It will be quite a payday for riders at the Mars Essex Horse Trials

The revival of the Mars Essex Horse Trials in Far Hills June 24-25 is being done in style at Moorland Farm, home of the Far Hills Steeplechase Race Meeting each October.

A total of $25,000 in prize money will be split among the first three finishers in eight divisions, with the lion’s share of $5,000 going to the winner of the open preliminary section.

Essex, which was last held in 1998 after 30 years in the Somerset Hills, is attracting such competitors as Buck Davidson, the mother-daughter combo of Marilyn Payne and Holly Payne Caravella, and the likes of Ryan Wood and Jennie Brannigan, who are expected as well.

All the divisions except beginner novice will run over a two-day format, so the organizers are giving riders four tickets for guests and admission to a Saturday night cocktail party, since most will have to stay over.

Presenting sponsors are the Open Road Auto Group, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, RWJ Barnabas Health and Running S Equine Veterinary Services.

General admission is $10, good for both days. There also is an opportunity to buy other admission packages, including tailgating on the 230-acre property and a chance to enjoy the Hoopstick Club next to the show jumping arena, with a view of the water complex.

There will be a vendor village and food will be available from the Farmstand.

For more information and tickets, go to www.essexhorsetrials.org.

Holly Payne Caravella at last year’s preview of the Mars Essex Horse Trials. (Photo by Lawrence J. Nagy)
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