World Champion driver Suzy Stafford is proud to announce the upcoming purchase and development of a picturesque new equestrian property in southern New Jersey, which will provide a long-awaited permanent base of operations for the popular trainer as she competes up and down the East Coast and spends winter months in Ocala, Fla. And this new farm announcement goes hand-in-hand with another reason to celebrate: Stafford is recently engaged to her long-time partner John Young, and the two will marry next spring.
"I have been leasing property for my training business for over ten years, and now it just makes sense to put the business property and our residence together," Stafford explained. "John and I wanted to find a place that we were both happy with, because he works in the city and I of course need to be in a more rural setting for the horses. So this farm has the best of both worlds: it's in an equestrian-friendly region and is a quiet location on a dead end road with good soil; but it's also convenient to Philadelphia, an easy commute for John, and close to restaurants, shopping and airports. So we're both looking forward to enjoying the new property and all the area has to offer."
While the 20-acre farm in Franklinville, N.J. currently has a house and outbuildings, Stafford will have the luxury of developing the remainder of the property. This will include construction on a custom 10-stall barn with wash stall, tack room and restroom, as well as building individual and group turnout paddocks; a round pen; grass arenas for dressage and cones; several marathon obstacles; a training hill; and wooded trails. A cabin will be available for clients for short or long-term stays, as well as a seminar room for educational presentations. With all of these amenities, Stafford will be able to continue all of her current services such as lessons, clinics, young horse training, show preparation, breed show driving, combined driving competition and keuring/IBOP prep, as well as expand in exciting new directions in the near future.
"I am so excited to be able to design the facility based entirely on the horses' comfort and client needs," noted Stafford. "We are expecting construction to be completed late this summer, so for the time being I am up and running in a temporary facility on 100 acres just five miles from the new property. It is easily able to accommodate all of my current training needs while we manage the development of our own farm, and also allows me to be able to schedule some clinics and schooling events throughout the summer, which we will look forward to continuing at the new location.
"I never take it for granted that I am so lucky to be able to do what I love for a living with wonderful clients and my amazing fiancé, and this new farm and our marriage is just a continuation of building our dream together," Stafford concluded. "We are both looking forward to this new chapter in our lives and can't wait to get started."
To learn more about Stafford Carriage Driving, visit our website