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Ross Reisner, slain equestrian, mourned by hundreds

Mourners outside Sinai Memorials, where a memorial service

Mourners outside Sinai Memorials, where a memorial service was held for shooting victim Ross Reisner in Fresh Meadows, Queens on Sept. 29, 2013. Credit: James Carbone

Family and friends of noted Long Island equestrian Ross Reisner, who was shot to death last week, were reminded Sunday that his name in German and Hebrew means "breeder and keeper of horses."

The gentle reminder was made by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, who officiated at Sunday's service in Fresh Meadows, Queens, and brought smiles and joyful chuckles during an otherwise solemn service that tearfully remembered Reisner, 50, whose assailant has not been found. Burial was private.

"My heart trembles," Buchwald, director of the nonprofit National Jewish Outreach Program, told more than 200 mourners crowding into the Sinai Chapels funeral home. "Such a bitter death . . . who could have thought that Ross Reisner's life was destined so quickly and dramatically. It's a resounding tragedy that you can only whisper about."

Reisner was an accomplished equestrian educator, horse trainer and stable owner. Many students took part in the service.

Reisner's longtime domestic partner, Kevin Murray, who was grazed by one of the bullets fired into their Upper Sheep Pasture Road home in East Setauket, had his mother read his eulogy.

"It was an amazing 25 years. Only once did we question if we would spend our whole lives together . . . we looked into each other's eyes and into our souls and that would be our foundation. . . . And each of you have witnessed our love. My heart is broken."

Murray's eulogy concluded: "You always knew us as Ross and Kevin, or Kevin and Ross -- a testament of us being one. Go in peace [Ross] and expand your beauty in heaven. I know when you are there you will come back to touch my heart again."

Reisner's mother, Pattie, offered her gratitude to her son's friends and students who came to pay respects.

"I cannot tell you how unbelievable it is to see the amount of people who have come here," she said. "This is my cry. I thank you for this because I am a person who rarely ever cries."

In honor of her son, she read Mary Elizabeth Frye's verse that says: "I am a thousand winds that blow; I am the diamond glints on snow. . . . Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there. I did not die."

Also attending the service was Suffolk homicide Det. Edward Fandry, who said he, too, was paying his respects.

Police are looking to question Brett C. Knight of Manhattan, a former tenant of Reisner and Murray against whom they filed a harassment complaint last month.


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