News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

For Immediate Release
May 2, 2024

 

Somerset County Continues Reimagining of Lord Stirling Park with Groundbreaking at the New Horse Barn

State-of-the-Art Horse Barn Has 16 Spacious Stalls, 3 Tack Rooms, ADA Compliant Restrooms

 

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Somerset County broke ground on the newest addition to Lord Stirling Park, the state-of-the-art horse barn at the Stable scheduled to host the County’s horses, Rocking Horse Rehab, and boarding clients. The groundbreaking continues the renovations of Lord Stirling Park and follows the Earth Day opening of the new trail head connecting the Stable and Environmental Education Center.

“We have been committed to not just reopening the Stable at Lord Stirling Park following it’s Covid hiatus, but to reopening it with better facilities and more support,” said Somerset County Deputy Director Sara Sooy, who grew up riding at the Stable. “The trail expansion and the Stable’s new horse barn are just down payments on a long-term plan to make Lord Stirling Park a destination for generations to come.”

The Stable at Lord Stirling Park’s programs were temporarily suspended when COVID struck in 2020, and Somerset County and the Park Commission used the down time to form the Lord Stirling Stable Advisory Group to develop plans to ensure the Stable could provide fiscally responsible community equine services. However, during this process it was determined that the current repurposed dairy barn doesn’t properly support modern equine services and a new barn was required.

The new barn will feature 16 spacious horse stalls including 12 with their own exterior stall runs, three tack rooms, on-site laundry and feed rooms, and an American with Disability Act compliant bathroom for tenants. The new barn will be fully accessible to ensure all visitors, including clients of Rocking Horse Rehab, can enjoy the benefits of caring for and riding horses. The existing barn will continue to be utilized.

“So many of our residents have fond memories of coming to the Stable as kids and riding the trails, and we’re so happy that’s going to continue and be better than ever,” said Bernards Township Deputy Mayor Janice Fields. “Bernards Township is proud to have the Stable at Lord Stirling Park in our backyard.”

Currently the Stable has 12 public horses, and another 23 horses boarded by paying residents. In addition to guided rides and public riding access to trails, the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable hold dog walks every Saturday morning from the Stable. Organizations can also use the trails for nature walks, educational programs, or even fundraising 5K races. Except for during scheduled events, dogs are prohibited on the trails as are bicycles and motorized vehicles. For more information on participating in scheduled programs at the Stable or to reserve the trails, please call (908) 722-1200 Ext.5528.

“The pace of improvements at Lord Stirling Park is truly wonderful, whether the new interconnected trails or the renovations at the Boudinot Southard Ross Farmstead,” said Park President Nancy D’Andrea. “But breaking ground on the new Stable barn is truly a major step toward the future of this Central Jersey gem.”

Lord Stirling Park is 1,015 acres of beautiful parkland, natural waterways, and open space in the northern area of Somerset County alongside the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge that is home to the Stable, Environmental Education Center, the Revolutionary War-era Boudinot Southard Ross Farmstead, and more scenic and historic sites. Lord Stirling Park is one of the largest in Somerset County’s Park system, second only to the 6,000-acre Sourland Mountain Preserve.

 

Keep up with the Somerset County Park Commission at somersetcountyparks.orgor on social media at https://www.facebook.com/scparksnjhttp://www.twitter.com/scparksnjand https://www.instagram.com/somerset.parks/.

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