Story and photos by intern Mackenzie Shuman
As hundreds of spectators and competitors filed in and out of The Colorado Horse Park this summer, many looked around and noticed that the facility, founded in 1992 by Helen Krieble, was starting to show its age. Most of the facility has not changed much since Krieble’s original renovations to the place over 20 years ago. So when new ownership took over The Colorado Horse Park in 2014, the community was hopeful for changes to be made.
New owner Mark Bellissimo, with his partners and the rest of the CHP faculty, have been working hard to make The Colorado Horse Park the best it can be.
Equestrian Sport Productions’ President Michael Stone revealed that initially, the major things they will be focusing on are the footing and drainage of the arenas. While new footing was set a few years ago, it never met the expectations of the competitors, and the lack of drainage from the arenas caused many problems throughout the exceptionally wet summer show season.
“We are currently working on the rings. There will be some changes but nothing major to the layout. It will mainly be to improve the drainage and footing,” he said, adding that physical work should begin around April 1, 2016.
This news about the footing and drainage may come as a relief to the many competitors who show at the six-week long Summer in the Rockies show circuit along with the many other local shows, dressage, and eventing circuits that also take place at The Colorado Horse Park. However, not only the competitors will be impacted by the upcoming renovations. Plans are in place to help accommodate the spectators’ needs.
“Public WiFi on the grounds, new grandstands and more are planned to be put in place for the upcoming show season,” informed Stone.
By improving the layout, spectators will be granted easier access to the exciting events such as grand prix classes and hunter derbies that take place at The Colorado Horse Park. These improvements are projected to bring in even more community support and also widen the interest in the park and the events held there.
Although this winter is projected to be one of the worst winters for Colorado in a while, Stone says that the renovations will be done in good time for the next show season to start. The upgrades, costing several million dollars, will not only advance the park, but make it even better than before. The Colorado Horse Park has always been a beautiful facility, yet the improvements that are planned will help provide the West Coast with an even more top of the line equestrian center that is open to all.