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Profile: Leigh Healey
Champion Junior Rider Sets Sights On Beacon Hill Equestrian Grand Prix

Lumberton, NJ – June 3, 2003 – Growing up on her family’s Gleneayre Farm in Lumberton, NJ, 17-year-old nationally ranked junior equestrian Leigh Healey has always loved horses. The youngest of seven children, Healey was placed in the saddle in front of her parents at the age of three and by age eight was riding under the tutelage of trainer Marie Asper.

Healey’s first experiences in the horse show arena were through the Burlington County 4-H, where she won several divisions at the 4-H State Champion Horse Show. Training under Frank Hernandez, Healey then went on to successful competitions in USA Equestrian rated horse shows.

At the age of 12, Healey began training with renowned trainers Frank and Stacia Madden, managers of the Beacon Hill Show Stables in Colts Neck, NJ. Under the Maddens’ training, Healey now competes in the national circuit and in 2001 became the Children’s Jumper Circuit Champion at the Winter Equestrian Festival in West Palm Beach, FL, and placed first and third on her two mounts at the Washington International Horse Show in Washington, DC.

Leigh Healey, 17, of Lumberton, NJ, and her champion horse Laurin, currently ranked in first place in the National Hall of Fame show jumping standings for 2003, make a successful jump. Healey and Laurin will compete in the upcoming first-ever Beacon Hill Equestrian Grand Prix, the proceeds of which will benefit Virtua Health, the largest healthcare provider in southern New Jersey and a nonprofit organization.

In 2002, Healey won the Junior Jumper Circuit Championship at the Winter Equestrian Festival, winning five of the nine $10,000 Classics in the challenging division. She went on to win both the $2,500 Low and $5,000 High Junior Jumper Classics and championships at the Garden State Horse Show in Augusta, NJ. Healey and her horse Laurin are currently in first place in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series standings for 2003.

Despite her enormous success as an equestrian, riding horses is about much more than winning for Healey and her family. “It is great when you win, but there are a lot of life lessons that are learned when you don’t win,” says Ellen Healey, Leigh’s mother. “Horseback riding and competition have been a positive force in my daughter’s life.”

The Healeys are committed to sharing these lessons and their love of horses with others. Despite the significant travel requirements of the national circuit, Leigh Healey remains an honor student at Merion Mercy Academy in Merion, PA, and is still very involved with the Burlington County 4-H. Her parents, Bob and Ellen Healey, run a nonprofit program on their Gleneayre Farm for children who are dedicated to horseback riding but can not afford the costs associated with the sport. The Healeys’ program gives these children the opportunity to work at the farm and train with Jason and Allison Neuman, full-time trainers at Gleneayre.

The Healeys also support their community hospital, Virtua Health, the largest healthcare provider in southern New Jersey and a nonprofit organization. They have worked with the Virtua Health Foundation and the Maddens, managers of Beacon Hill Stables, to create the first-ever Beacon Hill Equestrian Grand Prix, the proceeds of which will benefit Virtua Health. Leigh Healey, who was born at Garden State Hospital (now Virtua West Jersey Hospital Marlton), will compete in the Junior Jumper Division and possibly the Open Division at the Grand Prix.

The Beacon Hill Grand Prix horse show will be held on Saturday, June 14 through Sunday, June 15 at the Beacon Hill Show Stables, 55 Laird Road in Colts Neck, NJ. The show will feature Jumper classes for both child and adult riders and is expected to attract a number of internationally recognized equestrians such as three-time U.S. Olympian Anne Kursinski, Laura Chapot, Chris Kappler, Mark Leone, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward. A variety of competitions held throughout the weekend, including an Open Speed Derby and a Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic, will lead up to the Grand Prix event on Sunday afternoon, offering more than $70,000 in total prize money.

The event will also offer carnival games, a food and vendor area, tented box seating, a catered sponsors’ tent, and a silent auction. All guests and participants at the horse show are invited to visit the silent auction tent, which will be filled with a variety of items donated by businesses throughout New Jersey and the Delaware Valley.

In conjunction with the horse show, a live auction event is planned for Saturday evening to serve as an additional fundraising activity. The “Auction Spectacular” reception will feature entertainment by the Garden State Philharmonic String Quartette. A variety of unique and high-end items and services will be available for bidding, such as a signed Bruce Springsteen guitar, a private evening dinner cruise aboard a Viking Yacht, a child’s miniature Mercedes Benz, original equestrian artwork, and more.

General admission to the Beacon Hill Grand Prix is $5 per person per day. Tickets for ringside box seating is $50 per person for the weekend, and tickets for the catered sponsors’ tent are $250 per person for the weekend.

General admission ($5) tickets are available for purchase at the following locations: the gift shops at all four Virtua Health hospital locations (Mt. Holly, Marlton, Berlin, Voorhees); the Virtua Health Foundation, 895 Rancocas Road, Suite 6, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060 (609) 261-7083; The Toll Booth Saddle Shop, 2441 Route 206, Eastampton, NJ 08060 (609) 702-1404; the Cornerstone Café, 2 East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728 (732) 845-5300; and The Tack Shelter, 41 Highway 34, Colts Neck, NJ 07722 (732) 303-0055.

For more information, please call the Virtua Health Foundation at (609) 261-7083 or e-mail the Foundation at

Virtua Health, with more than 7,000 employees and 1,700 physicians, is the largest healthcare provider in southern New Jersey. It is comprised of four hospitals including Virtua Memorial Hospital Burlington County, Mount Holly, and Virtua West Jersey Hospitals in Berlin, Marlton and Voorhees. More than 7,000 babies are born annually at the hospitals in Mount Holly and Voorhees, where comprehensive neonatal intensive care for premature newborns is available. Pediatric primary and specialty care services are offered as part of the Virtua/duPont Children’s Health Program, an affiliation with the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. With five strategically located emergency centers, it handles more emergencies -- and more pediatric emergencies -- than any other hospital in South Jersey. Virtua Health also serves the community with comprehensive primary care and emergency services at its outpatient center in Camden; two long-term comprehensive care centers located in Berlin and Mount Holly; two outpatient surgery centers located in Mount Holly and Voorhees; and a home-health care agency.


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