Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club hosted a groundbreaking event to celebrate the progress of a comprehensive redevelopment project that will transform this historic equestrian facility into one of the areas’ most family friendly athletic clubs in Fairfield County.
Pictured here with shovels in their hands from L. to R. are Alison Potter from New Canaan, director of operations and founding member at Ox Ridge; Suzanne McGraw from Darien, president of Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and founding member at Ox Ridge; Flavia Callari from Wilton, business manager and founding member at Ox Ridge, and Richard Colligan from Wilton, president and founding member at Ox Ridge. (photography: Kimberly Kelly from Kimberly Lynn Photography/contributed photo)
DARIEN, CT - More than 100 people attended a groundbreaking event at Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club on Sunday to celebrate the progress of a comprehensive transformation that recently began on the 104-year-old property and club. Long recognized for training award-winning equestrian champions, the club is being remodeled for today’s active family.
Expected to be completed by spring 2019, the $11.5 million construction project will bring a mix of sporting activities, including singles and doubles squash, riding, platform tennis and fully equipped fitness center, as well as a new 18,000 sq. ft. clubhouse. Once completed, Ox Ridge will be a one-of-a-kind club in the heart of Fairfield County offering athletic families a mix of sports and socializing in a casual and family friendly environment. The property remains open during construction with the majority of its riding facilities and services fully operational.
The club is building new indoor and outdoor riding rings, and has fully renovated its existing 60-horse stable complex with its adjacent 12 grass paddocks. Its new clubhouse will include eight squash courts, pro shop, fitness facility with locker rooms, and exercise classrooms. A reimagined pub and grillroom are also planned in the clubhouse. Platform tennis will also be part of the members’ facilities.
Since construction began in July, the design/build team of KBE Building Corp. and BL Companies has completed all demolition on the property, including the old indoor and outdoor riding rings, and proceeded with phased footing installation for the new clubhouse. And all site work is completed including erosion control. The next phase of construction involves bringing underground utilities onto the property, including electric and plumbing.
“For more than 104 years, the Town of Darien has been the home to the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, a world-class equestrian facility in the heart of our bucolic community. Whether you are an equestrian enthusiast or not, the club is a local treasure,” said First Selectman Jayme Stevenson. “We are very excited about the club’s redevelopment project that will update its equestrian facilities, add squash, paddle tennis, fitness activities and a new clubhouse to their membership offerings. Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club will be an ideal venue for the highly anticipated June Horse Show as well as special events throughout the year. As an adjacent property owner, the Town of Darien looks forward to many future community event collaborations with the Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club!”
“With six singles and two doubles squash courts as a foundation, Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club is building one of the strongest squash programs in the region. Junior development is a major focus of our club, both for racquet sports and riding. Our lesson programs and clinics are structured to take a player or rider as far as they aspire,” said Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club President Richard Colligan.
“We are already there with our longstanding riding programs. Squash and paddle are next. US Squash-sanctioned tournaments for aspiring juniors, league matches, tourneys and ProAms for seasoned players, are all in the works,” added Colligan. “We hosted this special event to officially signal the beginning of the next chapter in the storied history is this iconic club.”
“This expansion of the Ox Ridge facility will create a truly unique resource in the community,” said Mike Kolakowski, president & CEO of KBE Building Corp. “We’re transforming a 104-year-old equestrian center into a top-notch squash and racquet center that still honors its equestrian heritage but offers so much more. From a construction standpoint, it’s a great project, as we are building several different sporting facilities and a brand-new clubhouse in a very striking country setting.”
Established in 1914, Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club is located on a 22-acre sweep of land between Mansfield and Middlesex roads in Darien, Conn. When completed, the club will offer a combination of equestrian, squash and platform tennis, and a fully equipped fitness center. With new state-of-the-art facilities, fully upgraded equestrian arenas and top-tier professionals to manage junior development and competitions in riding and racquet sports, Ox Ridge will be among the most desirable membership clubs in Fairfield County.
The club is located at 512 Middlesex Rd. in Darien, Conn. For additional information on membership, please call 203.655.2559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter and Instagram.