Edited Press Release
Set on one of Southwest Florida’s most picturesque spots, TerraNova Equestrian Center in Myakka City provides a beautiful setting for all levels in a range of equestrian disciplines. The world-class facility plays host to top international, national, and regional competitions in a family friendly atmosphere with spectacular amenities.
Opened in 2020, TerraNova is a family passion project and the result of the vision and hard work of Hannah Herrig Ketelboeter, her husband Zach, and her parents Steve and Natalee Herrig. The Ketelboeters had been dedicated equestrian competitors for years and wanted to create a top-of the-line equestrian training and event center.
The original phase of the 225-acre property included 24 custom stalls from Blackwood Equestrian Stalls. For equestrian centers and horse enthusiasts who use their barn as a showcase space, the Ronks, PA–based company offers bespoke stalls, dividers, windows and entrance gates that are built to not only withstand the rigors of equestrian life but to make a lasting impression.
“When it comes to quality horse stalls, all welds are not created equal,” says Wes Rathman, Blackwood project manager. “So many gates out there have rough welds either visible under the coating or even exposed to the elements. This can lead to bleed through and rust, especially in a coastal climate.” Blackwood welders, who are D1.1 structural welding certified, ensure that all seams are welded, blended, and then polished to a #1 finish with no visible connection points.
Whether the design calls for a reflective metal or matte finish, Blackwood components are smooth and sturdy.
This attention to detail and quality work made it an easy decision for the TerraNova owners to bring Blackwood back to the table when the facility began work on a second expanded phase. The project includes two new luxurious competition barns, each outfitted with high ceilings for cooling airflow, as well as a speaker system and TVs in each aisle. The intent is to create a space that feels like home and provides the best experience possible for horses and humans alike. With 135 stalls in each of the two barns, the project includes a total of 270 stalls that include quality stall fronts, sliding doors, and windows from Blackwood.
In addition to the new barns, the TerraNova expansion also includes a pavilion with an open-air roof and booths for judges and announcers. The pavilion and barns were completed in October 2022 followed by a new show office with an inviting lobby and office space.
TerraNova represents the largest and most prestigious project to date for Blackwood. When it comes to high-end stall solutions, the company offers something new to the equestrian market.
“People building a million-dollar-plus horse barn want the stalls to reflect the overall quality and craftsmanship,” says Scott Trump, general manager at Blackwood Equestrian Stalls. “But until now, the choices in the market were either custom designs that were exorbitantly priced or prefabricated horse stall kits that required the stall to be built around the door front. We recognized this gap in the market and had the expertise on hand to provide a range of high-end standard to semi-custom and custom solutions.”
The Blackwood fabrication process begins where it should — with the owner’s desires for horse comfort and security. Horse height impacts stall size, door height, and gate style, for example, as well as the aisle width. Stall partitions and partially open steel bar or wood slat tops allow more than just increased airflow. Horses can see their stablemates, providing socialization and alleviating boredom. Yet, for some temperaments or for a quieter space option, solid partitions can play a role. “Nobody knows your horses better than you do, so we pay close attention to the details that the owner and designer have in mind for horse comfort and stall aesthetics,” says Rathman.
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