Stonewall Stables in Nobleboro, which was at risk of foreclosure, has been purchased by a Bristol family who feels a deep connection to the stables and wants to see the business thrive.
Chrissy Bradley – who has worked at the stables for five years – and her husband, Ross Bradley, who owns Uprising Solar in Bristol, purchased the stables at 237 West Neck Road in Nobleboro and the surrounding farm.
The purchase closed Nov. 14, after Chrissy Bradley and the previous owner, Virginia Shaw, spent months unsuccessfully looking for another buyer.
“This was kind of a hard sell to my husband,” Bradley said. Her son had been riding at the stables for five years, and she did not want to see the business go under.
“I just didn’t want him to not be able to do it,” she said. “That was a huge part of why I wanted to find a buyer.”
The Bradley family decided to change the name of the farm but keep the name of the stables. The business is now formally known as Stonewall Stables at the West Neck Farm.
“This place is just known as Stonewall, and it’s hard to change the name of a business,” Chrissy Bradley said.
The couple bought it from Shaw, who still works as a trainer at the stables.
“We’re really lucky that she wanted to continue teaching here,” Bradley said. “She’s a really great trainer. She’s one of the best in the state.”
Even before the closing, Bradley and many others at the stables were working on making improvements. One of the improvements was to introduce heated water buckets so the horses’ drinking water wouldn’t freeze.
In addition to making improvements to the stables, the Bradley family renovated the two homes on the property. One of the homes is currently rented by Shaw’s father.
Renovations on the other home, which is visible from the street, were recently completed. The Bradleys plan to rent it out soon.
Bradley said there are many more improvements the family wants to make. She also wanted to thank those that have helped with the changes so far.
“We appreciate all the help and support we’ve received from our friends and family,” she said. “This is an incredible opportunity for my husband, myself, and our boys.”
The stables are run entirely by women, with the exception of Ross Bradley, who does handyman work around the property. The employees take care of horses boarded at the stables, offer lessons, and coach teams that compete in outside events. The lessons, either group or private, are open to individuals of any age.
Stonewall offers horse boarding, but is currently at capacity with 16. The stable also has three horses of various breeds available for lease to riders who do not have their own.
Stonewall is also home base for the Midcoast Maine equestrian team, which competes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Stonewall will host an association show Saturday, Dec. 30 at 8 a.m. The public is invited. The next day, Sunday, Dec. 31, the business will hold a riding clinic taught by an outside trainer, with slots for the clinic opening at 9 a.m.
For more information about Stonewall Stables, call 563-1555 or see the business’s Facebook page.