After 22 years, Helen Krieble has decided to retire as president of the Colorado Horse Park, and she has renewed her search for a new owner of the facility.
She initially put the property on the market six years ago when she decided that she didn't have the energy to run the park while working on immigration policy reform with The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation. She announced her retirement from the horse park on Aug. 1, and she is now seeking a buyer more seriously.
“At my age I just can’t do two major projects at the same time, so it’s time to retire and find somebody younger and full of ideas to take the horse park to the next level,” said Krieble, who is in her 70s.
Her interest in immigration policy stems from her experiences in the horse world. After witnessing a raid by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services searching for undocumented workers in 1995, Krieble decided that she wanted to work towards policy change.
“I keep seeing people in the horse world who can’t get permits for their staff,” she said.
“It needs to change, and it needs to change for everybody—and in every industry, not just the horse world,” she continued. “I feel that is a bigger contribution I can make to the equestrian world than running the horse park.”
Krieble purchased the land where the Colorado Horse Park resides in 1992 to help her daughter, grand prix rider Amanda Strain, grow her business. After Strain returned to the East Coast, Krieble set out to build a horse show venue and a museum complex that would teach visitors about the history and heritage of the west through the horses.
While the museum never became a reality, the 150-acre horse park flourished. It’s hosted the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Champions three times and is slated to hold it in 2016. Krieble hopes that the facility will one day hold the equestrian portion of the Pan American Games or serve as a base for the U.S. Equestrian Team due to it’s proximity to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“When people come to our horse shows, they are enchanted by all the recreational opportunities that the mountains and the rivers, the wildflowers and the endless golf courses provide for them,” Krieble said. “When they come, they not only show, but they have a lot of fun, and to me that’s important.”