Mars Essex Horse Trials name a local beneficiary

Proceeds from next summer’s Mars Essex Horse Trials will benefit the Greater Newark LifeCamp, which  offers day camp experience for approximately 300 Newark-area youths for six weeks during July and August.

The horse trials will return to the competition calendar June 24-25 after a 19-year hiatus.Essex will move from its former venue at the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, where it was last held in 1998, relocating to the Moorland Farm in Far Hills. Essex will be the first equestrian event, apart from the Far Hills Race Meeting, to be held on the 230-acre property in the Somerset Hills.

The two days of scheduled competition at Essex also offer a classic car show, farm-to-table food court, the Essex Market– a high-end fashion and retail fair–picnicking, tailgating and a premium two-day entertainment package. It includes admission to the Hoopstick Club adjacent to the show jumping arena.

The Essex revival is part of a strategic plan developed by community leaders and local equestrian organizations, including the Far Hills Race Meeting Association and Gladstone Equestrian Organization, with a goal of revitalizing and growing  high-level equestrian competitions, events and clinics in Somerset County and the surrounding region.

Mars Inc., the original sponsor of the Essex Horse Trials, will once again be the title sponsor. Presenting sponsors include Open Road Auto Group, Peapack-Gladstone Bank and RWJBarnabas Health.

The Life Camp movement began in 1887, when the original editor of LIFE magazine founded the Life Fresh Air Fund to aid inner-city children by sending them to the country. The current mission of LifeCamp Inc. is to empower children from Newark to succeed and excel in life by developing life skills, character and leadership through a summer enrichment program outside of an urban environment.

The LifeCamp campus, which opened in 1923, is located on 90 acres in Pottersville, a few miles from the horse trials’ new home.

Ralph Jones, president of the Mars Essex Horse Trials, said, “All of us involved with the upcoming horse trials are thrilled to begin this affiliation with LifeCamp. Its mission is clearly inspirational and we look forward to discovering ways that our organizations can work together to bring additional experiences to both LifeCamp campers and the Essex community.”

For more information about the Mars Essex Horse Trials, visit

For more information about Greater Newark LifeCamp, visit

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