TRENTON, N.J. — Jamie Leuenberger, a 19-year-old The College of New Jersey sophomore from Milford in Hunterdon County, was named the 2017 New Jersey Equestrian of the Year by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board on Jan. 29 at the annual New Jersey Breeders’ Luncheon in Eastampton. She represented the New Jersey Palomino Exhibitors Association.
As Equestrian of the Year, Leuenberger will attend functions hosted by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board and represent the Board at functions.
“The competition for Equestrian of the Year highlights the most enthusiastic, dedicated young people involved with horses in our state,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “Jamie will represent the state proudly and be a model for younger children interested in equine activities.”
Jamie has been riding horses since the age of 5 and began riding competitively in 2010. She has competed in novice level eventing for the past two years and has several top 10 finishes in national shows. She also has had the opportunity to ride and show other owners’ horses in dressage and one day hopes to ride and train professionally.
She owns and shows the horses The Black Pearl and Tough Groovy, a thoroughbred she purchased last spring, in eventing, dressage and jumpers. She also shows Buffed Chrome, a New Jersey horse owned by Dee Cameron, in Palomino events. She has also shown Dynasty SCF, Curious Christopher Robin, Risky Business and Flight of Fancy in dressage competition.
“For me, being involved in horses is everything,” said Leuenberger. “I know a lot more about dealing with people and dealing with success and failure. It’s taught me about not giving up, and to keep on working on the little stuff every day and it eventually pays off. With Black Pearl, I was told he would never be a good dressage horse. He couldn’t even cantor when I first started with him. Now he is showing at fourth level.”
Jamie has also been involved with 4-H for many years, participating in several state contests. She is a three-time participant in the NJ 4-H State Presentation Contest and a two-time participant in the NJ 4-H State Equine Presentation Contest, where she finished second in 2015.
— New Jersey Department of Agriculture