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Chateau Stables is one of only four fully-functional horse stables in New York City, including the Clinton Park Horse Stables where the Central Park horses are kept. Located in midtown Manhattan, Chateau Stables has the distinction of being the smallest and oldest of the four remaining horse stables in the city. Opened in 1967 and still run by the McGill family, the stable has provided horses for weddings, funerals, birthdays, proms, film and television. Last weekend, we hung out with the New York Adventure Club, and took a rare tour of the stable, meeting and feeding the dozen horses and ponies (and one donkey) housed inside the stable. As we were brought into the main office, we noticed a photograph of The Beatles during their first historic trip to NYC, riding on a Chateau Stables carriage to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. 

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The stables’ second generation owner grew up in the stables formerly handled by her folks. A decade ago, she suffered a mild stroke and through the hospitalization and rehabilitation, all she could think about was returning to the place that made her feel safe and at home–the stables, with the animals she helped take care of since her youth. The family owns both this small stable in the middle of Manhattan and a warehouse in New Jersey where they house the various carriages they have collected over the years.

While there has been much controversy over the proposal to rid Central Park its horse carriages, the owners of Chateau Stables made no mention of it. Unlike the Central Park horses, the horses here provide for people who want to make their wedding unique or to feel like John Wayne for a few seconds. The future is unpredictable, but the emotional impact of seeing a family business like this one disappear is very much certain.

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Don’t ride off just yet, as this isn’t the first stable we have covered, we also went behind the scenes at the Clinton Park Horse Stables a few months back. And for a bygone horse and carriage era, check out these fake and authentic mews in NYC.

He is ready to ride off to the sunset, but he needs a few more people to make up his posse. Contact the author @ChrisLInoa

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