STONE TAVERN, N.J. — The Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern, Inc. officially dedicated the Gwen Stableford Winners Circle on Oct. 28.
The Winners Circle is located in the paddock area of the park, between the east and west show rings. Work on the area was completed earlier this year and exhibitors have been using it for photos.
While it will give winners a nice place to take a photo, it will also serve as a lasting legacy to a much beloved horsewoman, in and out of the show ring. Gwen Stableford, of Summit, died on June 16, 2014 at the age of 96.
A fun show was held the same day as the dedication and exhibitors were putting the winners circle to good use.
According to her obituary: Stableford was an avid horsewoman and international traveler, known for her financial acumen, which resulted in her serving as treasurer for the New Jersey Horse Council, American Saddlebred Horse Association of New Jersey and the Middlesex Horse Show for decades. For Stableford, her love of horses came at the age of four when she was put on her first horse. That love of horses and her commitment to the state’s equine industry led to her being named the 2007 New Jersey Horseperson of the Year.
Stableford showed and won with her American Saddlebreds and Hackney ponies all over the country and was founder of the American Saddlebred Horse Association of New Jersey in 1968. She also represented the American Saddlebred Horse Association of New Jersey on the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board. She was also a member of the United States Equestrian Federation, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the American Hackney Horse Society and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association.
She showed her Hackney ponies, WC Ali and WC Heartland Elegant Touch. She showed WC Ali for 10 years and won many regional and national titles among which was being named four times USEF National Pleasure Driving Pony of the year. Upon Ali’s retirement, Stableford purchased WC Heartland Elegant Touch who went on to win the World Championship Jr. Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony title and more recently, USEF National Harness Pony of the Year, two times.
In January of 2013, the ASHA of NJ honored Stableford, for her 33 years of dedicated, unprecedented service as treasurer of the association, an engraved tile in her honor which was installed on the American Saddlebred Museum Walk of Honor in Lexington, Ky. as a lasting gift.
The American Hackney Horse Society also created the Gwen Stableford Lifetime Achievement Award in her honor.
Stableford was also a major supporter of The Rutgers Equine Science Center which created an endowment in her name.
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