Gar­den of Gods sta­ble is clos­ing

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Liz Forster

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.”

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