Horse owners given 90-day eviction notice

With the Pierce College Equestrian Center set to undergo further construction this winter, the privately owned horses housed there are being evicted.

Pierce officials have decided to terminate the boarding agreement that they made with the owners of the horses more than four years ago, and the horses must now be moved by Dec. 31.

Many horse owners are not happy with the administration’s decision to remove the horses from campus.

According to Mary Kaufman, the horses and owners have more liberty and are happier using Pierce’s riding trails and facilities.

Also, owners like the fact that they can see and feed their own horse everyday.

“It’s nice to have the whole package here at Pierce,” said Kaufman.

“We live close to our homes and we have access to the trails at Pierce,” said Kaufman

Some owners are having a difficult time trying to relocate their horses to other stables around their homes.

Most of the owners are students or employees of Pierce and live in the area.

“It’s devastating that we have to move them,” said Kaufman.

According to Tom Oliver, vice president of college development, the reason for the move is due to the heavy construction and the liability of having privately owned horses in the barns during the construction.

Oliver signed the notice to terminate the boarding agreement with the owners.

He said the equestrian plan has two parts, 1A and 1B.

The first plan was to build two new barns and an arena. This has been done.

The 1B plan consists of utilities, rest rooms, irrigation systems and lights.

“We have to meet the latest standards,” said Oliver.

He said that outside experts were brought in and advised that the horses be moved during the heavy construction time.

The farm road will be paved, which will be a problem for the privately owned horses.

The noise was also a main concern in the decision to move the horses.

Oliver said that the bond-funded construction would be a major inconvenience for the owners.

The equestrian center will also have a paved parking lot for students and staff.

Oliver said that after the construction is done, estimated to be about a year to a year and a half from now, that the horses will be able to return to the barns.

Until then, the owners will have to move their horses to other stables.

John Lyons with his pivately owned horse, Dove, oct. 10 a the Equestrian Center. Dove must be moved from his home at the center by the end of the year due to heavy construction scheduled to begin in the coming months. ()