Skip to content

Obituary - Anita Hoitsma



Anita Hoitsma, 91, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, June 2, 2017. Anita, or “Aunt Nita” as she was fondly called by her students, was a life-long resident of New Jersey. She was born in Wayne, New Jersey, operated Bridle Vale Farm in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and retired and moved to Pittstown, New Jersey. She was married to the late John Hoitsma, Jr. for almost 60 years until his passing in 2014. 

The horse world remembers Aunt Nita as the woman who operated Bridle Vale Farm, a farm that not only produced champions, but one whose legacy would perhaps best be known for the riders who came from that program and went on to train champions of their own. Stacy Hennessey, Kathleen Walsh Peeples, Anne Hutcheson Scussell, Rob Marsh, and Carolyn Downie Sebring are five trainers who were once taught the basics by Anita. A few of the other top competitors that came through Bridle Vale include Kim Germ-Cramer, Joelle Boulin Buzby, and Eleanor Hutcheson. 

Anita got her start in the Morgan horse world when her husband bought her a two-year-old colt as a wedding anniversary gift. His name was Lippitt Easter Tweed. However nice the gift was, the Hoitsma’s current housing situation in suburban New Jersey did not mesh well with a two-year-old colt. Luckily, a woman by the name of Barbara Irvine was teaching school in a nearby town and she was more than capable of training the colt. When Barbara and Anita came together, Bridle Vale Farm was born. They specialized in teaching equitation and gave their students the opportunity to show in whichever division they wanted. Anita’s giving nature took many forms, another being how you could always pull up a seat to eat at the Bridle Vale tables at horse shows. Her memory lives on in those that learned from her directly and from those that are now instructed by the Bridle Vale-trained trainers of today. 

A celebration of Anita’s life will be held on July 8, 2017 from 1-4 p.m. at Scussell Farm in Pittstown, New Jersey. Donations may be made in her memory to the Quakertown Volunteer EMS at: P.O. Box 225, Pittstown, New Jersey 08867.

 

More Stories

  • #FoalsNFocus – Week 12

    The final week of the 2022 #foalsNfocus program ended with an outstanding group of shots of foals from across the country. This week’s top three photos came from Washington, North Carolina, and Kentucky, respectively. Read More
  • UPHA Horsemanship Challenge Tee Shirts Order Deadline

    ASAW Summerfun Horse Show is happy to host the UPHA Horsemanship Challenge again in 2022. The order for the tee shirts the riders will be wearing must be placed before the entries close for the show. The order needs to be in by June 23.  Read More
  • Latest Issue 6 20 22 RC

    Read More
  • Latest Issue 6 20 22

    Read More
  • 2022 Indianapolis Charity Canceled

    Indianapolis Charity, scheduled for June 29-July 3rd, has been canceled. The show which has been a proud tradition in Indianapolis for 46 years has historically been held in early June. The Indiana State Fairgrounds facility was unavailable for those dates this year so the show was moved to the end of June.  Read More
  • Summer’s End Moving To World Equestrian Center

    Exhibitors will have the opportunity to compete at the renowned World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida on September 8-11, 2022. The Summer’s End Horse Show is moving to this amazing facility and is sounding the call to come join in the fun. Read More
  • ASHBA is Launching a Monthly Giving Campaign!

    Monthly investments are the most surefooted way to help an organization plan for the future. Even a small donation can make a BIG impact! That is why the ASHBA is launching its monthly giving campaign... Read More
  • World’s Championship Horse Show Prize List and Entries Now Open

    Entry information for the World’s Championship Horse Show, the most prestigious Saddlebred show in the world, is now available online... Read More
  • Reception and Pop-Up Shops at the American Saddlebred Museum

    The American Saddlebred Museum invites everyone to a free Wine and Cheese Reception before the Lexington Junior League Horse Show on Wednesday, July 13 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. See the new exhibit CH My-My, experience the newly renovated Elisabeth M. Goth History Wing, and enjoy a glass of wine.   Read More
  • Continuing The Conversation

    This series of Continuing TheConversation has been dedicated to a subject that affects every part of the show horse industry – breeding. Even if you’ve never thought of raising a foal, the breeding game has an effect on several things if you’re a participant in the show ring, from the availability of horses to purchase to the price of those horses... Read More