Captain Mark Phillips has been appointed as the new course designer for the Jersey Fresh International (JFI) Three-Day Event.
The event, which takes place at the Horse Park of New Jersey from May 10-14, will mark its 15th anniversary in 2017. Captain Phillips takes over as the course designer from John Williams, who has designed the event’s courses since the competition’s inception in 2002.
The Organising Committee have emphasized the enormous contribution that Williams made to the event as a member of the original team that brought the competition to life, and then over the years as a hard-working, highly influential driver of its development into a world-class, international three-star eventing venue.
The decision to bring Captain Phillips on board marks further advancement on the trajectory of additions and improvements that have been implemented at the horse trials, particularly over the past three years.
“Both behind the scenes and in more obvious ways, the event has sought to enhance the JFI experience for competitors, spectators and all fans of equestrian sport,” says Dan Wunderlich. “Having Captain Phillips join our team affords us another tremendous opportunity to bring the highest level talent, officiating and accommodations to those who attend or follow JFI during its four-day presence at the Horse Park each May.”
Captain Phillips’ is already hard at work on the four tracks needed to run the cross-country phase for CCI3*, CIC3*, CCI2* and CIC2* divisions of the competition, all of which will take place on Saturday, May 13. As has been previously announced, the 2017 courses will utilize – for the first time – additional property that has become accessible to JFI since the 2016 event.
It is anticipated that Captain Phillips’ courses will capitalise on the additional acreage and his unique experience and insight to improve flow, as well as give competitors an entirely new look and feel to their cross-country ride at JFI.
“We are very excited and fortunate that Mark was willing and able to step in at JFI this year,” said Jane Cory. “We are especially thrilled that – assuming he gets the nod from the FEI to be Course Designer at the 2018 World Equestrian Games – riders at all levels will be able to experience a taste of what Mark might be thinking for that by coming to New Jersey in just a few months.”
Of his new affiliation, Captain Phillips indicates he has thoroughly enjoyed the process so far and looks forward to working with the JFI team, capitalising on his involvement to generate even more excitement for the Event’s already exceedingly popular Cross-Country Day.
“It will be easier to get the horse in a good rhythm, so the courses should ride well,” he said. “And if the horses and riders enjoy it then they will want to come back and jump here again, and that will create more support and sponsorship for the Event.”