A ‘path’ to safety

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Prospect Park’s bridle path got some much-needed grooming on Tuesday — a long-overdue Band-Aid for what some horse owners say is an equine booby trap.

As The Brooklyn Paper reported last month, the eroded, rocky paths have caused severe injuries to horses housed in the Kensington Stable.

So this week, volunteers raked new gravel along a third of the pathway connecting an exercise paddock near the park’s southwestern entrance to the stables, the only remaining horse barn in Brownstone Brooklyn.

The Park Alliance, the stables, Goldman Sachs, and GALLOP, a horse-therapy group, ponied up the cash for supplies.

“It’s a good temporary effort,” said Walker Blankenship, president of Kensington Stables. “But we’ll have a better idea of how effective the work was when it rains again.”

A full repair of the three-and-a-half-mile bridle path is prohibitively expensive, according to the Prospect Park Alliance, which typically shovels fresh ash onto the pathway when rainstorms wash out the surface and reveal large, fetlock-harming boulders.

“Someone would have to win the mega-millions to pay for [a truly effective drainage system],” Blankenship said.

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Reader Feedback

Brooklyn Filly from Park Slope says:
Woah there! Last I checked, Jamaica Bay Riding Academy is still operating, offering lessons and trail riders, and is still in Brooklyn, which means that Kensington Stables isn't "the only remaining horse barn in Brooklyn."

Prospect Park's trails are terribly rutted and a hazard to the horses, but most of the injuries described in the NY Times article ( are "par for the horse" anywhere on Long Island, which is located on a glacial moraine.

Due to the rocks and sand left by the leading edge of the southernmost glacier during the last ice age, drainage is virtually impossible to solve. Trails in Long Island and NYC need routine maintenance, not a prohibitively expensive drainage plan-- this week's effort was an excellent start.
July 31, 2008, 5:19 am
horseless carriage from windsor terrace says:
Gee, how about cleaning up the rest of the park, instead of the part that 10 people (and one for-profit business) use?
July 31, 2008, 7:57 pm

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