Horse owners in a Raleigh County community are rushing to find new homes for their animals after an unexpected announcement that their local equestrian center will shut down.
On February 7, Glade Springs resident, Anne Smith, was one of a number of people who received a letter in the mail telling her she had to relocate her horses from the Glade Spring Equestrian Center within 30 days. She said there was no real explanation as to why the center is closing.
“I was mad because I just felt like they cheated me. The reason we bought a place in Glade was because of the Equestrian Center. It is a safe place to ride and enjoy our horses,” Smith said.
Our requests for an on-camera interview were denied, but the CEO for EMCO of Glade Springs Hospitality, Elmer Coppoolse, sent out a statement in regards to the closing, saying in part:
“After much deliberation the decision was made to close the Equestrian Center on March 15, 2019. We are making every effort to make the transition as smooth as possible for the associates.”
The statement also reads:
“We are also working to ensure these horses find happy, healthy and safe homes. Our goal has been and will remain to provide quality services and facilities to our community, membership and guests. We will use this time to look at re-engineering the operations of The Equestrian Center and the physical landscape. There are no other anticipated closures.”
Smith has two horses at the center. She said it is difficult to transport and find a new place for them to stay.
“It is not like a dog or a cat. They are still in your heart, but they are large animals. It takes knowing somebody, or connections. Where are you going to go? There’s no place to go,” Smith said.
Now, Smith and a few others in the community are scrambling to find trailers and a new barn to hold their horses, but with only about a week left to go before the closure, time is running out.