Jumping for Joy


Jennifer Staniloff on She Wore Dior from Competition Equestrian LLC

As far back at the Bronze Age, horses were seen as divine and sacred creatures and worshipping them became a spiritual experience.

Even today, horse worship exists in a world with its own rules and rituals.

For young girls, especially, horses can become a major part of their lives and affect how they relate to the rest of the world.

Nancy Buzzetta, the female force at Competition Auto Group, one of the largest family-owned automobile dealership groups on Long Island, serves as their Vice President and Partner. She oversees the operations at Competition Mercedes Benz of Smithtown and Competition Subaru.

Nancy possesses a skillset that is unique to anyone else on Long Island. An expert in high horsepower luxury cars, she is also an accomplished rider who enjoys training young horses and rescues. Nancy began riding and competing when she was a young girl. As is the case with others like her, she had to stop in order to attend college, build a career, marry and raise her children.  When her daughters, Valerie, now 15, and Jennifer, 13, were old enough, Nancy wanted them to experience the joy of riding. In the process she rekindled her own passion.

“As soon as I started riding again, I remembered why I loved it so much,” she says.

Once Nancy began riding regularly, owning her own horse farm became one of her life goals. In 2013 she seized on an opportunity to realize that dream and purchased a farm situated on 8.5 acres in Middle Island. The farm,  named Competition Equestrian, is now home to nine horses with 11 stalls, eight turnouts and a beautiful outdoor ring that is adjacent to a county park with miles of beautiful riding trails. 

“All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.”

Following in their mother’s footsteps, Valerie and Jennifer are accomplished equestrians and compete frequently in local and national shows. One of their local favorites is Old Field Farm in Setauket, a historic parkland that has been renovated and hosts equestrian and community events. 

“My friend Sally Lynch spearheaded the farm’s restoration,” Nancy says proudly.

Another local show Val and Jen like to compete in is the renowned Hampton Classic. “They competed last year,” Nancy says.  “It was a lot of fun. The competition ranges from someone’s first show to gold medalists.”

Valerie Riding Horse

Valerie riding “Vivs Diamond” 

Life on the Competition Equestrian farm can be an adventure, and it is also a safe haven for horses that Nancy rescued from certain death. “So many horses are sent to slaughter,” Nancy says. “It’s so sad.” The farm is home to an ex-racehorse that Nancy adopted from a rescue organization in Maryland and another ex-racehorse she saved that was starving and in dire need of care.

“That horse was neglected and underweight and had rain scald, a skin condition that is very painful that comes from being left outside,” she explained.

A pony Nancy purchased from a Pennsylvania-based meat buyer and a couple of miniature horses, which were purchased at an auction that often sells horses and ponies into the meat industry pipeline, also reside at Competition Equestrian.

Nancy and her daughters helped nurse the horses back to health and trained them to hopefully move on to a brighter future. 

The show-side of horsemanship is important too, Nancy says.  Watching Val and Jen control a 1,000-pound animal with grace and authority in various competitions is a wonderful sight to behold. 

“Competition Equestrian has given my daughters an opportunity to develop character and compassion and a deep connection to beautiful animals,” Nancy says. “Horses can be great teachers, too.”


About Author

Competition BMW of Smithtown

Checkmate Magazine appeals to the competitive side of the BMW driver who views life as a journey, not a destination. Someone who defines success not by winning or losing, but by how one responds to both. Checkmate is the first of its kind, a publication written exclusively for consumers by an automotive dealership.

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