Series- Mountain Manor Farm
Manor Farm was named after the family's former Dairy Farm "Mountainside
Dairy Farm" which was run by Sharon Ortepio's grandparents, Eva
and Martin Masar. They came from the then "Slovakia" section
of Europe and eventually settled in New Jersey where they created
a mini town within the Taylortown section of Montville. It was there
that Martin built by hand a stone tavern, stone service station and
stone house. It served as a regional gathering place for Slovaks who
came from Connecticut, New York and New Jersey to celebrate their
traditions in dance, food and religion.
When Sharon moved
to Readington and found their current farm site, it seemed that the
name of the farm had to be carried on in some fashion, hence 'Mountain'
became part of the name. Now horses played an integral role in the
family's original farm, but in the capacity of work horses and for
transportation. While that tradition was not quite carried on
horse part did!
Now many years
later, Mountain Manor Farm serves as home base to the Ortepio's collection
of horses and ponies and memories of the beloved dairy farm. The Ortepio
children started their horse careers in their first back yard farm
in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington. They were avid members
of the Amwell Valley Pony Club where Sharon served as Den Mother and
ran summer camps for the kids at "Windy Hill Farm" in Bedminster.
When the "horsin'
around" starting getting serious, the Ortepios moved to Mountain
Manor Farm where more horses and ponies could be accommodated. For
a short time, they hosted pony club lessons. Sharon's daughter Katelyn
had a wonderful horse that was leased to her by a very generous friend,
Marcia Zweerink who also introduced them to her trainer, Sara Schmitt.
Just as time often reveals the talent of the rider, Katelyn set her
sights on competing as a North American Young Rider in Dressage. Although
Sharon thought this a lofty goal, she was willing to give it a shot!
So off on the
adventure they went - horse shopping . Many miles later, and in Texas
of all places, they found a very talented Dutch Horse, Kudra, by Rampal.
This was the first warmblood horse.
was a talented hunter rider doing the mini and short stirrup divisions
under the guidance of Ann Evans, Sharon's friend and trainer for many,
many years. Ann had introduced Sharon to Old Dogwood Hill Farm where
over the years she purchased Dogwoods Destiny, Prime Time, Norman
and Canuck. Sharon had 'Erin' for twelve years. Unfortunately a little
while after the move to Mountain Manor Farm, the beloved thoroughbred,
DOGWOODS DESTINY,aka Erin, who was a NJ Bred Champion, on the line
and over fences, died suddenly. Sharon stopped riding for a while
after that - actually 3 years.
dressage bug bit Sharon too. Henceforth GRETA, a big,bold, chestnut
mare by Graf Grande who had competed very successfully thru fourth
level. After many seasons of wonderful horse shows, and their own
successes, Greta is semi-retired at the farm. She is turned out with
'her' pony, YANKEE DOODLE, who has been loved and ridden by many,
many children throughout NJ. He was Kate's pony club mount and has
a well deserved place of honor at the farm.
the farm purchased a Selle Francais, "Fred" in a partnership.
He is an FEI horse who Katelyn competed in the 2005 show season in
the North American Young Rider Division, completing the season amongst
very tough competition.
The farm is very
proud to have Kudra, who Katelyn competed through Prix St. George.
The pair won many Region 1 Championships, First thru Third level,
including Musical Free Styles, as well as Reserve Champion in the
BLM Championships. Although Kudra is a mare, there are no immediate
plans to bred her as she is now competing at Grand Prix level with
Sara Schmitt, who recently rode her to win a USDF Gold Medal!!!!!
Farm has a lovely six stall, center aisle barn with a full size dressage
arena. It has lovely turn out paddocks and fields and spacious stalls
with dutch doors which open to individual turn outs. It is in close
proximity to hundreds of acres of the Readington Trail System. Family
owned, there is someone on the farm 24-7.
and 'Fred' at the FESTIVAL OF CHAMPIONS 2005
North American Young Rider Divison
USET - Gladstone, NJ
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