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Cleveland Park Stables Now Owned by McDaniel

by Leeann Mione

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Cleveland Park Stables in Greenville, S.C., has been a fixture in Cleveland Park since the 1940s. With a long and varied history, Cleveland Park Stables sits in the heart of downtown Greenville and has produced numerous champion Saddlebreds and Hackney ponies.

In 1979, Carol, Marge and Mark Greenwell moved into Cleveland Park Stables and over the years created an unforgettable history of great Saddlebred and Hackney performances on the green shavings of Freedom Hall and at many of the country's most prestigious horse shows. Mary Lou Greenwell joined the family in 1989 and in 1999 Mark and Mary Lou purchased Cleveland Park and the successful reputation of the facility continued.

Herbert Riddle built Cleveland Park in the early 1940s. In February of this year, the historic stable became the property of his nephew Ben McDaniel.

McDaniel was a prominent owner in the Hunter and Jumper world and still owns a hunter/jumper barn in Greenville. His daughter Elizabeth showed hunters in the equitation division from the time she was a small girl until her early 20s.

"Saddlebreds have always been my favorite," said Ben McDaniel. Elizabeth was converted into a true Saddlebred fan within six months of her dad's involvement. His younger daughter Anna doesn't ride but just made McDaniel a grandfather on April 8.

McDaniel has made a living in property development and has lived in South Carolina all his life. He spent many days in his youth with his uncle Herbert Riddle at Cleveland Park Stables. His new role therefore, as owner of the property, is simply like coming home. McDaniel is in the process of building an apartment at Cleveland Park to live in temporarily.

"I have spent many years working hard and being away from home and my family. I'm ready to step back and take it easy now. I want to spend my time at the barn and with the horses." He is presently building a condo project on the Reedy River and will live in the apartment while construction is underway.

Both McDaniel and his daughter Elizabeth agree that the Saddlebred industry is more laid back than the hunter and jumper industry. "It's fun again to show horses," said Elizabeth. She continued, "Cleveland Park is a great barn to come to the horse shows with. Mark and Mary Lou make it fun and the customers are a great group of people. Mary Lou is a great teacher. She's very patient and very thorough."

Ben McDaniel wants to see the horse show industry regain some of the grandeur of days gone by. "I'd like to bring more adult riders to Cleveland Park," said McDaniel. "Growing up in Greenville as a teenager, there used to be parties every night before and after the horse shows. It was really an event.

For now, McDaniel is content to kick back and relax a little and concentrate on the string of show horses he owns. With Billy Greenwell judging Louisville, father and daughter will go only to watch but will spend the season, both before and after, showing their horses and enjoying a new chapter in their lives.

Their show string includes the fine harness mare I Saw You First. Ben McDaniel debuted with her at J.D. Massey. Just A Delight and Elizabeth McDaniel debuted in the three-gaited division at Clemson. She will show the park mare, Cadillac's Elektra Fox, in the amateur park division.

The four-year-old five-gaited prospect filly, Heir's Cotton Candy, by Heir To Champagne and out of Mountjoy's Special Token, will be seen in the ring this season with either Mark or Mary Lou Greenwell. Mary Lou will also show their three-year-old colt park prospect Harlem's Casanova by Harlem Globetrotter and out of Satan's Seductress.

The undisputed favorite of both Ben and Elizabeth McDaniel is a three-year-old colt five-gaited prospect named Monaco's Majesty. The colt is by Monaco and out of Color Me Perfect. Heartland Take Over, a three-year-old Hackney Pleasure Driving prospect completes their show ring roster.

Cleveland Park Stables has a long history in the Saddlebred and Hackney Pony industries and with new owner Ben McDaniels is set to write new chapters in the history book.

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