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This petition had 4,006 supporters


The Somerset County Park Commission’s Lord Stirling Stable (LSS) has been a unique and much-loved community resource for thousands of riders and horse lovers for over 50 years. It not only provides access to horse riding lessons at a reasonable cost to County and out-of-county residents—allowing many the opportunity to experience horseback riding for the very first time—it also provides trail rides, hunter paces, horse care workshops, horse shows, pony parties, summer camps and therapeutic riding for every level rider. Generations of LSS riders have formed intense bonds with the beloved lesson horses, their incredibly skilled instructors and the wonderful stable staff and LSS employees.  It is so much more than just a riding stable to County residents and the ridership—it is their home. 

In April 2020, in compliance with Covid-19 NJ governmental shutdown orders, the Somerset County Park Commission closed its’ parks, including LSS. The Park Commission made the decision to cancel all LSS programming and lessons, and, they shuttered the stables for the remainder of the 2020 based on financial difficulties, since the County’s golf courses, also closed by Covid-19, would not be able to cover the budget shortfalls of the stables, as has been past practice in order to keep the stables an affordable and accessible County run facility for all riders. Over 50 beloved lesson horses were sold off and are gone, many others were lovingly rehomed and only private board horses and a handful of LSS horses and ponies remain at LSS. Many wonderful LSS employees have lost their jobs.

Sadly, and of great concern to riders and the local neighboring communities, we do not know what the future holds for LSS.  While many other Somerset County parks have reopened to the public in some capacity, Lord Stirling Stables is the exception and remains completely shuttered for all of 2020.  As of right now, the Somerset County Park Commission has not formally committed to reopening Lord Stirling Stables in 2021. It is entirely possible that we could lose this County treasure forever – please do not let that happen!  We do not want a privatized barn – it would price too many new and current riders out of horse riding and maintaining publicly run programs ensures the taxes spent can be better controlled and that tax investment stays within the county and community, especially through employing local workers and students. Please sign the petition to SAVE LORD STIRLING STABLES and let the Somerset County Park Commissioners know that we want to see Lord Stirling Stables reopen in 2021 as a public, community stable.  It would be incomprehensible to lose LSS as we know it forever.  It is also unreasonable to expect every County, taxpayer owned park to turn a profit—that is not their purpose. The Park Commission has allowed Lord Stirling Stables to continue to operate for 50 years as a public, county stable and as resident taxpayers of Somerset County and as present and former riders and horse lovers – please tell them that they must keep Lord Stirling Stables open as a public stable for the next 50 years!

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