New Aspinwall Stable to get first showing

FROM THE JAN. 11, 1958, EAGLE

BY STUART C. A UERBACH LENOX — Aspinwall Stable will show tomorrow to New England horsemen its newly completed riding hall, first of its kind in the Berkshires. Owners Donald P. Cande and R. King O’Donnel l plan to hold a public open house later.

Aspinwall Stable consists of the combined facilities of Coakley’s Riding School, owned by Mr. Cande, and Birch-Hill Stable in Hinsdale, owned by Mr. O’Donnell. The riding hall is built on the grounds of Coakley’s Riding School on the Pittsfield-Lenox Road.

With the new riding hall, which has 9,600 square feet of riding area, the owners believe they can train any kind of horse. The ring can handle jumpers, race horses, harness horses or equitation-class horses.

Attached to the riding hall are 20 box stalls for the boarding of horses. A lounge, with picture windows overlooking the ring, is set above the box-stall area.

According to Mr. Cande, the addition of the riding hall makes Aspinwall “the largest commercial stable in New England.” He says that Aspinwall is the only stable able to offer indoor facilities along with over 40 miles of woodland trails in town-owned Aspinwall Park, directly behind the stable’s land.

The new riding hall means that Aspinwall will be able to continue its riding school all year long. On Saturdays the stable holds an all-day class for children. Previously, the Saturday classes were discontinued during the winter.

During the summer, the two stables cater to a total of 12 camps. With the new facilities, Aspinwall Stable is starting an evening class for adults. The first class will be held Tuesday from 7:30 to 8:30p.m. The owners hope to run the class every night.

The inside ring of the new building is within a rectangle which measures 80 by 120 feet. The outside track is one-sixteenth of a mile long. Mr. O’Donnell says that eight jumps can be put into the ring.

It took 90 tons of sand, packed a depth of about six inches, to form the floor of the ring. The sand was poured over a gravel base. The sand forms the proper flooring for the working horses, Mr. Cande explains.

Tomorrow, Mr. Cande said, an exhibition by four girls who ride Aspinwall Stable horses in shows will demonstrate the versatility of the hall. The girls are Miss Nancy O’Donnell of Hinsdale, Mr. O’Donnell’s daughter; Miss Patricia Gilroy of Stockbridge; Miss Jean Brewer of Dalton and Miss Susan Breit of Becket. Miss Brewer will be show agent for the stable on the summer circuit of horse shows, Mr. O’Donnell said.