Women and Horses in the Pine Barrens

Entrance of Stockton University, home of the Pine Barrens Short Course and Lines on the Pines

Happy Women’s History Month! In 2006, a woman named Linda Stanton organized an event called “Lines on the Pines” at Sweetwater Casino. 

“When I started the event it was to be a salute to authors who wrote about the Pine Barrens,” Stanton explained. “Writing is lines, the topic is pines so I called it Lines on the Pines.”

It grew over the years, featuring authors, musicians, artists, and artisans. In 2018, Stockton University in Galloway became the new home of the event, which takes place this year on Sunday, March 12th at the Campus Center located at 101 Vera King Farris Drive. Vera King Farris was a past Stockton president, the first African-American woman to serve as president of a state public college and one of the first in the nation. The school named the campus main road in her honor.

This year’s theme for the event, entitled “Hoof n’ Tell in the New Jersey Pine Barrens,” is about horses in the Pine Barrens. I was honored when Linda Stanton asked me to contribute two articles to a short book on this topic being published for Lines on the Pines. Most of my research focused on the rich and powerful men involved in horse racing. However, I also learned about several accomplished women associated in some way with the Pine Barrens and horses. 

Did you know? 

During her lifetime, Grace Kelly frequently visited Atlantic City Racecourse, the horse racing track her father opened in the Pine Barrens municipality of Hamilton. Before marrying Prince Rainier the III of Monaco and becoming a princess, Kelly enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood, winning the 1954 Best Actress Academy Award for her role in The Country Girl.

In 1901, horse racing enthusiast Lily Adeline Livingston inherited leading stable Rancocas Stud in Jobstown from her friend Pierre Lorillard IV, heir to the Lorillard Tobacco Company fortune. After Livingston moved her racing operations to Canada, Rancocas Stud was sold and became associated with the notorious Teapot Dome Scandal. However, Livingston enjoyed success as an owner and breeder, leading to her induction into Canada’s Racing Hall of Fame. Rancocas Stud survived to become Helis Stock Farm.

White and blue ornate gate of Helis Stock Farm in the Jobstown section of Springfield Township in Burlington County
Gate of Helis Stock Farm (Photo by Beach and Barrens)

Allaire du Pont, another woman racehorse owner, sent her gelding Kelso to Atlantic City to win his first race. Kelso went on to be voted Horse of the Year an unprecedented five times. Also an aviator, du Pont set a national endurance record for women glider pilots in 1935.

As women began breaking barriers in horse racing to become professional riders and trainers, apprentice jockey Julie Krone won the 1982 and 1983 riding titles at Atlantic City Racecourse. By the time she retired, Krone became the leading female Thoroughbred jockey of all time. She was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013.

Local television personality and recording artist Sally Starr hosted the Popeye Theater children’s TV show from 1955 to 1971. A horsewoman who owned several horses, including Silver Kane, a son of the horse who played the Lone Ranger’s Silver, Starr lived in the Pine Barrens municipality of Waterford Township. The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia inducted her into their Hall of Fame in 1995.

Photograph of Sally Starr on a Palomino Horse with Western tack Hanging at Sally Starr's Pizza restaurant
Photograph of Sally Starr on Horseback Hanging at Sally Starr’s Pizza restaurant

The Pinelands Short Course at Stockton

The day before Lines on the Pines, Stockton will offer the Pinelands Short Course: “A daylong event featuring educational presentations that explore the unique history, ecology, and culture of the Pinelands.” Be sure to register! Space is filling up fast!

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