Somerset County and the Somerset County Park Commission have announced the creation of an advisory group to study and ensure future equine activities and programs at Lord Stirling Stable. The advisory group is made up of representatives of Stable stakeholders and equine industry experts.

“Lord Stirling Stable is an absolute jewel of the Somerset County park system, and we are committed to maintaining it for the enjoyment of our residents and guests,” said Freeholder Melonie Marano. “I look forward to hearing the results of the stakeholders and experts on the advisory group for a going forward plan rooted in cost efficient, community inclusive programming.”

The advisory group will be tasked initially with developing a strategic business plan that will identify necessary and desired programs for the future of the Stable and a comprehensive financial road map for the future.        

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Current activities and programs at the Stable will continue as they have throughout 2020, though at the reduced level necessitated by the COVID pandemic and executive orders from the state government. These include the boarding of horses, horse activity including use of the outdoor rings and riding along trails, regular organized dog walks, and more.

“Our goal is for every one of our parks to be a welcoming place for all Somerset County residents and guests to share in the beauty of nature and to have health and educational recreational opportunities,” said Park Commission Director Geoffrey Soriano. “Lord Stirling Stables is a vital component to reaching that goal, and we will work hard with the County to ensure its continued active service.”

Lord Stirling Park, on the western portion of the Great Swamp, has been designated solely for environmental and equestrian activities. The 429-acre Astor property that forms the foundation of the Stable Basin was purchased by the Somerset County Park Commission on Dec. 21, 1967 to fulfill the Park Commission Master Plan designating that a riding stable be built in the northern part of Somerset County. Lord Stirling Stable opened in the spring of 1969 with 30 horses.

The facilities on the 450 acres of Lord Stirling Stable consist of the main barn and office building, a viewing area overlooking the 80’ x 240’ indoor ring, a pony party pavilion, maintenance areas, and three outdoor rings -- a Dressage Ring, a round ring, and a stadium jumping ring. There are also 14 miles of well-maintained equestrian trails that weave through fields and woods.

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