Mars Essex Horse Trials to Add Advanced Division for 2019

Ryan Wood and Ruby, winners of the $20,000 Preliminary
Essex at the 2018 Mars Essex Horse Trials. Photo by i{mpack}t studio courtesy of Mars Essex Horse Trials.

The iconic Mars Essex Horse Trials was reborn in 2017 after a near two-decade long hiatus and has since been welcomed back by the eventing community with open arms. After offering Beginner Novice through Preliminary divisions the past two years, the event has announced that an Advanced division will be added for the 2019 edition.

“Following the success of our first two years back, we’ve had many requests to add an Advanced division,” said Ralph Jones, President of Mars Essex Horse Trials. “This event has attracted some of the sport’s top horses and riders in the Beginner Novice through Preliminary divisions and adding this elite division is another step forward in returning the event to its glorious past.”

Morgan Rowsell, a Long Valley resident, is the cross country course designer for all levels.

This year’s event will take place June 21-23 at picturesque Moorland Farm in Far Hills, New Jersey. The weekend provides a rare opportunity to go behind the gates of this historic 230-acre property, which is only open to the public two weekends a year. It is also home of the annual Far Hills Race Meeting, a steeplechase held each October.

For three decades, the Essex Horse Trials was one of the highlights of the equestrian calendar, attracting top American and international competitors as well as thousands of fans who enjoyed its social aspects as well.

In addition to competitor hospitality, the event is family friendly for spectators. In addition to cross country tailgating, weekend activities include a classic car show; a variety of equestrian and artisan vendors; a farm stand, offering fresh farm-to-table food from local markets; and the Willow School children’s activity center, offering a fun and creative diversion for younger spectators and their parents.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Greater Newark LifeCamp in nearby Pottersville, a day camp for inner-city youth.

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