Guess who will be Jersey Fresh International’s new cross-country course designer?

Former U.S. eventing coach Mark Phillips has been named the new cross-country course designer for May’s Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event at the Horse Park of New Jersey.

Fresh off the very successful work he did at Saturday’s Land Rover Eventing Showcase in Wellington, Fla., Mark is respected around the world for the routes he lays out, which also include the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Great Britain’s September 4-star.

John Williams, the cross-country designer at Jersey Fresh since the competition debuted 15 years ago, will remain as co-organizer with Jane Cory.

“We made big changes in 2015 and last year,” said the event’s spokesperson, Lisa Mackintosh.

“This is the third year of the plan to bring a new look and feelĀ  to the event,” she explained. An important part of it will involve adding more land to the cross-country course, which should satisfy riders who have been concerned about the twisting tracks necessary to work within the confines of the property.

Since Mark is also going to be the cross-country designer for eventing at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C., more riders likely will want to compete at Jersey Fresh to get a taste of what Mark might do at those world championships.

He can be quite inventive. At the Land Rover Showcase, he put a jump in the VIP tent, so riders galloped right by the guests seated at the tables, their mouths agape the first time a horse came down that track.

Mark also will be the designer for an arena eventing competition at the Devon, Pa., horse show, May 28, with both eventers and show jumpers competing over a route that runs through the show’s two rings.

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