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SPHO-NJ presents its annual awards
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - from the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey

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Freehold, NJ --- On Sunday, Feb 21 The Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey (SPHO-NJ) held its annual awards banquet at Freehold Raceway.

It was the first time at this venue, and everyone was excited to have it at a racetrack, since most of the horses honored had been there -- or were bought with hopes of being there.

Helene Gregory
SPHO-NJ photo
Helene Gregory was presented with the National High Point Standardbred of the Year Award by Alison Giorgianni for her work with JB
About 150 people attended, and we saw some familiar faces, as well as new ones.

Notable people from the racing industry included Kevin and Sheri McDermott, Frank and Jacquie Ingrassia, Daniel Dube, John Brennan, Pat and Megan Lachance, Freehold Raceway’s Karen and Mike Fagliarone, Jeff Gregory, Bill Weaver, Peter Gerry, Jim and Donna Marshall, Brett and Aina Bittle, and Chris and Nicola Ryder.

The evening started with a cocktail hour, during which the guests could browse the fantastic Chinese Auction table, covered with prizes donated by people and companies near and dear to the SPHO-NJ.

The yearend award winners were announced throughout the night, and the divisional champions for the SPHO-NJ awards were:

Three Gait Open : Laura Harbour and Veruca Salt
Combined Training: Elizabeth Tewksbury and Dreamy Starlet
Dressage: Betsy MacDonald Cotter and Lather Rinse Repeat
Harness/Driving: Debi O’brien Moran and Calamar
Equitation: Helene Gregory and JB
General Division: Cynthia Flaherty and Somekindapill
Hunter Pace: Karyn Kempson and Villa D’Este
In hand – Showmanship:Rob Pennington and Valiant Lega C (aka Larry)
Deom, Expo and Parades: Suzanne D’Ambrose and Independent Act
Versatility: Helene Gregory and JB
Pleasure Horse and Rider: Meme Higgins and Sharpe Sam
High-Point Junior: Cynthia Flaherty and Somekindapill
High-Point Rookie Horse: Catherine Flaherty and Roger’s Romeo
The Clarksville Award: Meme Higgins and Sharpe Sam

And the National High Point Standardbred of the Year Award went to Helene Gregory and JB.

Thru the night, a special DVD was shown on the table monitors. It was made by SPHO-NJ member Elizabeth Tewksbury, from Maine. It was a collage of pictures from 2009 that members had submitted -- and then were arranged by Tewksbury.

It really showcased the versatility of the breed -- and also generated some laughs. It can be viewed at

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