North Grove Equestrian Park
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
Written by Shanna Flaschka | Photographed by Joe Worthem
A bucolic property east of Oxford is designed for equestrian events and also serves as a beautiful venue for private functions.
In March, David Misenhalter opened North Grove Equestrian Park after an 18-month development process, and it’s worth the drive to visit. More than just a place for horse lovers to board their animals, train and ride, it will also host competitions as well as private events such as weddings and parties.
Misenhalter’s love of horses was forged from a unique place: an officer with the Oxford Police Department, he is in charge of the department’s mounted unit.
“I started riding on the unit in 2011,” Misenhalter said. “After a few years, I was appointed responsibility in managing the horses and patrol operations of the unit. I passed instructor certification in 2015 via National Mounted Training and Tactics.”
It was that work with OPD’s mounted unit that turned Misenhalter into a true horse aficionado.
“My interest in horses began with patrol duty and seeing what they are capable of,” he said. “It is a very rewarding experience.”
Misenhalter said he saw a need in the Oxford community for a place like North Grove.
“(It was) based on the demand for a commercial-level show venue,” Misenhalter said. “We discovered that there are a lot of horse owners who board out of town, as well as (university) students who don’t bring their horses to school. Our goal is to bring quality trainers from around the country to this area so that our clients will have access to them.”
There is certainly the space for them. In addition to the 20 stalls and outdoor run available for customers who board, North Grove features a clubhouse, a large stadium arena, riding trails along the 156-acre property and a lake that provides a lovely backdrop for outdoor gatherings or private events. A smaller second arena and a 60-foot round pen are also in the works.
The clubhouse is in the front of the barn with paved parking and sidewalk access into the French doors. It includes a large gathering room with couches and chairs, adjacent to a full kitchen that is perfect for food prep. An additional seating area with large windows overlooking the rolling hills, middle pond and fountain, can serve as a conference room or dining room. The space is approximately 1,700 square feet, including men’s and women’s restrooms.
The turf lawn in front of the barn is level enough to set up row seating for a wedding, and a large oak tree between the barn and the pond provides ideal shade or a backdrop for photos.
Although Misenhalter plans for North Grove to also be a venue for functions such as weddings, it’s all ready to go for horse shows.
“The arena is large enough to handle dressage and jumping,” Misenhalter said. “We recognized the need for a venue to host events of this nature. We feel the property is large enough to host nationally recognized horse shows and bring traffic of this kind to Oxford.”
Horse leases and sales can be arranged with professionals on site. A show and clinic schedule will include various disciplines and specialists. Training and lessons for all levels are currently provided by Oxford native Ruby Reithel.
“I focus primarily on dressage, which is the basis for all disciplines of riding,” Reithel said. “However, we will be bringing in clinicians from various disciplines. We hope to host a wide variety of clinics and events as time goes on.”
North Grove was designed by project architect Jim Boggan, and Misenhalter consulted on the layout and purpose. The facility was developed by WessCorp Communities, which is owned by his father, Wes Misenhalter.
Hayden Edwards has been a rider since she was 7 years old, and she is already a regular visitor to the property.
“I am at North Grove every spare second I have,” Edwards said. “I’m either working with (our horse) Yukon in the arena, helping David in any way I can, or just walking the grounds with my dogs. The stable, the arena and the lounge are all spectacular. But the rolling hills, old shade trees, ponds and wildlife are the real blessings. Those are the aspects of North Grove most people don’t get to fully appreciate until they come visit.”
North Grove Equestrian Park is located at 1357 Highway 6. For more information on the equestrian facilities, riding lessons or the special event space, visit northgrovepark.com or email email@example.com.