officer, said the organizers are committed to making the event top notch and on par with the other big three-stars in the U.S., and they unanimously agreed that centralizing all the action in one place and providing a comfortable space for owners, spectators and riders to watch was critical.
With that in mind, the most visible difference from last year’s event will be an all new VIP tent, which will be located inside the Grand Prix ring where only show jumping has been held in the past. Now all of the dressage will be held in the Grand Prix ring, as well as CCI3* and CCI2* show jumping, and a portion of John Williams’ cross country course will also run through the ring.
“We used to have a VIP tent, and it never really caught on,” Lisa said. “The big thing to us is Jersey Fresh is a three-star event; it should look and feel like a three-star event. This is the first of many steps that we hope to take to make the event an unforgettable experience for the competitors, the owners, grooms and spectators. There are a lot of things happening, but this is the most visible.”
The location of the new VIP tent also puts it very close to the famous Jersey Shore water complex, so patrons in the tent can easily view the jumps in the Grand Prix ring and then take a few steps to watch the horses and riders go through the water, too.
Tailgating at the Jersey Shore is always a popular way to watch cross country, and while all those spots are sold out, new spots have been added at Doc Dey Field, which allows a view of of a significant number of fences on the CCI3* course. Tailgating spots are available for $200 and can be reserved at this link.
Whether you watch from the VIP tent or a tailgate spot, you’ll definitely want a good view of the action with Jersey Fresh being the final selection trials for the U.S. Pan American Games team, which is expected to be named no later than May 20. A star-studded lineup is entered in both the CCI3* and CCI2* with the hopes of making the team.
This year’s Carolina International CIC3* winners Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready will contest the CCI3*. While Lauren Kieffer scratched Czechmate, who will go to Bromont instead, Buck Davidson and Jessica Phoenix have re-routed Ballynoe Castle RM and A Little Romance from Rolex for the CCI3*.
The West Coast is coming in hot at this event, with the Fork CIC2* winners Tamie Smith and Mai Baum entered in the CCI2*; Tamie also has Twizted Syster entered in her first CCI3*. Matt Brown also has his three top horses — Super Socks BCF, Happenstance and BCF Belicoso — all the way here from California for the CCI3*.
Boyd Martin will also be gunning for a spot on the U.S. Pan Ams team with Pancho Villa in the CCI3*, and Will Faudree has re-routed from Ocala with his hotshot mare Caeleste in the CCI2*. The Canadians will also be looking to shore up their team, with riders like Jessica Phoenix, Tik Maynard and David Ziegler making their bid for Toronto.
An all-new competitor’s party, JFI Fiesta, will be held Saturday night, and each competitor will receive one complimentary ticket, with additional tickets available for $25. There will be a full spread of tasty Mexican food to keep in line with the fiesta theme, and drinks and dancing will set the mood for the exciting show jumping finale the next day.
With Sunday being Mother’s Day, families can purchase a Super Mom package, which will serve a brunch for three people in the VIP tent (with the option to purchase more brunch tickets) for $150. This package also includes special JFI gear and a meet and greet and cross country course walk with members of the JFI Riders Committee.
Jane Cory and the rest of the organizing committee have put a lot of thought and effort into this year’s event, Lisa said, and they hope the eventing community will come out to Allentown next week to support and cheer on the riders as they look to shore up a ticket to the Pan American Games.
“This year it’s been a cohesive group who has worked tirelessly to give the event an upgraded profile,” Lisa said. “From putting up a new website to coordinating the VIP tent, it’s been so many things. It’s been a group effort more so than any other year. It’s been steadily improving, but this is a big leap forward.”
VIP packages start at $100 for owners and competitors and include catered meals and drinks, plus a ringside view of all three phases of the competition. All other VIP packages are available starting at $250. Click here to check out a full rundown of all the Jersey Fresh VIP packages, here to order competitor/owner tickets, and here to order other VIP tickets.
Admission is free on Wednesday for the first horse inspection and on the first two days of dressage. Tickets are $15 per car load on Saturday and Sunday, and payment will be collected at the gate. A JFI Supporter Package is available for $75, which includes admission all weekend, a meet and greet and course walk with Rider Committee members, and a limited edition JFI T-shirt and hat.
The EN team hopes to see you at #jerseyrefresh!