MILLSTONE - The owners of Showplace Farms in Millstone have announced they will be shutting down their training and therapy facility for standardbred horses this fall.
The facility was being used to train harness racing horses. Andy Federico, one of the horse trainers, says that he and the other trainers felt blindsided by the news.
"Everyone is panicking," he says. "October supposedly we're done. Electric and water will be shut."
The owners blame fewer horses racing and a poor economic climate in New Jersey for harness racing as the reason the facility will be closed.
Many of the trainers at the location tell News 12 New Jersey that they are now trying to move their horses to other farms in the state. Some say they are prepared to move their horses out of New Jersey if it comes to it.
Local businesses like Aqua Soft Incorporated say that the closure will affect them too. The company softens the water for the more than 400 horses.
The president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey says businesses like Showplace have "fallen on hard times, competing against the casino-fueled purses in surrounding states."