Garden of Gods stable is closing
COLORADO SPRINGS» Academy Riding Stables, which rented horses for people to ride through Garden of the Gods, is closing by the end of August.
“It’s a shame for the entire Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs community,” said horse owner Stephanie Burton. “Everyone in the horse community here also is concerned about the welfare of the string of horses from Academy Stables that may go to auction and not find homes.”
Horses sold at auctions often wind up in slaughterhouses, Burton said.
Academy owns the horses and has a city lease to use trails in Garden of the Gods.
But city parks officials said Academy has not notified the city about the impending closure.
Two horse owners who had boarded at Academy said they received an email from the stable owners Monday, saying they had to move their horses to a new stable as soon as possible, but without explaining why. The horse owners asked not to be identified.
Academy Riding Stables’ owners and stable manager Walter Hampel declined to comment. Employees of Academy said the owners told them not to talk with reporters. But they said they were “suddenly” out of jobs. They asked not to be identified.
The Academy, which has operated since the 1930s, is still accepting reservations for rides in Garden of the Gods until the stable closes.
Hampel now is the stable manager at the Norris-penrose Events Center, said Burton and Lissa Dollar, who boards her horse there.
“I appreciate the tight ship that he so far has been running,” said Dollar. “I’m willing to pay extra money for the type of quality that Walter provides.”