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6th annual Open Space Pace on Sept. 16 at Freehold Raceway

Horses leave the gate of race 10, The Molly Pitcher, during the 50th running of the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport on Jul 30. This year's race ended in a trilling photofinish with "Girvin" edging out "McCracken".

On Sept. 16, the Open Space Pace returns to Freehold Raceway in Freehold for its sixth annual Parade and Festival.

The Open Space Pace is a nonprofit organization with a mission to celebrate the horse, New Jersey’s official state animal, and to promote open space in the country’s most densely populated state, New Jersey. The Open Space Pace raises funds in support of nonprofit organizations that promote open space in New Jersey.

The scheduled events for the day will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade of horses from the Monmouth County Hall of Records to Freehold Raceway. The parade features the Freehold Township High School, Middletown High School North and Red Bank Regional High School marching bands, antique cars and various equine groups.

Once at the racetrack, the festival begins with an opening ceremony, followed by a wide variety of entertainment, including a petting zoo, educational exhibits, live harness racing, vendor tables, food trucks and much more.

Throughout the day, the Open Space Pace will have five $1,000 college scholarship drawings. Any college student in attendance with a valid student ID will be eligible to enter the drawing for a scholarship.

The CentraState Healthcare Foundation will offer health screening and fitness demonstrations on stage throughout the day. A concert featuring The Eddie Testa Band will begin at 1 p.m., followed by After the Reign at 4:30 p.m.

The Open Space Pace is an entirely free event made possible by its sponsors. The event raises funds from sponsorships, ad journal sales, tailgate space sales and vendor booth sales.

If you wish to support the Open Space Pace or obtain more information, contact Brett Taft at 732-577-4059 or by email at BTaft@umh.com.

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