MANALAPAN, NJ - July 5, 2014 - Mark Mullen of Fair Winds opened the doors to his Cream Ridge, NJ farm on Sunday, June 29, 2014 and thinks the event has already yielded favorable feedback. "That's a home run," said Mullen of the three-hour program that drew nearly 300 visitors for a tour of the Hogan Equine Clinic, a blacksmith demonstration and the opportunity to see the Fair Winds mares and foals, retired racehorse Independent Act and the uniquely white pacer named White Bliss among other highlights. "It was my hope to get young people exposed to the horses and to try and make a connection between the farm and the racetrack," said Mullen, a director of both the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Sire Stakes. "So we invited the Rutgers Equine Science Center, 4-H, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation [HHYF] and the Future Farmers of America. The FFA student/volunteers were a big help for us. I don't think we could have had the event without their help. Of course, we had a beautiful summer day as well." The feedback has already been positive. "The leader from the 4-H wrote to ask me how the kids could contact their state representatives because her kids are very interested in preserving open space and want to write letters to their legislators," Mullen explained. "The same group also participates in the Open Space Pace parade [in Freehold on September 20]. "I've heard that the HHYF had two kids sign up for the camp at Gaitway Farm this month," he added. "One young girl followed my secretary around for part of the day wanting to know everything about the horses, and how she could get involved. And after the tour and demonstration, I overheard one young lady saying she wanted to be like Dr Hogan. "No matter what happens, that day's experience on the farm, with the horses, made a difference to some of the visitors," the Fair Winds president noted. "That's a home run!" "To me, the most important thing was the young kids that were here and that many of the visitors were new to horses," he said. "Beyond that, the groups and individuals that are going to take interest in harness horses or open space as a result of their visit are just great. I could not have asked for a better outcome." Not surprisingly, the first question is will there be a Fair Winds Farm Open House 2? "Everyone was excited to try it again," Mullen said. "Hopefully we could have the same weather, but I would consider another year. I think we could improve on some things and perhaps offer additional demonstrations, etc. We'll see..." by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ
Goshen, NY -- Harness racing enthusiasts have been envisioning sub-1:50 trotting miles for a long time. Prognosticators are somewhat relieved that Sebastian K has finally eclipsed the previously held record by trotting in 1:49 last Saturday night over Pocono Downs' three-turn, five-eighths-mile track. Immediately following this "monsters" 1:50.1 US debut on May 10, many suggested it was not a question of "if" the Swedish-bred superhorse would break the lofty barrier, but a matter of "when." No one, other than the competition, has been disappointed as Ãke Svanstedt has managed the horse perfectly since crossing the pond. With the help of Bernie Noren and staff, they look to make the Svanstedt Stable a household name in the states, as it is in their native Sweden. Some have also suggested that the previous plateau-breaking record of 1:49.3 set at Colonial Downs should have an asterisk, as the Virginia oval is a one-turn track. Standardbreds racing over that 1¼-mile track, start from a chute on the backstretch and travel an entire half mile before they enter a turn. The fact that Colonial is the only pari-mutuel track in the United States that still has a hub rail is another anomaly. Also, Colonial's 11/4 mile track is second only to Belmont in length, which is very telling about the propensity for horses to make speed over this oval. Nonetheless, for Harness Racing aficionados, Pocono Downs is still light years ahead. The last two Saturday nights provided the two fastest race cards in the history of the Standardbred. Although all eyes were on Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley for Sun Stakes Saturday and the nearly $2.3 million in purses, 18 different US tracks had racing on Friday and Saturday nights. With the Friday night debut of 2-year-olds in New Jersey Sire Stakes competition at the Meadowlands, I found myself surrounded by fans on the apron. However, not all of them had their eyes fixed upon the racetrack. $7,500 in total prize money was plenty of incentive to attract a couple dozen beautiful women to the Meadowlands for the annual Ms. Hot to Trot contest. Of course, to go along with all those perfectly proportioned gals in string bikinis was several hundred very inquisitive men of all shapes and sizes. Several M1 staffers got the call to perform the duty of judging these bevvy of babes, including Nick Salvi who may have been the most experienced of the panelists. Justin Horowitz, AKA M.C. J-Ho, provided the ladies with thought-provoking questions to ensure that the contestants had beautiful minds to go along with their ample tangible assets. Even Yonkers Raceway's "The Manager" made a special appearance. More than likely it was to cheer for Brian Sears in the early sire stakes events. Taking the subway from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to Port Authority, and then a bus to the Big M, he arrived early and was doing his iconic dance before each race. His plan was to catch the Route 120 bus after the third and be back to Yonkers by the eighth. Now that is dedication! In between sessions of judging hotties, some great harness racing took place, with the babies having graduated from breakfast to supper time. Eddie Hart's Cam's Card Shark colt, Dealt A Winner, is now the fastest 2-year-old pacer in the country following a 1:52.4 romp with David Miller at the controls. The Jeffrey Snyner-owned, Hanover-bred lad was a $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase who looks every bit the bargain at this stage. Wishing Stone, the double-duty sire/racehorse removed any doubt that his particular style of breeding and breezing suits him. Going off at 10-1, the betting public was clearly not anticipating this kind of opening-night performance as the 7-year-old son of Conway Hall cruised wire-to-wire from post 10. Yannick Gingras drove the $2.23 million earner like he was the best in a 1:52.4 rout for the powerful Ron Burke stable. And when it comes to vintage horse power, Burke Racing may have cornered the market! Sweet Lou, Bettor's Edge and Foiled Again finished 1-2-3 in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday night. 5-year-old Sweet Lou's 1:47f performance was the fastest pacing mile ever on a 5/8-mile track and only a fifth off the mile-track mark. This was the most exciting horse race of the night, as Sweet Lou appeared headed by stable mate Bettor's Edge down the stretch. Dead game, he fought back like a champion and regained the lead in a mere two steps before the wire. Captaintreacherous finished fifth in that event. Leaving from post 8 he had a rough voyage, parked nearly every step of the way and still paced in 1:47.3. Overall, the Sun Stakes card produced 5 world records and 11 horses set new lifetime marks. Needless to say, the awesome display of horsepower in a span of a just few hours was breathtaking. A horse that we are sure to hear a lot more about is the McArdle colt, McWicked. Trained by Casie Coleman and driven by David Miller, he set a new world mark for 3YO pacers in 1:47.3f and looks to start the "Jug three-peat" dialog. Max J. Hempt and his wife Amy were on hand to present the Max C. Hempt trophy to the winning connections. A product of the "Keystone" legacy, Max C. runs the family's PA state-wide construction business, is an aspiring pilot, and was recently elected to the Vice President's post of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. One would be hard-pressed to meet nicer people in all of racing. Although winning the Beal proclaimed Father Patrick as the evening's shining star of the Hambo hopefuls, it seems that his shed row disciples will be in close proximity. Perhaps Jimmy Takter has cornered the market on 3YO trotting colts this year as Trixton and Nuncio (who was second) both seem equally capable of sipping from the Hambletonian challis. Despite el Padre' lowering his seasonal mark by a full two and half seconds to 1:50.2f, it appears that the 'anointed one' has been blessed with enough speed to break the 1:50 barrier at three! Ready to take on Godzilla himself, Sebastian K had the crowd buzzing all night following his track crushing performance. Now the talk is how fast he may trot on a hot Hambo day at The Meadowlands. Regardless of what transpires in racing between now and then, it will most likely captivate the trotting conversation until the first Saturday in August. Speaking of New Jersey, Sunday's trek down the NE ext. of the PA pike brought this scribe to Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge for an open house featuring veterinary clinic tours with Dr. Patti Hogan, and another Svanstedt stable favorite, White Bliss. The rare 'white colt' returned to his place of foaling to dash around his paddock, much to the delight of onlookers young and old. It was a fun afternoon under clear blue skies that made the industry proud. The festivities began with several local leaders addressing the crowd about their intentions to promote and garner support for New Jersey agriculture and the horse business. Assemblyman Ron Dancer has worked tirelessly for years to ensure that Trenton pays attention to harness racing. He plans on putting forth a resolution to bolster agricultural education in the Garden State through the Future Farmers of America. Former mayor of Millstone Township, Nancy Grgelja, owned no horses when she originally took the oath of office. Subsequently she caught the bug, and ten years later she has had 10 Standardbreds, several of which are still racing. Lillian Burry, whose resume reads like a lady who never stops moving, is now the director of the Monmouth County Freeholders. Of course the always active Dr. Karen Malinowski of the Rutgers Equine Science Center helped coordinate the day's events, along with the gracious hosting of Mark Mullen. With construction on the NJ Turnpike around exit 8, and Jersey shore traffic reaching epic proportions, it was my intention to complete the final leg of my 539 mile journey and make it back to the Catskills before nightfall. by Chris Tully for Harnesslink.com
Cream Ridge, NJ --- New Jersey celebrates June as the month of the horse and Fair Winds Farm got into the holiday spirit and threw open their doors to the public on Sunday (June 29). Well over 200 people were in attendance, a mix of local residents curious about the farm and its equine inhabitants, 4H Club members and horse lovers. Close to half of the visitors were school-aged children. Dr. Patricia Hogan opened her surgical clinic on Fair Winds’ grounds and demonstrated the X-ray, arthroscopic and ultrasound machines to packed crowds who came in three shifts throughout the afternoon. Visitors also learned how horses are hoisted on the operating table and how they recover from injuries and go on to race. The “white colt,” White Bliss, now in training with the Ake Svanstedt Stable, came back to his place of birth for the day, and though he was less white with each roll in the paddock, was eager to show off a bit, cavorting around his paddock and going up to the fence to say hello. uzanne D’Ambrose brought her retired trotter, Independent Act, who is now a successful Western pleasure horse, and who had the fingerprints of hundreds of visitors on him by the end of the day. He stood patiently for three hours of brushing and petting by visitors from infancy to senior citizen status. Farrier Tom Mulryne gave some equine pedicures for visitors, who also got to see a display for the various types of hay and grain that Fair Winds horses consume. The paddocks around the farm were full of mares and foals. Representatives from the USTA, New Jersey Farm Bureau, NJ Horse Council, FFA, Harness Horse Youth Foundation and the Rutgers University Equine Science Program were on hand as well. Local political leaders Nancy Grbelja, Ron Dancer and Lilliam Burry also spoke about the importance of horses to the New Jersey economy. by Ellen Harvey for Harness Racing Communications
The rarest of all horses, a pure white Standardbred colt, will be the guest of honor at an open house to celebrate New Jersey's "Month of the Horse" at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. on Sunday, June 29. The colt, whose birth is a 1-in-200,000 occurrence, is named White Bliss and was born at Fair Winds in May of 2012. He was sold at public auction in November of 2013 for $240,000 and is now in training to be a pacing racehorse. Both his parents are bay and the colt was pure white at birth; he is not albino. White Bliss will be turned out in a paddock for some grazing time and relaxation and will be easily seen and photographed by visitors. The open house at Fair Winds, which is at 74 Red Valley Road in Cream Ridge, is from 1 to 4. The colt will be outside for the duration of the open house. Visitors will also get see some of the dozens of foals, baby horses, born each year at Fair Winds and learn how they're raised and eventually trained to be harness racehorses. Fair Winds is also home to Hogan Equine, a special clinic just for horses, run by Dr. Patricia Hogan. Dr. Hogan will show visitors the workings of the clinic, where hundreds of horses, mostly Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds, are treated each year. Her client list reads like a "Who's Who" of horse racing, and includes 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Smarty Jones. Blacksmith Tom Mulryne will do demonstrations of how horses' feet are kept healthy by regular trimming and shoeing when needed. There will also be a few friendly horses for visitors to pet and groom. There will be kids' activities and information from the United States Trotting Association, NJ Farm Bureau, FFA , Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Pony Club, Rutgers Equine Science Center and the Monmouth County 4H. Fair Winds is one of New Jersey's largest and most successful farms, producing champion Standardbreds that compete at Freehold Raceway, The Meadowlands and all over the world. This is a rain or shine event. Visitors are asked to leave dogs at home and to be aware that there are very few paved surfaces on the farm, so it may be rough going for wheelchairs and strollers. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications
MANALAPAN, NJ - June 9, 2014 - New Jersey's standardbred horsemen will celebrate June, the Month of the Horse in New Jersey, with donations of the new book, Standardbred Old Friends; a personal appearance by the retired racehorse Indy and an open house at Fair Winds Farm. The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey is donating 20 copies of Standardbred Old Friends, featuring the work of award-winner equine photographer Barbara Livingston and text by racing writer Ellen Harvey of Freehold, NJ, to New Jersey regional and consortium libraries as well as local libraries in communities located near racetracks and training centers. Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, from age 19 to 37. Some became multimillionaire world champions but most have more modest racing credentials, moving on to retirement or second careers, including as pleasure and show horses or mounts for law enforcement. The book's 153 photos and 43 stories were selected from thousands of photos and 150 interviews. The Monmouth County Library System has a series of events at its various locations, including a personal appearance by Independent Act - aka Indy - who made the successful transition from racehorse to show competitor under the care of his owner, Suzanne D'Ambrose of Neptune, NJ. Indy will be at the Library Headquarters, 125 Symmes Drive in Manalapan, on Monday, June 30, 2014 at 6 p.m. The well-mannered trotter will meet the public, accept carrots and horse treats, and pose for photos. He will also be at the Fair Winds open house. Fair Winds Farm, a standardbred breeding farm that is home to dozens of mares and foals, and site of the Hogan Equine Clinic, will host an open house on Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The farm is located at 74 Red Valley Road in Cream Ridge, NJ. Prominent equine surgeon Dr. Patricia Hogan will show visitors the workings of her clinic, where hundreds of horses, mostly thoroughbreds and standardbreds, are treated each year. Blacksmith Tom Mulryne will demonstrate how horse hooves are kept healthy by regular trimming and shoeing, and there will be kids' activities and information from the NJ Farm Bureau, Future Farmers of America, Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Pony Club, Rutgers Equine Science Center and the Monmouth County 4H. This is a rain or shine event. Visitors are asked to leave dogs at home and to be aware that there are very few paved surfaces on the farm, so it may be rough going for wheelchairs and strollers. New Jersey is home to thousands of pleasure horses, show horses and racehorses. In 1977, to honor its importance in New Jersey's economy and quality of life, the horse was named the official state animal. In May 1998, Governor Christine Todd Whitman proclaimed June as the Month of the Horse, a practice continued by her successors. Month of the Horse festivities opened on June 6 with an appearance by New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher at the Gloucester County 4-H Fairgrounds. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ
Suzanne D'Ambrose, of Neptune, N.J, is the winner of the 2014 Stanley Dancer Award from the N.J. Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The award honors an individual whose efforts on behalf of racing and cooperation with the media are in keeping with the example set by the late Hall of Fame driver and trainer Stanley Dancer, a native of New Egypt, N.J. D'Ambrose, a retired high school teacher and mounted police officer, has given countless hours of both her time and that of her family-friendly 13 -year-old trotter, Independent Act, aka Indy, in doing outreach events for the Standardbred industry. D'Ambrose and Indy have appeared at libraries throughout the state to help celebrate New Jersey's Month of the Horse each June. This month so far, the duo will be at the Howell Library at 6 pm on June 11, the Manalapan Library on June 30, as well as June 29 at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. Indy has patiently been petted and fed carrots by hundreds of adults and children, many of them making their first ever equine encounter. He has often been the only "boy" at Girl Scout camps where D'Ambrose teaches horsemanship. D'Ambrose, who is a freelance equine massage therapist, also volunteers extensively with the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) on fund raising events as well as helping with adoption outreach events. She even provides complimentary massages for horses rehabilitating from racing injuries and awaiting adoption. Independent Act retired from racing at age 6 and now accompanies D'Ambrose as the two represent the breed in parades, hunter paces, Western trail classes and showmanship competition. Previous winners of the Dancer Award, since1991, were drivers John Campbell, Herve Filion, Ray Remmen and Luc Ouellette; trainers Robbie Siegelman, Kevin and John McDermott, Kelly Stackowicz and George Teague Jr.; the father-son team of Carl and Rod Allen; the duo of trainer Jimmy Takter and owner/amateur driver Mal Burroughs, the Meirs Family of Walnridge Farms for the Niatross Tour, Robert J. Sharkey, the go-to guy at Meadowlands, SBOA of New Jersey President Tom Luchento, Meadowlands General Manager Chris McErlean, the late veterinarian Dr. Pat Knapman. By Ellen Harvey, for the New Jersey chapter of USHWA
Westfield, IN- Although the posted deadline has passed to apply for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation's 2014 summer program schedule, the Foundation is providing a second chance to potential campers. Applications for several camps will remain open on a first come, first served basis, until each camp is filled, with a hard deadline of June 10, after which no applications can be accepted. HHYF's complete 2014 schedule information, along with applications for the Foundation's Youth Camps and one- and two-day introductory events, is available at http://www.hhyf.org/schedule-applications. The all-inclusive five-day camp fee is $150, while registration for single day events is $25. "Most of our camps are nearly filled," explained HHYF Executive Director Ellen Taylor. "But since camps are more fun when we have 'full fields', we are extending the deadline a bit. We also realize that several locations (Maine and Indiana) were added late and some schools have extended sessions due to the winter which may have made it tougher for some people to plan ahead." HHYF's popular overnight youth camps, for students 12-14, will be held June 21-25 at Harrington, in Delaware; July 14-18 at Vernon Downs in New York; and July 21-25 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, in Pennsylvania. These camps culminate with a driving exhibition on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands on August 2. These camps feature hands-on experience, including driving, using the organization's stable of Trottingbred horses. Shorter, introductory programs for children eleven and up are scheduled for the Indiana State Fargorunds on June 17; Ocean Downs in Maryland on June 27; Cumberland Maine on June 30, July 1, and July 3 (three separate programs); Cornish Maine on July 2; Gaitway Farms in New Jersey on July 30-31; and at Scioto Downs in Ohio on August 5. HHYF will also conduct special programs for equine oriented groups throughout the summer. The Foundation, which is dedicated to creating the next generation of harness racing fans, will also have a presence at the Fair Winds Farm Open House in New Jersey, the Little Brown Jug, the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands, Richwood OH fair, Open Space Day at Freehold Raceway, and at the Red Mile on Kentucky Futurity weekend. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. For more information on this press release, contact Keith Gisser, email@example.com or 216-374-1392. From the Harness Horse Youth Foundation
(TRENTON) - New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced Governor Chris Christie has appointed Michael Gulotta, Dr. Richard S. Meirs and Mark Mullen to the New Jersey Sire Stakes Board of Trustees. "All three new members of the Sire Stakes Board currently serve as directors of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey and bring extensive knowledge of the harness racing industry to the Board," said Secretary Fisher. Michael Gulotta is the chief executive officer of Deo Volente Farms, LLC of Flemington, which was named "Farm of the Future" by the United States Trotting Association in 2009. Among the world champions he has raced are Worldly Beauty, Lis Mara, Holiday Road, and Crys Dream. Dr. Meirs has served as the general manager of Walnridge Farm, Inc. with operations in Cream Ridge and Elizabethtown, PA. He is also a principal in the Walnridge Equine Clinic veterinary practice and has served as a past president of the New Jersey Association of Equine Practitioners. Mark Mullen is the President and co-owner of Fair Winds Farm, Inc. of Cream Ridge. He was named co-breeder of the year in 2009 by the United States Trotting Association and was the breeder of 2011 Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn. Re-appointed to the board of Trustees by Governor Christie was Thomas A. D'Altrui of Hillsborough. D'Altrui has served on the Sire Stakes Board of Trustees since 2001. He is the owner/operator of D.I. Farms and was named North American Breeder of the Year in 1988. He previously served as first Vice President of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. D'Altrui will serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. The Sire Stakes Board is responsible for the administration of the Department of Agriculture's stakes racing program for two- and three-year-old pacers and trotters sired by registered stallions at New Jersey breeding farms as well as the Standardbred Development Fund, which provides a stakes program for the progeny of mares who spend a minimum of 150 days in New Jersey and foal in New Jersey. For more information on the Sire Stakes Program, visit www.jerseyequine.nj.gov/sirestakes.htm. From the NJ Department of Agriculture
MANALAPAN, NJ - January 14, 2014 - The Breeders Committee of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey has selected Michael Parisi's White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ as the 2013 New Jersey Standardbred Breeder of the Year. White Birch Farm [whitebirchfarmnj.com] will be among the honorees at the 57th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1 p.m. on January 26, 2014 at Charley's Other Brother in Eastampton Township, NJ. This will be the third time in the last 10 years that White Birch Farm, under the management of owner and general manager Michael Parisi, has collected New Jersey Breeder of the Year, having also won in 2004 and 2011. Additionally, White Birch will be honored as the US Harness Writers Association's Breeder of the Year for the second consecutive year at its Dan Patch Awards Banquet on February 23, 2014 at Dover Downs. This year, the 800-acre breeding farm and training center not only enjoyed success with its New Jersey-breds such as Wake Up Peter [Rocknroll Hanover-Lovely Lady; $307,091 in 2013 earnings], I Fought Dalaw [Western Ideal-In For Life; $151,320], Ideal Champ [Western Ideal-Female Champs; $130,185] and In The Clear [Western Ideal-Orchid Island; $52,140] but also produced the two leading contenders for 2013 Horse of the Year -- three-year-old pacing colt Captaintreacherous and three-year-old trotting filly Bee A Magician. Broodmares Beehive [dam of Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown winner Bee A Magician, who banked $1.5 million in 2013] and Worldly Treasure [dam of Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup and Breeders Crown winner and double millionaire Captaintreacherous] help to serve as the foundation of the White Birch success story. The 2013 productivity of White Birch Farm's offspring is exemplified by 152 starters accounting for 418 wins and earnings of $8,657,995. The earnings are third only to Hanover Shoe and Winback which had more than 1,000 starters each. Past champions produced by the farm founded by Joseph and Marie Parisi, were 1996 Three-Year-Old Pacer of the Year and Meadowlands Pace winner Hot Lead, 1998 Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year Island Fantasy, 2002 Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year Worldly Beauty, 2005 Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year My Little Dragon and 2006 Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year Darlin's Delight. Previous New Jersey Breeder of the Year winners include Perretti Farms [a two-time winner, 2003 and 2010], Valley High Stables, Southwind Farms, Kentuckiana Farms, Fair Winds Farm, Walnridge Farm and Heritage Hill Farms. For tickets to the awards luncheon [$35 per person], contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets & Development, Horse Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625 or call at 609-984-4389. by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ
When you've already beaten odds of 200,000-1, nothing else seems all that daunting. The white Standardbred colt born May 6, 2012, and named White Bliss, is one of about 200,000 births among Standardbreds and a big surprise to all at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. He's the son of a bay stallion and a bay mare, with not a single white relative in the family tree. On Tuesday (Nov. 5), he will go up for sale at public auction at the Standardbred Horse Sale at the State Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg, Pa. As hip number 305, he will sell between roughly 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. To beat the next set of odds, White Bliss, the DNA-confirmed son of Art Major and the mare Coochie Mama, bred by Pete Congilose, will have to be among a few dozen top horses of the 9,000 Standardbreds registered each year in North America. "He actually looks really good," said Congilose. "He's not a real big colt, but his family doesn't throw really big horses, but conformation-wise he looks good. He has his own Facebook page (White Colt) and I posted his sales video and to date, it's got around 17,000 hits. A lot of people from all over the world have been looking at him." Congilose says a sales price for the colt, who he is selling reluctantly, has a large element of uncertainty because of his unusual color. Many horsemen are reluctant to buy a chestnut or heavily marked bay or brown horse, let alone one whose color, or lack thereof, is seen by few in a lifetime. In advance of the sale, White Bliss is going through a daily routine, which includes a lot of baths, at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge. "He's going through the same prep classes that everyone else is," says Fair Winds owner Mark Mullen. "At the end of August, he was broke to lead, and he's been in an exercise machine every other day and in the paddock every other day. He's getting groomed every day and he's looking more and more white and spectacular. "If he was a brown or a bay, you'd say, 'That's a good looking Art Major colt.' He's got a nice head, he's the right size, he's got a good body. He's just a really good looking yearling. But he's white. It's going to be one of those things where people will love him or they'll say, 'That's just not for me.' "There's going to be somebody out there who is smitten and that's what I'm counting on. I had a person call from the United Kingdom and asked me what he would go for. I tell people he can go for $35,000 or $135,000, we can't know. "He wanted me to do a deal with him on the phone. I said, 'Listen, this is a nice horse. He's going to race in the New York Sires Stakes circuit for $50,000 or $100,000 so that is how he is going to get priced.'" For a closer look at the pedigree of White Bliss, including his two siblings who have earned more than $100,000, click here. by Ellen Harvey for HRC
A 16-day-old white Standardbred colt, the first born of bay parents in North America since Historicallyunique was born in Ontario in 1998, met the press today at his harness racing home at Fair Winds Farm in New Jersey.
With each birth of a foal comes hope for harness racing greatness, for speed, for courage above all others. Among Standardbreds, those hopes usually come with long odds, as there are about 10,000 foals born in North America each year, virtually all in a plain brown wrapper. While there are occasional greys and chestnut Standardbreds, they are the exception to the rule -- brown or bay.
Mark Mullen of Fair Winds Farm, harness racing breeder of 2011 Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn, and his wife Laura have made a lasting contribution to equine science students at their alma mater, the University of New Hampshire.
The 2011 Hambletonian winner Broad Bahn provided Fair Winds Farm of Cream Ridge, NJ with its first breeding credit in the most prestigious harness racing trotting event in North America.