UNION COUNTY – Good news for the county’s equestrians. The Watchung Stable, the county’s public riding facility, is getting a major renovation and expansion. The project includes a new indoor riding ring making year-round use of the stable possible, while bringing in additional revenue.
The main features of the new project are:
Construction of an energy-efficient indoor ring that requires no heating in winter
Renovation/construction of three outdoor riding rings and six paddocks
New surfaces, fencing, and landscaping throughout
Installation of new barn doors to save energy and prevent heat loss in winter
The $2.3 million contract was awarded to JC Landscape Construction & Management Co., Inc. of Pequannock. Construction will begin this month and progress in phases over the next 18 months. The stable is expected to continue normal operations while construction is under way.
“The dream of year-round riding at Watchung Stable has been percolating for almost 30 years, and now we have the opportunity to open up this unique sport to more County residents,” said Freeholder Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh. “Horseback riding teaches valuable life lessons, and on behalf of the Freeholder Board we are proud to preserve and improve this longstanding Union County tradition.”
Watchung Stable is located in the Watchung Reservation, on Summit Lane in Mountainside. Currently the facility has no indoor riding ring, limiting its use to seasonable weather from April 1 to November 1. The stable also offers classes and programs for adults and casual riders, activities for non-riders, and boarding services for privately owned horses.
Watchung Stable has been a fixture in Union County since the origin of the County Parks system in 1925. Along with golf, tennis, swimming and other facilities in county parks, It was established to provide all county residents with access to a popular activity that would otherwise require membership in private clubs and riding facilities.