New Jersey Trail Competition to Benefit New Bolton Center

A new competitive trail ride, Ride for the Ribbons, will be held on Oct. 6 at the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in Blackwell’s Mills, N.J. The ride—a memorial tribute to a special Arabian mare, Taffeta Ribbons—will benefit the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center.

Ride for the Ribbons, previously known as the Canal 25, was a favorite for “Ribbons” during her three-year endurance career. The bay mare underwent several knee and leg surgeries during her 17-year life, which ended in November with a fractured leg.

“Ribbons was a frequent patient at New Bolton Center and became a staff favorite due to her wonderful personality, perseverance, and will to survive,” said Ribbons’ owner, Jessica Wysocki, of Spider’s Nest Farm in Ringoes, N.J. “The ride will benefit New Bolton Center in her memory, so they can continue to provide outstanding care for all horses, but also to acknowledge everything they did for Ribbons.”

Ride for the Ribbons will offer a 25-mile competitive train ride and a 15-mile conditioning distance ride. Both rides are sanctioned by the Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association.

The ride will take place on both the towpath between Blackwell’s Mills and Kingston and in 6-mile run reservoir, which is mainly open fields and wooded trails, with several water crossings. The general pace is expected to be about 5.5 miles per hour.

Competitive trail rides are judged solely on the condition of the horse before and after the ride. There is a mandatory 20-minute hold halfway through the ride for evaluation. Penn Vet’s Meagan Smith, DVM, will serve as a judge to evaluate the condition of the horses. The judges will be looking at soundness, metabolic conditioning (such as pulse and dehydration parameters), any rubbing and sores, as well as injuries to the horse over the course of the ride.

Pre-registration is required and the ride is limited to 40 horses. Contact Jessica Wysocki at 609/333-1150 or or Sandy Howland at 908/303-7955 or

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