Ross Reisner Remembered as Accomplished Equestrian Who Always Made Friends Laugh
Horse trainer shot dead in his East Setauket home on Tuesday night.
Reisner, who was 50, lived with his longtime partner, Kevin Murray, according to his business partner and childhood friend, Bobby Ginsberg. Showing horses was his passion.
"Everybody knew Ross. He always had clients at the horse shows. He was always striving to be a great trainer and rider," Ginsberg said on Wednesday.
Even as a junior, he was a successful equitation rider under the tutelage of Ralph Caristo, a top trainer, at Glenview Stables in Hauppauge, and then established himself as a trainer.
Riding horses is how Reisner, a New York City native, and Ginsberg, whom he opened Maple Lane Farm in Mattituck with recently, had met at 13.
"I'm in disbelief," Ginsberg, a Southampton resident, said. "If somebody would have told me a car accident or a heart attack, or something you hear everyday, maybe it would have been easier. To hear he was murdered — I can't even believe it," he said.
"We're shocked and saddened and horrified by this news," Shanette Barth Cohen, executive director of The Hampton Classic Horse Show, said. "What a loss for Long Island's equestrian community and the greater equestrian community."
"When it came to his training and his riding, he was very serious and dedicated to it — he loved to win," Ginsberg said. "On his downtime, he was just one of the funniest people you'd ever to hope to meet," he said, while also describing his friend as lovable. "He could light up a room. He was sort of the one who was always cracking a joke or saying something that made people laugh. That's how I'm going to remember him."
He still showed in hunter classes. In recent years, he qualified to ride in the $500,000 HITS Hunter Prix finals. He would also show in Florida at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Reisner was coming off a successful summer at Maple Lane Farm and was looking forward to a busy fall, Ginsberg said.
"Ross was getting ready to take his clients to the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Maryland," which runs Sept. 28 to Oct. 6, he said. Then Reisner was set to go to the United States Equestrian Federation finals in New Jersey in early October, then to Harrsiburg for the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for Medal finals, and finally to Kentucky for the Maclay finals at the end of October.
Roxane Mosleh, Ginsberg's girlfriend, said, "Bobby and the team at Maple Lane Farm are simply devastated. We wait for answers and pray for peace. This is a tragedy and it has shattered us."
"It's hard to even imagine that Ross isn't going to be with us anymore," Ginsberg said.
In addition to Murray, Reisner is survived by his mother, who lives in New York City, and three brothers, according to Ginsberg.