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Bergen (NJ) Equestrian Center

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  • Bergen (NJ) Equestrian Center

    Just curious: Does anyone out there know when and if the Bergen Equestrian Center in Leonia, NJ will EVER reopen? It's been over five months since the barn was closed for renovations and NOT ONE WORD from Equestrian Services, LLC, to its clientele as to when the place will be reopening.
    "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."

  • #2
    I went by there about 3 months ago & the place had been gutted down to the girders.

    I'm hearing they might wait & see what the election next month brings as far as the freeholders.

    I can't imagine it being an affordable place to ride after all the renovations.

    I can't imagine anyone bidding on it with the crazy stuff the county wants from the bidder; no one wanted to touch it before the renovations; now I can't beleive what the county will want!

    Comment


    • #3
      Haha. They never even told most people it was closing. Why bother to say when it's reopening.

      I, too, drove past at the end of the summer (late August) and it looked like very little progress had been made. Yes, the place was gutted, but no new work had been erected and nothing had been done to the rings (drainage etc.)

      Also, the fact that they turned out all of those poor horses really irks me. It will be incredibly hard to make sure they are all brought back into work in a proper program.

      Kind of related: were are you all riding in the meantime? For all of BEC's issues it was most certainly convenient.

      Comment


      • #4
        Was in the area today so I drove down to see what it looked like.

        NOT ONE BIT OF PROGRESS SINCE I WAS THERE IN JUNE!!!

        It's a disgrace that the county displaced all those riders & horses and now has stalled on the promised new construction.

        Why not leave well enough alone.
        Maybe the facility was in need of repair; but did it NEED to be gutted?

        The Overpeck facility has been plagued with trouble since it was built in the early '70's:
        Mismanagement, theft, lawsuits you name it.

        Maybe the county has realized they've spent close to 35 years of the taxpayers money on this facility with NOTHING to show for it.

        Comment


        • #5
          A little off topic-

          I started my riding career when we lived in Bergen County, back in the early 90's. I rode at a few places, but the one I remember most was Mar-Bel Stables. Anyone know if they are still around? I'll have to see if Mom remembers where the other places were.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you are referring to the Mar-Bel stables that flanked the Nj/Ny border it is now Top of the Line.. The original barn and ring are still there but they are for schoolies only. The big barn is for the boarders. They did build an indoor but it is smallish and very crowded in the winter unless you go during the day when all the kids are in school....
            Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
            Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
            "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ivy62 View Post
              If you are referring to the Mar-Bel stables that flanked the Nj/Ny border it is now Top of the Line.. The original barn and ring are still there but they are for schoolies only. The big barn is for the boarders. They did build an indoor but it is smallish and very crowded in the winter unless you go during the day when all the kids are in school....
              I remember they had two places- the first was a big place that had an indoor but it was owned by another barn??? They moved from there when the owner died to a smaller place that was close to the train tracks I think. Small barn and ring, and a few pastures. The lesson horses I rode were named Fizzy (a fleabitten grey) and Panda (dark bay pony w/ bald face). I was only about 11 at the time, so I don't remember too much about where it was located

              Thought it was worth a try to see if anyone remembered it!

              Comment


              • #8
                Okay, I rode at Mar-bel in the 70's..when the sand ring was the only thing they had and a field with woods separated the NY and NJ border..Melly died and they sold the entire place I believe and that was the birth of Top of the Line. Then a little stable showed up with the name Mar-Bel on Pascack Road off the road and down the hill with a field in front. Was that it?
                Last edited by ivy62; Oct. 28, 2009, 08:12 PM.
                Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ivy62 View Post
                  Okay, I rode at Mar-bel in the 70's..when the sand ring wsa the only thing they had and a foeld with woods seperated the NY and NJ border..Melly died and they sold the entire place i believe and that was the birth of Top of the Line. Then a little stable showed up with the name Mar-Bel on Pascack Road off the road and down the hill with a field in front. Was that it?
                  Probably. From what I remember the place they moved had a small wooden barn- some of the lesson horses shared stalls. From the barn you walked down to the arena which from the only pic I have was 2 rail PVC fencing, and no gate at the time. There were a few smaller size pastures. I only rode at that facility a few times before they stopped lessons for the winter, and then we moved to Cali the next spring before I could start there again. I looked at the pics of Top of the Line, and It looks as if it could be the original place, and the street names sound familiar. How fun- I'd love to go back some day. It's so different in NJ than it is out here in Cali. We don't even have pastures, or the lovely trees that lined the property and would be all sorts of colors in the spring and fall!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mar-Bel Stable

                    Melly & his daughter Kathy ran Mar-Bel Stable in Montvale, NJ for over 20 years,
                    They never owned that property. After Melly passed away, about 15 years ago, Kathy moved the barn to Allendale, NJ (where the train tracks were), that peoperty is now 60 townhouses. She moved to Suffern, NY (Danny Bull's old barn), but that too is now houses. She currently runs the barn you mentioned on Pascack Rd in Nanuet, NY. Just like her dad, her barn is a place with lots of kids & great schoolies.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 111 View Post
                      Melly & his daughter Kathy ran Mar-Bel Stable in Montvale, NJ for over 20 years,
                      They never owned that property. After Melly passed away, about 15 years ago, Kathy moved the barn to Allendale, NJ (where the train tracks were), that peoperty is now 60 townhouses. She moved to Suffern, NY (Danny Bull's old barn), but that too is now houses. She currently runs the barn you mentioned on Pascack Rd in Nanuet, NY. Just like her dad, her barn is a place with lots of kids & great schoolies.
                      That's it! The timeline fits perfectly to when I was there, and the city names sound familiar. Funny how things change!!!! I learned how to w/t/c and fly over crossrails there, it was fun going to my lessons, although the winters were tough not being able to ride, but it gave the schoolies time off. Thanks guys- you've brought back some great memories!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Contract disputes over equestrian center escalating
                        Wednesday, November 18, 2009
                        BY MICHAEL GARTLAND
                        The Record
                        Staff Writer

                        The Bergen County Improvement Authority and the company it hired to manage the Overpeck Park equestrian center are deadlocked in a contract dispute that could lead to litigation, according to BCIA spokesman Keith Furlong.

                        “Over the past few weeks, there’s been some correspondence from the group that’s running the center,” Furlong said. “They don’t want to operate within the language of the contract … We’ve referred that to our attorneys to see what our position will be.”

                        The improvement authority, a quasi-governmental entity with the ability to issue bonds, hired the Virginia-based Equestrian Professionals Inc. to manage the facility in June 2008, but the two entities have clashed since then.

                        Joseph Rizzi, a lawyer for BCIA, said Wednesday that the employment contract took months to negotiate, and that since it was signed, Equestrian Professionals has requested that its management fee be doubled.

                        “We said no,” he said.

                        Rizzi noted that Equestrian Professionals recently stated its intention to fire three employees to get out of its contract with the improvement authority.

                        “They decided they were losing money,” he said. “If they don’t give us what we’re asking for, we’re prepared to sue them.”

                        Jennifer Donovan, a co-owner of the company, declined to comment Wednesday.

                        Since Equestrian Professionals took over, the county has weathered criticisms for the management of the facility, as well as excessive spending on planned renovations there.

                        Equestrian Services, a company connected with Equestrian Professionals, is a subcontractor responsible for carrying out some of those improvements. The BCIA is funding the renovations with county bonds and a $400,000 Green Acres grant from the state.

                        Customers who use the stable have questioned a proposed automatic watering system for the horses, as well as revolving tack room walls to allow riders to dress their horses themselves instead of relying on staff members.

                        Wendy Credle once boarded her horse Dream at the equestrian center, but now houses the horse at Willowcreek Stables in Montville. Credle said new management would have to be in place for her to return to Overpeck, which is only several minutes from her home.

                        She criticized Equestrian Services and its renovation designs, including stall sizes that she described as too small.

                        “It’s great that you’re going to spend all this money on horses, but if you’re going to spend all this money, why do things that don’t make sense,” she said. “It just wasn’t well thought out.”

                        Rizzi said that Equestrian Services’ improvement work on the center is essentially complete, but said he did not know exactly which improvements were made.

                        E-mail: gartland@northjersey.com
                        "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by InWhyCee Redux View Post

                          Customers who use the stable have questioned a proposed automatic watering system for the horses, as well as revolving tack room walls to allow riders to dress their horses themselves instead of relying on staff members.
                          Revolving tack room walls?!?

                          So are there still horses living on the property? If so, are they living outside?

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by MHM View Post
                            Revolving tack room walls?!?

                            So are there still horses living on the property? If so, are they living outside?
                            I have no idea what a revolving tack room wall involves. I believe they have them in the Barbie Dream Stable, though.

                            Seriously, the school horses have been turned out at a farm upstate since May. Who knows what they plan to with them over the winter, because Bergen was supposed to be re-opened six weeks ago.
                            "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, well.

                              Revolving tack room walls are an aisle side tack room wall that unlocks and the entire wall pivots on a center pin so the tack room/saddle rack side revolves to the aisle side. I think it makes sense for a busy trainer saddling and unsaddling multiple horses in a training session, but little else.
                              Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                              www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Plumcreek View Post
                                Well, well.

                                Revolving tack room walls are an aisle side tack room wall that unlocks and the entire wall pivots on a center pin so the tack room/saddle rack side revolves to the aisle side.
                                Seriously??

                                I've never even heard of such a thing.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  http://www.affordablebarns.com/ABbarnoptions.html

                                  Looks like this would take up a lot of room!
                                  & check out the price tag!
                                  $1500!!!!!
                                  No wonder they wanted to double their price!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Huh. I can honestly say I've never seen such an arrangement, and I've been in many, many, barns over the years.

                                    Unless there were places that had them, but they were never spun tack-side-out when I was there!

                                    Thanks for the link.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Plumcreek View Post
                                      Well, well.

                                      Revolving tack room walls are an aisle side tack room wall that unlocks and the entire wall pivots on a center pin so the tack room/saddle rack side revolves to the aisle side. I think it makes sense for a busy trainer saddling and unsaddling multiple horses in a training session, but little else.
                                      The idea is certainly cool, but I'm not sure it makes sense from the point of view of this facility. When BEC closed it had just under 80 stalls (76 I think), most in the main barn...If the point was to be more convenient/efficient that would mean a ridiculously long revolving tack room which from a rotational perspective would not be feasible. To me, it seems that whoever designed the building just wanted to do something new and costly. If you look on the Equestrian Services website http://www.eqsv.com/ there's an example of the revolving wall in the "Experience the Signature Video" difference. Again, it looks cool but it is unnecessary and impractical.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by rwh View Post
                                        If you look on the Equestrian Services website http://www.eqsv.com/ there's an example of the revolving wall in the "Experience the Signature Video" difference. Again, it looks cool but it is unnecessary and impractical.
                                        I love how at the moment she talks about the focus on safety, there's a girl leading a horse out of a tie stall with stirrups down!
                                        A proud friend of bar.ka.

                                        Comment

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