VIDEO-Galloping Ahead: Copper Hill Stables with Happy Tails Therapeutic Riding, Raise the Equestrian Stakes, Drawing on the Roots of Historic Colts Neck
COLTS NECK, NJ: There is something exquisitely grand happening in Colts Neck, on County Road 537, situated across the street from Due Process Golf Course. The construction has brought curiosity to many driving by watching the century-old equestrian property’s transformation over the last two years. What has emerged is a custom built, state of the art, no detail left behind, equestrian center with a 30-stall horse barn, attached indoor riding arena, outdoor arena, grand prix field, horse paddocks, an oversized gazebo, outdoor seating,...and so much more. The grand arched double doorway to the stables sets the stage for something special.
The new facility, taking the name of an existing equestrian program; Copper Hill Stables is raising the modern equestrian landscape, at the same time integrating the old with the new. For example the new glass trophy case at the cedar wood entrance of the new facility, will be made using the doors from the previous barn on the property. The unearthing of 'horse country' traditions of Colts Neck, are unfolding with plans to bring back the Grand Prix in the spring, and Hunter Derby in the fall. Both of those events are deeply rooted in the community, a town named for its equestrian history, its logo the visage of a colt.
Colts Neck residents Karen and Greg Matzel are the property owners and the investors at the new site. The dream, now a reality, is the vision of Colts Neck's Lauren Sgroi who comments, "I am so thankful to the Matzel's for believing in my dream and investing in my business plan. Bringing our existing successful Copper Hill Stables program to our new facility combined with our Happy Tails Therapeutic Riding program, is going to enable us to meet the growing demands of our customers and we will be able to implement so many new programs and events. The new equestrian facility brings the hunter, jumper and therapeutic riding communities together."
Very soon, slated for mid to late July, there will be an opening, a grand one for the business community and clients, and appointments will be taken for tours. In the meantime, you can take a video tour of Copper Hill Stables, right here with TAPinto Colts Neck. You will hear from two local tenacious Colts Neck businesswomen; Lauren Sgroi and Tara Moore. They are the brains, grit, passion, heart and soul behind this one of a kind equestrian facility.
Sgroi is the Founder, Owner and Head Trainer of Copper Hill Stables, an equestrian training program with seven years of success. Moore is a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and the Program Director of Happy Tails Therapeutic Riding, which Sgroi founded in 2010. Both women are bringing their experience and dynamic programs to the new Copper Hill Stables facility. Click the video link below to take an amazing tour of the new equestrian facility with Sgroi and Moore.
VIDEO: Take a tour with Lauren Sgroi and Tara Moore of the new location of Copper Hill Stables:
Copper Hill Stables is currently taking on new boarders and riders interested in developing their skills in the horse show ring with head trainer Sgroi, and assistant trainers and barn managers; Tess Davis and Alyssa Perez. After moving both programs into the new facility site, they plan to host horse shows and derby's of their own in the beautifully designed grand prix field. It will serve as the home base for the Ranney School club horse show team.
As Colts Neck’s only therapeutic riding center, Happy Tails Therapeutic Riding has shared a nearby building facility with Copper Hill, since it was founded. The Happy Tails program enriches the lives of individuals with special needs, teaching private mounted riding lessons, and unmounted horsemanship lessons to those with physical and cognitive challenges. Amy Dime has a daughter in the Happy Tails program and comments, "Happy Tails has been amazing for our daughter Jordan who has cerebral palsy. Through working with Tara Moore and the amazing staff, she has been able to build up her core strength, learn patience, and has gained tremendous confidence and is in love with horseback riding. It has been difficult to get Jordan into physical activities because of her CP, but thanks to Happy Tails she is able to do this outdoor physical activity that she loves. We are so grateful that we found this wonderful program."
Moore comments, "Volunteers are so impactful to our Happy Tails programs. We truly could not run our day to day lessons or school programs without the help of committed volunteers, and we offer volunteer training sessions for those who want to join our team, but do not yet have horse experience. That is what really brings Happy Tails and Copper Hill together as a team, as many Copper Hill riders become Happy Tails volunteers."
Take a look at the outdoor arena at Copper Hill Stables, click the video link below.
VIDEO: Owner and Founder of Copper Hill Stables, Lauren Sgroi speaks about the outdoor arena and surrounding property.
Moore comments, "Copper Hill Stables and Happy Tails is excited to grow into the new facility, and we have already expanded program offerings, which have recently included group trips with non-profit Lunch Break of Red Bank, Monmouth County Vocational School, and West Long Branch School. They will continue to share the main barn, while plans develop to construct a barn and indoor facility of their own on the property."
The new property will give them plenty of room to offer a wide variety of one on one, group, vocational and co-op programs for children, teens, adults and seniors. When Sgroi was asked who has inspired her in her life as a role model, she quickly commented, "My friend Carol Stillwell is the owner of Stillwell Stables in Colts Neck. There was a time when she let me board some of our horses at her stables and I would share my business ideas with her. She would always encourage me and tell me that I could turn my dream into reality. I was confident in my plans and her believing in me gave me more confidence. I will always be thankful to her for believing in my ideas."
TAPinto Colts Neck spoke with Carol Stillwell about Sgroi. Stillwell commented, "I was inspired by Lauren because she touched my heart through her work with special needs children and equestrian therapy. She wanted to build her business further and I saw how she was dedicated to her dream. I witnessed her investment of time, emotion and her philosophical belief of giving back to the community and helping others at a young age. All of that made me totally believe in her ability to succeed and I shared with her that she has what it takes." Fast forward in time and most likely Sgroi will soon be hosting Stillwell at the Grand Opening of Copper Hill Stables, where all can witness a real women in business story come full circle.
The Mayor of Colts Neck, Tom Orgo would also like to comment on Lauren Sgrois. After all, she's his daughter. "Lauren is a very strong woman, and has always been that way. She started riding horses at age 3 1/2 and she's been going ever since. She is a smart businesswoman who is focused and when she sets a goal, that's it, she will achieve that goal. I'm so proud of her and all that she has accomplished. She will bring the same success to her new project that she has brought to Happy Tails and Copper Hill."
The 45 acre farm's entrance is met with the property's historic home dating back to 1910. It's now the new home to Sgroi and her husband. The attractive wooden plank floors in the main part of the house tell a story of over 100 years of living. Sgroi has breathed new life into the old farmhouse, working to restore the home she has quickly grown to love. She went antiquing in Saratoga recently. She decorated the living room with the Kentucky Derby 'Run for the Roses' theme. She is filling the room with antiques including a few great finds at an estate sale at that visit. It included a sofa from 1920 and a queen chair from the 1930's. She even has a curio cabinet displaying her full collection of Kentucky Derby glasses that were passed down to her by her mother's friend. The views of Copper Hill Stables from the farmhouse windows are breathtaking. While Sgroi is walking around the home she often expresses, "I love this house." It seems a perfect match was made as a whole new generation of memories begin to be made on the property.