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Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Rob Clifton are leading an effort to save Showplace Farms, which announced it will be closing on October 1. The facility covers over 150 acres in Millstone Township, and includes racetracks, a therapy swimming pool, paddocks and a blacksmith shop. Showcase Farms opened in 1979 and has been the venue for many of the nation’s most successful race horses and trainers. Dancer and Clifton both represent Millstone Township. "Ron Dancer and I began discussing the future of Showplace Farms as soon as word came out that it would be closing," said Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, which represents New Jersey’s standardbred horsemen. “We have been exploring a variety of options, with the objective of maintaining the training center, which provides critical stabling and jobs for New Jersey’s horsemen. The loss of Showplace Farms would be a setback to those of us in racing but also to the rural character of Millstone Township and the surrounding community. The SBOANJ will do whatever it can to assist Assemblymen Dancer and Clifton, Howard Schoor and all the others working to preserve Showplace. “Every effort must be made to preserve Showplace Farms for open space and maintain its beautiful landscape,” said Dancer. “We are not only losing over 100 jobs with the Farms closing and the relocation of over 400 horses to out-of-state equine facilities, but we are concerned about the possibility of the grounds being sold for development." "I am encouraged by our initial meeting with the owners representative of Showplace Farms as well as local and state officials to find a way to protect this land. ” The two legislators held an initial meeting last Friday to discuss and formulate an action plan to preserve Showplace Farms’ prime real estate frontage on Route 33 from the threat of development. Dancer and Clifton were joined by Howard Schoor, representing the owners of Showplace Farms, and officials from the state, county and local levels, including: *Patricia Butch (Monmouth County Agricultural Development Committee) *Nancy Grbelja (Monmouth County Save The Horse Committee) *Amanda Brockwell (Monmouth Conservation Foundation). The Monmouth Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, will assist to facilitate the preservation process. “I am encouraged by the support and concern expressed by the stakeholders we met last Friday,” said Clifton. “We all agree that finding a solution that protects the beauty of Showplace Farms and maintains its rural nature is what we’d like to achieve." "Assemblyman Dancer and I understand the importance of this issue to the community and will do everything we can to assist in preserving this as open space.” The stakeholders will meet again this Wednesday, August 19. Ron Dancer

Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey President Tom Luchento has issued this statement/letter on the news that Showplace Farms is closing: It started with a four paragraph announcement, and it sent shockwaves through the harness racing industry in New Jersey. On July 23, 2015, Showplace Farms in Millstone, NJ announced that after 36 years in business, it would be closing its doors on October 1, 2015. Showplace is 140 acres of prime real estate on Route 33. When it opened nearly four decades ago, it reflected the health of the standardbred racing industry in New Jersey, thanks to the debut of the Meadowlands Racetrack in 1976. Showplace, home to more than 425 horses, was a new concept: a first-class training center with its own track, state-of-the-art barns, a swimming pool for rehabilitating horses, and fenced in pastures for grazing. It would be the inspiration for other training centers throughout Central New Jersey where horsemen would pay for the privilege to house their racehorses in pastoral Monmouth County rather than free stabling at the Meadowlands. New Jersey horsemen, however, have fallen on hard times, competing against the casino-fueled purses in surrounding states. It is making it more difficult for Showplace and other training centers to collect rent and make their businesses viable. Meanwhile, the racetracks - including Freehold and the Meadowlands - have torn down their barn areas, leaving many horsemen without stabling options. In a matter of months, the bulldozers will be demolishing Showplace Farms, and it will not be long before other training centers and breeding farms will be following their example. These farms will soon be shopping malls and housing developments. Until now, the owners of the farms and training centers were willing to gamble on the future of New Jersey racing, believing that the addition of gaming at the Meadowlands would raise the purses and justify the risks. However, the failure of our leadership in Trenton to put the question of North Jersey gaming on this year's ballot has been the last straw for Showplace Farms, and perhaps others to follow. "It has been a good run," said Bix DiMeo, general manager of Showplace, in the announcement of closure. "But with fewer horses racing and the current economic climate here in New Jersey for harness racing, this business model no longer works for us." For anyone in the state legislature and the governor's office who thought racing's leadership was crying wolf - well, the impending closure of Showplace Farms on the heels of the dismantling of the 1,000-acre Perretti Farms in Cream Ridge seem to suggest that instead of crying wolf, the wolf is at the door. This is an industry that represents thousands of your friends and neighbors, who could go from taxpayers to unemployed in a heartbeat. If the racing industry in the Garden State were to fail, it goes beyond track ownership and track employees. Its demise would trickle down to the veterinarians, hay and grain growers, blacksmiths, horse transport companies, and others who make their living in some fashion off the racing and breeding industries. This is a billion-dollar industry in jeopardy, a meaningful source of revenue to the state's economy. Unless New Jerseyans want to see our farmland, of which 20 percent is equine-related, paved over, we need Trenton to step up and bring gaming to the Meadowlands now. Thomas Luchento President of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey Manalapan, NJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 30, 2014 - The schedule for the free health screenings supervised by the Backstretch Community Assistance Program [BCAP] and sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, has been revised, shifting the Freehold Raceway event to Thursday, October 9, 2014. This is a week later than originally announced. The time remains 12 noon to 3 p.m. The program, which began in mid-September, will make its next stop on Monday, October 6 at Gaitway Farms from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For further information, contact Dr. Chris Samaha at 732-740-5376. Dates, times and which screenings are available at each location are listed below: 2014 HEALTH SCREENINGS & FLU VACCINATIONS DATES Monday, October 6 at Gaitway Farms 355 Highway 33 Manalapan Township, NJ 07726 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (CH, BP, G, BF, V & Flu Shots) Thursday, October 9 at Freehold Raceway Paddock 12 pm - 3 pm (CH, G, BP & Flu Shots) Wednesday, October 15 at White Birch 214 Route 526 Allentown, NJ 08501 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (CH, G, BP, BF & Flu Shots) Monday, October 20 at Magical Acres 160 Crosswicks-Chesterfield Road Trenton, NJ 08620 11:30 am - 2 pm (CH, BP, G & Flu Shots) Wednesday, October 22 at Showplace Farms [BCAP Office, Above Barn J] 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (CH, BP, G, BF, V & Flu Shots) Screening Legend: BF= Body Fat Index BP= Blood Pressure. CH=Cholesterol G= Glucose V= Vision by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 12, 2014 - Health screenings will be available for free for New Jersey standardbred horsemen through a program supervised by the Backstretch Community Assistance Program [BCAP] and sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey at training centers, starting September 17, 2014. The screenings will take place at Tullo's, White Birch, Winner's International, Crystal Brook, Magical Acres, Gaitway and Showplace Farms as well as Freehold Raceway. For further information, contact Dr. Chris Samaha at 732-740-5376. Dates, times and which screenings are available at each location are listed below: 2014 HEALTH SCREENINGS & FLU VACCINATIONS DATES Wednesday, September 17 at Tullo's 935 Route 547, Howell, NJ 07731 11:30 am - 1:30 pm (CH, BP, BF & Flu Shots) Monday, September 22 at Crystal Brook 113 Laird Road Colts Neck, NJ 07722 11:30 am - 1:30 pm (Ch, G, BP & Flu Shots) Monday, September 29 at Winners International 36 White Pine Road Columbus, NJ 08322 11:30 am - 1:30 pm (CH, G, BP BF & Flu Shots) Thursday, October 2 at Freehold Raceway Paddock 12 pm - 3 pm (CH, G, BP & Flu Shots) Monday, October 6 at Gaitway Farms 355 Highway 33 Manalapan Township, NJ 07726 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (CH, BP, G, BF, V & Flu Shots) Wednesday, October 15 at White Birch 214 Route 526 Allentown, NJ 08501 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (CH, G, BP, BF & Flu Shots) Monday, October 20 at Magical Acres 160 Crosswicks-Chesterfield Road Trenton, NJ 08620 11:30 am - 2 pm (CH, BP, G & Flu Shots) Wednesday, October 22 at Showplace Farms [BCAP Office, Above Barn J] 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (CH, BP, G, BF, V & Flu Shots) Screening Legend: BF= Body Fat Index BP= Blood Pressure. CH=Cholesterol G= Glucose V= Vision by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 18, 2014 - A late afternoon summer storm failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the 110 golfers who competed at the 19th Annual SBOANJ Golf Outing & Fundraiser on July 14, 2014 at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ. A total of 125 golfers and banquet attendees feasted on a prime rib dinner. Numerous door prizes were distributed along with presentations for golfing prowess. Best foursome honors went to Kunz Equine Team of Simon Spicer, Mike Seddon, Shannon Murphy and Johnny Pregman. The "most honest" foursome award went to Jim Hogan, Jesse Johnson, John Hynes and Frank VanWie. Longest drive-prizes went to Hannah Miller, who won Kindle Fire tablet, and Jeff Bamond Jr., who received a Boze Bluetooth speaker Closest to the Pin was Simon Spicer from of the Kunz Equine Team, who won a 32-inch HD TV. Putting contest honors - and $145 - went to Kelly Breen. Frank Lomangino won the drawing for a Track Trainer jog cart, which was donated by Allen Eggert of Pennsbury Enterprises. The 50-50 winner was Garrett Federico, whose share was $895. Sponsorships, key to the fund raising effort which benefits New Jersey's standardbred horsemen in need, were provided at several levels. The overall tournament sponsors were Shay Cowan of Katz/Pierz, and Thomas Cordovano and John Macri of the La Ferla Group. At the Gold Level, the donors were the Meadowlands Racetrack; Drucker, Math & Whitman CPAs; Berman, Gara & Rutsky Group/UBS Financial Services; Joie de Vie Farms and Rollermagic Roller Rinks. At the Silver Level, the donors were Showplace Farms, Gaitway Farms, Federico's Landscape Design, Santoro & Santoro [Dennis Dowd], Valley High Stables, Freehold Raceway, Eposimato Stable, Mark Ford Training Stable, Nick Salenetri, Aetna/Meritain Health, Hambletonian Society and Val D'Or Farms. At the Bronze Level, the donors are Advocacy Management Group, Network Security Group, New Jersey Community Bank, Chris Ryder and Nick Surick. Additional fundraising was accomplished through the donation of goods and services by Bluestone Farms, Deo Volente Farm, Gambler Ridge Golf Club, Ellen Harvey, Meadowbrook Industries, Makefield Highlands Golf Club, Northwood Bloodstock, Pennsbury Enterprises, Reynolds Hay & Straw/Tribute Equine Nutrition, Rick's Saddle Shop/Purina, Baker Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram and Newport Graphics. Dinner, lunch and competition awards were underwritten by Martin Scharf, Deo Volente Farm, Berman, Gara & Rutsky, Electric Battery Company, Network Security Group, Nick Surick, Marc and Marcia Goldberg and Green Acquisition Corp. Hole sponsors were Berman Gara & Rutsky, John and Paula Campbell, Drucker, Math & Whitman, Thomas J. Durkin/ Joseph Spadaro, Green Acquisition Corp, Joie de Vie Farms, Katz/Pierz, La Ferla Group, Meadowlands Racetrack, Andy Miller, Ervin Miller Stable, Network Security Group, Rollermagic Roller Rinks and Suydam Insurance Agency. The SBOANJ golf outing is co-chaired by SBOANJ directors Ed Razzetti and Bob Baggitt Sr. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - May 8, 2014 - The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and the Backstretch Community Assistance Program will once again offer college scholarships in 2014 to the sons and daughters of New Jersey horsemen. The deadline for applications is June 15, 2014. Scholarships, which can range from $2,500 to $5,000, are for qualified students who plan to attend a two or four-year college or university, who are the son or daughter of a full-time participant in New Jersey harness racing or are themselves a full-time participant in New Jersey harness racing. Only one candidate per household will be considered, and there is a lifetime cap of $10,000 per individual. The applicant must have taken either the SAT or ACT test, be accepted to or attend a college or university and fill out the SBOANJ's Scholarship Award application. Financial need, student involvement in community work, extracurricular academic activities, evidence of strong character and leadership and interest in the equine industry will all be considered. Applications and requirements are available on the SBOANJ website - www.sboanj.com -- or at Freehold and the Meadowlands [see Horsemen's Rep Linda Goss], the Backstretch Community Assistance Program offices at the Meadowlands and Showplace Farms [see Dr. Chris Samaha] and the SBOANJ office at 64 Business Route 33, Manalapan, NJ 07726. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ      

Millstone Twp, NJ – The Standardbred Retirement Foundation’s (SRF) annual raffle for a trip to the celebrated Prix d'Amerique in Vincennes, France has left the gate with the finish just 18 days away when the winning ticket will be drawn. The Prix d’Amerique, one of harness racings most prestigious events, raced at Vincennes Racecourse in beautiful Paris is a dream destination for those who love the sport of harness racing. This fabulous trip begins with an airfare voucher with a value of up to $1,800 and includes a four-night/ five-day stay for two at the charming four-star Hotel Terass in the heart of the Montmartre district in Paris, France. A welcoming “City of Lights” tour to be followed by a three-course French cuisine dinner. Visits to the Vincennes Racecourse for an auction and trade fair, plus enjoy a cocktail party and tour of the Grobois Training Centre. Finish this wonderful trip with entrance to the great Prix d’Amerique Race. Last year’s winner, Linda Toscano, this year’s trainer of Market Share said, “It is a must “go to” trip!”   Funds raised will be used for hay and grain, provide medical and farrier care, rehabilitation, vaccinations, shipping, and other related needs for 180 horses in SRF’s care. More than half of these Standardbreds are retired due to age or injury. This fundraising event is eligible for the SRF match grant. Every dollar raised through tickets sold will be matched. SRF will be offering tickets through a mailing and tickets are also available by contacting admin@srfmail.com, or by phone at 732-446-4422.  The winning ticket will be drawn at Showplace Farms in Millstone, NJ on December 7, 2013 at noon; the winner does not need to be present. Help with selling tickets is also much appreciated. Please use the contact information noted. SRF is an organization solely dedicated to the Standardbred breed, the only one of its kind providing full care for horses for life when adoption is not possible. Submitted by the Standardbred Retirement Foundation

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