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Garden State Horse Show and the Saunders Family Announce The $10,000 Colonel George S. Saunders Gamblers Choice and the Essex Troop Educational Fund

Augusta, NJ - February 13, 2002— The Junior Essex Troop and The Garden State Horse Show are pleased to announce the addition of the Colonel George S. Saunders Memorial $10,000 Gamblers Choice class. The Gamblers Choice will be held on Friday May 3, 2002 at 5:00 p.m. and is generously sponsored by the Saunders Family. The Garden State Horse Show runs May 1-5 at the Sussex County Fairgrounds Augusta, NJ.

The Colonel Saunders $10,000 Gamblers Choice class is an exciting timed class in which riders are to accrue as many points as possible in 60 seconds over a course of 4’ to 4’6” fences. Each obstacle is assigned a point value, from 10 to 120 according to difficulty, and riders are credited with the number of points allotted when the obstacle is jumped clear. No points are awarded for an obstacle knocked down, but obstacles can be jumped twice to count. During the rider’s minute in the ring, he can jump all the obstacles he chooses in the order and direction that he desires. The competitor with the greatest number of points is the winner.

“The Junior Essex Troop and Garden State Horse Show are honored and proud to institute this exciting new class and to have it associated with the late Colonel Saunders,” said George Uniss, Co-Chairman of the Garden State Horse Show. “Colonel Saunders’ family has done so much for our horse show over the years and this is one more example of their commitment to the Junior Essex Troop.”

Colonel Saunders was born in Passaic, NJ, on March 15, 1917 and went on to join the military. He was named a commissioned officer in 1941 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He fought in World War II, landing in Omaha Beach in Normandy, as part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. Colonel Saunders was wounded in July of the same year but went on to command the 102nd RCN SQ from September,1944 through August,1945. Colonel Saunders was a decorated war hero having earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart, a Distinguished Service Medal and Several European Foreign Service Awards.

Colonel Saunders was the last war-time commander of the Essex Troop, the founders of the Junior Essex Troop and a long-time horseman. He was President of Essex Troop and founder of Sandrellan Stables, showing ponies, hunters and jumpers to National acclaim in the 1960s and 1970s.

Colonel Saunders is survived by his wife Patricia; daughters, Sarah White, Colleen Convery and Wendy Ann Duff; sons, George Jr, Carleton, Kerby, and John; Stepsons, Peter and Phil Rush; a sister, Helen Mahony; 29 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

The Garden State Horse Show gratefully acknowledges the help the Saunders family has given the Garden State Horse Show over the past 25 years with sponsorship and vast contributions on the horse show’s behalf.

The Garden State Horse Show is New Jersey’s largest hunter/jumper show and is rated “AA” by USA Equestrian, the national governing body. As one of the largest shows of its kind in the country, the Garden State Horse Show attracts the nation’s best riders, including U.S. Equestrian Team and Olympic veterans such as Peter Leone and Nona Garson.

The show will take place May 1-5 in Augusta, NJ, at the Sussex County Fairgrounds and will run daily from 8:00 a.m. until about 5:00 p.m. Admission is $10.00 per carload on Saturday and free the rest of the week. For general show and ticket information, please call (508) 698-6810.


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