NJDA celebrates ‘Month of the Horse’

LONG VALLEY (June 15, 2016) — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher and New Jersey Equestrian of the Year Pier Semanchik kicked off the Month of the Horse on June 2 with a visit to Centenary University’s Equine Program where they toured the Equine Center and watched a riding demonstration.
Gov. Chris Christie signed a proclamation declaring June 2016 the “Month of the Horse” in New Jersey.
“New Jersey has long been known for its diverse equine industry which offers everything from pleasure riding to world-class horse shows and horse racing,” Fisher said. “This month, we celebrate our State Animal, the horse, by highlighting this important segment of New Jersey’s economy.”
Pier Semanchik, an 11th grader at Hackettstown High School, was named New Jersey Equestrian of the Year by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board in January.
Her duties include representing the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board and attending functions hosted by the board.
“The horse is a huge part of our lives in New Jersey, with the equine industry contributing millions of dollars to our economy annually,” said Semanchik. “During the month of June, members of New Jersey can give back to the industry by supporting horse rescues, therapeutic riding centers and 4-H.”
Centenary University, formerly Centenary College, in Long Valley is the only four-year institution in the state that offers Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Equine Studies.
Last year, it also launched a Bachelor of Science in Equine Science. As of May 2016, there are 94 Equine Studies majors and 25 Equine Science majors.
“Our Equine Studies program has received national recognition and our graduates go on to make their mark in the industry,” said Dr. Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite, President of Centenary University. “It is such an honor that Centenary was asked to host the Department of Agriculture’s Month of the Horse kick-off event and have Secretary Fisher at this celebration.”
Graduates of Centenary’s programs are highly sought after as industry professionals, including competitive riding coaches, trainers, instructors, breeders, therapeutic riding and dressage specialists, barn managers, veterinarians and communications specialists.