HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – The Centenary University Equestrian Center received the Gold Medal Horse Farm Award for 2020 at a virtual Evening of Science & Celebration on Nov. 12.
The prestigious distinction, presented to no more than five farms annually, recognizes outstanding equine facilities in New Jersey, with a focus on environmental sustainability and management. The award underscores the efforts of the equine industry to maintain the beauty of the state.
The award is conferred by the New Jersey Equine Environment Stewardship Initiative, sponsored by the Rutgers University Equine Science Center, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Division of Natural Resources. The initiative highlights environmentally friendly farms, promoting the sustainability of agriculture and encouraging public support for the industry.
Centenary’s award-winning Equestrian Center comprises 64 acres in Long Valley, Morris County. The complex houses 90 horses and includes two indoor arenas, a newly renovated outdoor arena, a derby field, and an eight-horse Kraft horse walker.
All New Jersey horse farms can apply for the Gold Medal Horse Farm Award by submitting an environmental assessment report and a documented Animal Waste Management Plan or Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP). Centenary’s equine farm follows a CNMP developed with the assistance of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Application also requires a site visit. Proper manure storage and a biosecurity program to minimize disease risk are important aspects of the evaluation. In addition, water quality, soil erosion, stream and water management, feed and pasture management, and sanitation are reviewed. Background scenery, fencing, buildings, and cleanliness are also weighed in the judging.
Centenary’s equine center makes innovative use of advanced knowledge in the field and innovative tools, such as a repurposed dairy barn cleaner. The waste generated by 90 horses is removed daily, stored in a facility with concrete flooring and block walls, and removed to a compost facility monthly. The farm is also committed to pasture management: soil samples are taken annually and pasture land is fertilized for optimal growth and performance.
“It is our goal to continue appropriate manure management and pasture maintenance, and to continue the best management practices for equine farms in New Jersey,” said Kelly Munz, department chair and professor of equine studies. “On behalf of everyone at the Centenary University Equestrian Center, we are honored to be receiving the Gold Medal Award for equine environmental stewardship.”
Centenary’s nationally recognized Equine Studies program offers bachelor of science degrees in business management, equine science, equestrian public relations and media, and equine training and instruction. A degree in animal health is also available, allowing students to work with the Equine Center’s veterinary team. Centenary also has a therapeutic riding program, and the Equine Program has fielded multiple championship riding teams.
To learn about Centenary University’s Equine Studies program, click here.