BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Lord Stirling Stable in Basking Ridge, where many area equestrians have for decades taken riding lessons, has been selected as a "Gold Medal Horse Farm" by the New Jersey Equine Environmental Stewardship Program (NJEESP). The Somerset County-owned stable is one of only four horse farms in the state to ever earn such recognition.

The statewide Gold Medal Horse Farm program and award recognizes equine farms as outstanding based on their management practices; stewardship of the land; the health, safety, and well-being of the horses; programming; and dedication to environmental sustainability.

The NJEESP is a joint project of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University (NJAES), the Rutgers Equine Science Center, and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA). 

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The program also recognizes the efforts of the New Jersey equine industry to maintain the natural beauty in the Garden State.

Lord Stirling Stable is located at 256 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge, on the site of the former John Jacob Astor estate within the Great Swamp Watershed. The stable was established in 1968, 

Stable staff credited with working hard to 'take proper care of horses,' and more

“Stable staff works very hard to ensure that we take proper care of our horses, protect our land, and provide a rewarding riding experience for our guests,” said Stable Manager Marge Margentino. “The Gold Medal Award is a tribute to their efforts.”


 
The stable is home to 80 horses and ponies. It receives the support of Friends of Lord Stirling Stable, and serves the recreational equestrian needs of Somerset County, as well as riders from nearby counties through offering lessons and other equestrian programs. Lord Stirling also hosts other seasonal events and weekly dog walks to give nonequestrians access to trails.
 
The award recognizes such accomplishments as Lord Stirling Stable's new Nutrient Management plan developed to benefit the stable and the entire park system, according to the Somerset County Park Commission. The on-site composting facility transforms manure and stable waste into an organic, nutrient-rich material which is used to fertilize the pastures and plants at all Somerset County Park locations.
 
Additional environmentally sustainable management practices include non-chemical control of weeds, dragging pastures to break up manure, pasture renovation, and daily removal of manure from smaller paddocks and turnouts. 
 
Lord Stirling Stable joins Woodhollow Farm (2014), D’Arrigo Racing Stable LLC (2013) and Showplace Farms (2012) as having achieved recognition as the state’s only Gold Medal Horse Farms. 
 
The award presentation was scheduled for November 12 at Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick.
 
Information on all Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found online at www.somersetcountyparks.org, and also on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Pictured exploring the pastures and trails at Lord Stirling Stable are Karyn Malinowski, Specialist in Equine Science at the New Jersey Experiment Station at Rutgers University, left;  Stable Manager Marge Margentino, center; and Kyle Hartman, right, of the Rutgers Equine Science Center.