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Photo of Stephen Dey, Secretary Fisher and Karyn Malinowski - Click to enlarge
Director of Rutgers Equine Science Center Honored for Lifelong Dedication to Horses
For Immediate Release: February 2, 2010
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(EASTAMPTON) – When Karyn Malinowski was a youngster growing up in Manville, New Jersey, one of her greatest joys was pony rides.  As she finished one ride, she would go back in line for another over and over, spending all day riding the ponies.  Her love of horses has been a constant in her life, leading her to a successful, fulfilling career involving horses with Rutgers University, eventually being named as the Director of the Equine Science Center of Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station. 

For this commitment to the well-being and quality of life for horses while ensuring the vitality and viability of the state’s equine industry, Malinowski has earned the title of New Jersey Horseperson of the Year from the Equine Advisory Board.  She was presented with the 2009 Governor’s Trophy on January 31 at the 53rd Annual New Jersey Breeder’s Luncheon in Eastampton, which celebrated the state’s best in the equine field in 2009.

“Karyn Malinowski is one of the equine industry’s greatest advocates, who has worked toward a better understanding of the importance of horses to not only New Jersey’s economy but quality of life,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.  “We congratulate Karyn on this well-deserved honor and look forward to continuing to collaborate on efforts on behalf of the equine community.”

As a youth, Malinowski was involved with 4-H, showing horses in Hunter and Equitation classes.  She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Animal Science from Rutgers, and a PhD in Zoology from Rutgers.  Her many years of scientific work has involved Standardbred mares. 

Malinowski’s love of horses progressed when Niatross, the champion standardbred that some believe was the greatest harness horse of all time, was on his retirement tour and she had the opportunity to drive him in a ring at the Horse Park of New Jersey.  She has since become a licensed professional driver and trainer, driving the second fastest pacing mile ever by any female driver at the Meadowlands and recording the fastest drive in the American Harness Drivers Club.  She also regularly participates in the Mildred Williams Charity Driving Series, benefitting breast cancer research.

While Malinowski’s first love is horses, her second love is Dalmatians.  Her racing colors have Dalmatian spots across the shoulders and her horses have Dalmatian spots on their equipment and blankets. 

“Karyn’s favorite thing about horses is the freedom and exhilaration of riding or driving,” said Tom Mannos, horse show announcer and longtime friend of Malinowski.  “Her greatest thrill is sitting in the sulky going to the starting gate to begin the race.”

Other awards presented at the event were:

Secretary of Agriculture Award for the New Jersey Standardbred of the Year: Muscle Hill, owned by TLP Stable of Kearny, Jerry Silva and Muscle Hill Racing LLC or NY and South Wind Farm of Pennington, NJ, trained by Gregory Peck and driven by Brian Sears.  In 21 career starts, Muscle Hill was second only once, his first race as a two year old.  The son of Muscles Yankee, who stands stud at Perretti Farm in Cream Ridge, Muscle Hill has won every major stake race for two and three year old trotting colts.  His lifetime winnings are $3.2 million.

Secretary of Agriculture Award for the New Jersey Thoroughbred of the Year:  Way with Words, bred by George and Margaret Schwartz.  Way with Words was a winner in three of her nine starts in 2009.  She finished the year with $177,140 in earnings, with a lifetime total of $381,490.

New Jersey Sire Stakes Horse of the Year:  Costa Rica, owned by Christina Takter and John Fielding, trained by Jimmy Takter, bred by Perretti Farms, daughter of Muscles Yankee.  The two year old won 10 out of 16 starts and earned $970,161 in 2009.  She was the winner of all four of her starts in Sire Stakes competition at both the Meadowlands and Freehold.

New Jersey Agricultural Achievement Award: Brandon Craig, Williamstown.  The Gloucester County 4-H member was awarded with a $500 scholarship, sponsored by Amy Butewicz, a former New Jersey Equestrian of the Year who wanted to give back to the community.  Craig was selected based upon his essay, which answered the question: “How has your involvement within 4-H helped to shape your future career choice?”

Sara Dubinen Scholarship:  Gabrielle Buono, Pittsgrove.  The avid horse lover and Salem County 4-H member was the winner of a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Sara Dubinen, a Sayreville equestrian who was the victim of a car accident in 2007.  Buono was selected based on her essay on “How horses have affected my life and how horses figure into my future.” 

New Jersey Equestrian of the Year: Taylor Ferguson, East Brunswick, representing Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization.  Ferguson, 15, has been a member of the Middlesex County 4-H Golden Spurs Horse Club for six years.  She owns several horses, including a retired racehorse that she retrained as a riding horse, and she gives horseback riding lessons to beginners.  Ferguson was chosen based on her ability to communicate and her knowledge of horses, as well as being well-versed in many phases of the horse industry.