For the Ryan family, horses are truly a way of life.
Rodman and Dianne Ryan—owners of the Open Road Auto Group—fell in love with all things equestrian when their daughter Jaimie Morais started taking riding lessons while in elementary school. Today, the family—which includes Jaimie’s husband Michael Morais and three children Grace (18), Jack (17) and Brady (14)—lives and works in the heart of horse country and has been a 40+ year sponsor of the Far Hills Race Meeting.
“We see this event as a perfect tie-in,” Rodman Ryan said. “We have luxury performance cars, and these horses are champions and performers of their own. Every year, we look forward not only to having fun, but to supporting a civic-minded event that raises money for hospitals and other charities.”
Like many other families that have made Far Hills Race Meeting an annual tradition, Ryan said his favorite memories of race day are of watching his daughter, grandchildren and so many other children growing up at the races. He remembers how Jamie, now a kindergarten teacher, would set up a play area to entertain children while the adults mingled at their tent.
“The Far Hills Race Meeting has always been a part of the Ryan family and the Open Road family,” he said. “We have pictures and memorabilia going back 100 years. To watch kids be born, grow up and become adults in the community has always been a lot of fun.”
Though racegoers now exclusively purchase tickets online, Ryan remembers the days when he would sell physical tickets at his dealership. He was always amazed by the brisk volume of sales, noting that people would purchase thousands of tickets at his Manhattan dealership to an event taking place in tiny Far Hills, N.J. (pop. 924).
Every year, Ryan and his family have roughly 350 people, including family, friends, neighbors and business associates, to their large tent on the hill. This year, Open Road is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Ryan said he has some special events and activities planned, including giveaways, special announcements and a larger-than-usual invitation list.
“This is a great family event and a great day,” Ryan said. “It works on all levels – business, family, community. We see it as part of our history and a tradition. It’s a big part of the fabric of the community for everyone.”
To purchase a ticket, reserve parking or become a sponsor, visit the Far Hills Race Meeting.