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Letter | Losing something special on the Island
Now that Stevenson Farm is closing, we’ve lost something very special. The only boarding facility left on the Island is the Saddle Club, where there is something stinky going on and it’s not just the manure! In your article about Stevenson stable closing, Connie Clark-Redmond is quoted as saying that there is a 40-person wait list and that a stall hasn’t opened in the past six years. Really? You mean to tell me that nobody has sold a horse in the past six years and gotten out of the horse business? For the past five years, we’ve boarded our horses in Issaquah and have seen horses come and go, and this is at a gorgeous family-owned barn with over 60 horse acres.
I grew up on Mercer Island and had a horse at the Saddle Club in 1978, for a few years. Back then, it was completely full of kids. We spent our days mucking out the stalls and riding, learning responsibility, what hard work was all about and how to care for an animal. We had game shows and western/English shows and people learned jumping, but now it’s mainly a dressage barn because of adult interest. Now, you will be lucky to run into a kid at the barn. It’s full of adults who have set some pretty crazy rules.
I know that once you have a stall, you basically “own” that stall. If you sell your horse but just want to be able to ride once in a while, you can “lease” a horse from somebody, thereby giving them your stall. So if you have a friend who needs a stall, you can basically say you’re leasing the horse and bring that horse into the barn, even though you may not even ride at all. That, in turn, bypasses the wait list, which is why it’s 40-person long and hasn’t moved in six years.
The barn is apparently run by a few people who have set the rules. Their rules. I just can’t believe that people haven’t taken a closer look at this place. I don’t think that the people who gifted this land had the intent of only keeping it for the chosen few. Somebody needs to look into this and blow it apart. There is turnover at that barn; it’s just that it’s being hidden.