skip to main content skip to main navigation
Maggie  - Click to enlarge


Feb. 2, 2018 
PO Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0330

Jeff Wolfe
P: (609) 633-2954
C: (609) 433-1785



Others Also Awarded At 61st Annual Luncheon

(TRENTON) - The 2017 Governor’s Award for Horseperson of the Year was awarded to Maggie Romano, who has been a committed volunteer on the county, state, national level for 30 years. Romano, of Clarskburg, accepted the award at the 61st Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon on Sunday at O’Connor’s Restaurant in Eastampton.

“Maggie has a great passion and deep appreciation for horses and everyone involved in the horse industry in New Jersey,” NJDA Secretary Douglas H. Fisher said. “She is very deserving of the Governor’s Award for Horseperson of the Year.”

Romano is a founding member of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association and won the Spirit of the Horse Award from the Rutgers Equine Science Center in 2015. Romano is the wife of Anthony Romano, a member of the Board of Directors of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.

Romano’s love of horses started as a youth in her native Germany as she went with her father every year to Aachen to watch the international jumping competition. After high school, vocational school, advanced night school and an office job, she traveled to New York in 1977, and was introduced to standardbred horses at the Meadowlands.

Romano served two years as president and one year as show manager of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey (SPHO/NJ). She is also a board member of the New Jersey Horse Council, having served as president and as a delegate to the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board, where she has served as vice chair and two years as chair.

Other awards presented were:

Secretary of Agriculture Award for New Jersey Thoroughbred Horse of the Year: Irish War Cry - Bred in New Jersey at Overbrook Farm in Colts Neck by Isabelle de Tomaso, Irish War Cry began his 3-year-old season in February at Gulfstream Park by winning the Holy Bull Stakes and then in April won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Race Track. He was the first New Jersey bred horse to enter the Kentucky Derby since 1992, where after drawing the No. 17 post, he finished 10th. Irish War Cry returned to action in June to finish second in the Belmont Stakes.

Secretary of Agriculture Award for New Jersey Standardbred Horse of the Year and Secretary of Agriculture Award for New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Horse of The Year: Ariana G - Ariana G won each of the New Jersey-restricted races that she entered, including the final of the Sire Stakes' Premier Division at the Meadowlands where she took her lifetime mark of 1:51.1. The 3-year-old trotting filly used those races as a springboard to the rest of the season which saw her victorious in major stakes such as the Del Miller Memorial, the Hambletonian Oaks, the Simcoe, the Elegant Image and the Breeders' Crown, earning more than $1.1 million during the season. With lifetime earnings of $1,867,657, the filly is owned by Marvin Katz and Al J. Libfeld of Ontario, who also were responsible as breeders for the mating of Muscle Hill to Yankee Blondie.

Breeder of the Year: Fair Winds Farm – Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge has been providing horse owners with broodmare and yearling care for more than 30 years. The farm’s reproductive services are trusted by many successful breeders in the business. One of Fair Winds Farm’s many success stories are Muscle Hill, who sired Ariana G.

Horse Park of NJ Volunteer of the Year: Nancy Murray: A retired nurse-anesthesiologist from Lanoka Harbor, she has been volunteering at the horse park for the past three years, helping with hospitality, back-up horse ambulance and running scores at the Jersey Fresh 3-Day and at The Horse Trials.

Superior Achievement Award – Standardbred Pleasure: Lather Rinse Repeat Lather Rinse Repeat has been competing in hunter paces since 2008 and has regularly finished sixth or better in the NJ High Point Awards in the Model, 3-Gait English Pleasure, Pleasure Horse & Rider, High Point Senior Horse and In-Hand Model divisions. Lather Rinse Repeat is owned by Betsy MacDonald-Cotter of Millstone Township and annually attends the Open Space Pace Parade and competes annually in the National Standardbred Horse Show and Central Jersey Horseman Association’s show series.

Superior Achievement Award – Pinto: A Classic Romance – A miniature horse, A Classic Romance is Tobiano colored and is owned by Lucinda Boddy of Mays Landing. A Classic Romance has earned a Register of Merit in Halter by the Pony Association of America, as well as Jumping In-Hand and Trail In-Hand awards and was the Pinto Horse Association Halter Champion in 2009.

New Jersey Equestrian of the Year: Madeline Crisp, Great MeadowsA 17-year-old Hackettstown High School senior, Crisp has been riding competitively since 2008 and was the Appaloosa Horse Club World Champion in Youth Ranch Trail in 2017.

New Jersey Agricultural Achievement Award: Brittany Smith, Oxford -- $500 Scholarship. A 17-year-old Warren Hills Regional High School senior, Brittany has been active in 4-H and agriculture for her entire life. She has competed and won many awards in 4-H. Her competition resume includes public speaking contests, dairy judging and showing dairy goats. Contestants must be a New Jersey resident and a high school senior who is planning on pursuing a career in the agriculture field and/or sciences.     

Sara Dubinin Scholarship: Bridget Fajvan, Newton – $1,000 scholarship. Bridget is a sophomore at Newton High School where she is an active FFA member. This scholarship is presented annually in memory of Sara Dubinin to help 4-H or FFA members pursue their equine activities. Sara, a Sayreville resident, graduated from Cardinal McCarrick High School in South Amboy in 2006.

Bell Scholarship: Chloe Baker, Avon By The Sea – The $1,000 scholarship is presented by the Equine Advisory Board and named for Ernest C. Bell, a horse breeder and one of the founders of the Equine Advisory Board.  Chloe, who is from Monmouth County and a senior at Rutgers University, is majoring in animal science with a concentration in the pre-veterinarian medicine/research.


To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at and or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.