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Knox School Shows Off New And Improved Equestrian Center

Saint James, New York-

After a month of extensive renovation and restoration to the historic Phebe T. Phillips Byrne Equestrian Center on the campus of The Knox School in St. James, the new and improved facilities are open for business! On Thursday, August 15, 2019, Knox hosted an Equestrian Open House for members of the School and local communities to visit and enjoy the new facility improvements. The recent upgrades to the equestrian space are just the beginning of extensive efforts to restore the extraordinary, historic,  horseshoe-shaped barn to its original glory.

The Phebe T. Phillips Byrne Equestrian Center’s renovation project began this summer when Head of School Kristen Tillona-Baker hired Horsemaster and James North as Director of Equine Sciences to shepherd a major restoration while developing new and improved training programs within the hunter and jumper equine divisions. Mr. North is no stranger to major equestrian center development projects and has a proven track record of taking competitive training programs to the highest levels. He and newly appointed Assistant Director of Equine Sciences Amanda Cordingley are a dynamic duo who will carry out the vision of a Blue-Ribbon Future for The Knox School.

Within this first phase of renovations, some of the most substantial projects included a new all-weather riding ring with state-of-the-art footing, new fencing and jumps, a fully renovated tack room with polished brass tack, varnished walls, new furniture and artwork that looks like it was inspired by  Ralph Lauren’s catalog, new drainage and foundation restoration, newly renovated bathroom and laundry room, new hot water bathing and drying stall for the horses and paint on just about every surface possible.  For additional elegance, The Knox School thanks Longos Landscaping of St. James for their tireless efforts in making the campus look beautiful with new their expert landscaping and masonry.

“While The Equestrian Center renovation is necessary and something I have been working towards since I first became Head of School over five years ago, it’s about so much more,” said Head of School Kristen Tillona-Baker. “Investing in the future of our riding program is investing in the future of our students. I believe in this program, our students, and this school that I love so much, and supporting The Knox School Equestrian Program is just one of many ways we will secure a strong future for our Home Beside the Shore.” 

Beginning this fall, The Knox School Equestrian Program will be rolling out new and improved training programs for current student-athletes and the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team which will reach far beyond the programs previously offered. Knox is also offering boarding and training facilities for outside riders. For information about the new programs or boarding options, please contact The Knox School’s Equestrian Center at (631) 686-1600 ext. 437 or go to  

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