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Monday, July 15, 2024


Hidden Valley Ranch Barn Roof Collapses


By Jack Fichter

COLD SPRING — During the Feb. 6 blizzard, a section of roof collapsed on a barn that houses 30 horses at Hidden Valley Ranch.
No horses were injured. The collapse was blamed on the weight of snow, which was wet and heavy.
Hidden Valley Ranch Farm manager Nancy Hall said the back part of the main barn collapsed and another older barn was ruined. She and her daughter Angie Dickenson were standing in the barn as the roof fell, she said.
“We ran in and got the horses out,” said Hall.
Part of the barn needs to be reconstructed or eliminated.
“We have a lot of barn that’s down,” she said.
They are considering making the barn smaller and installing a new roof.
Hall said the structural integrity of the barn needs to be determined.
Makeshift shelter was put up Monday night to get the horses out of the rain. The horses had to spend the second blizzard outside after the roof collapsed.
The horse population at Hidden Valley includes retired steeds, former racehorses rescued from slaughter, ponies and horses boarded at the facility.
The non-profit Hidden Valley Ranch will hold two fundraisers to raise money for a barn roof.
The ranch was sold to the state for the farmland preservation program and leased to the organization. Those who board horses at Hidden Valley banded together to form a non-profit organization to keep affordable stables for the average horse owner, said Hall.
The ranch offers riding lessons and a summer day camp for children.
“We came into this 20 years ago knowing that everything was old and we weren’t making enough money to do a lot of repairs,” said Hall. “I wasn’t expecting this much.”
The ranch’s mission is to further equestrian sport in the area, she said.
A beef and beer fundraiser to pay for a new roof will be held at Cape May VFW, March 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. A second fundraiser will be held at Oyster Bay Restaurant in Cape May on March 21 at 6 p.m. The dinner will be $100 per plate.
Donations may be sent to: C.M.E.A. (Cape May Equestrian Association) 4072 Bayshore Road, Cape May, NJ 08204.

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