Rocking Horse Ranch celebrates 60th anniversary

From left to right: Kati Haynes, David Stokrocki, Shelley Turk, Steve Turk, Sheila Gilday, Beth Barry and Todd Fitzgerald.

Rocking Horse Ranch celebrated its 60th anniversary on Memorial Day Weekend. The resort was founded in 1958 by Nathan “Toolie” Turk and his wife Gloria, natives of New York City. They both developed a love for horses at an early age, which ultimately led to their search for a property that they could convert into the first family friendly dude ranch. They found that place just 90 miles north of New York City in Highland.

Gloria, Nathan and Nathan’s brother Bucky successfully navigated Rocking Horse Ranch through multiple expansions, and even a devastating fire, which destroyed the entire facility in 1971. After rebuilding, business was booming. “A thriving ranch is all Toolie and I ever wanted,” said Gloria Turk.

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Nathan and Gloria’s son, Steve, joined the team in 1980. Steve eventually purchased the resort from his parents in 2001, along with his wife Shelley.

The Turk family celebrated Rocking Horse Ranch’s 60th anniversary with hotel guests May 25-28. Families staying at the resort were treated to plenty of special activities, received gifts and witnessed a fireworks display on May 26. “We would like to thank all of our guests — past, present and future — for making us one of the top family resorts in the world,” said Steve Turk.

The New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ulster County Tourism and representatives from both Ulster and Dutchess counties were on hand for a special ceremony June 1. The Turk family was presented with multiple plaques, as well as a proclamation from Ulster County Legislator Herb Litts commending Rocking Horse Ranch on 60 years of serving guests and the local community.

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