Brian Gonzales and Guy McElvain, owners of HIPICO Santa Fe, announced Jan. 25 that the facility has been listed for sale.
Gonzales and McElvain purchased the property in 2015 and began hosting hunter/jumper and dressage competitions as well as polo matches and horsemanship clinics. In addition, it is home to the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding.
Due to the pandemic and health orders enacted by New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham, most operations ceased and many events scheduled for 2020 were canceled, leading to a 97% percent decrease of revenue. The facility did host smaller events, such as drive-in concerts, clinics and training days, but the revenue was not sufficient to sustain operations and meet lender obligations.
“We have been in negotiations with our lender since the pandemic began, when every one of our large events scheduled for 2020 had to be canceled due to the public health orders issued by the governor,” said McElvain. “Unfortunately, we were not able to reach a successful arrangement with our lender that would allow us the long-term stability to recover financially at this point. We were only able to procure some extensions to our loans.”
As part of their lender agreement, the facility must be placed on the market, though the team is exploring alternatives.
“We are also continuing to pursue other avenues, including the development of our RV park to allow for year-round operations and, of course, we are looking for equity investors in the property,” said Gonzales. “Both of these options would give us the capital we need to continue our operations.”
All 2021 events currently scheduled to take place at the facility, including local and regional horse shows, dog shows and clinics, will be held provided the events are permitted by public health orders at the time of the events. Whether the Santa Fe Summer Series, a four-week premier-rated hunter/jumper series scheduled for July 21-Aug. 15, can be held is unclear. The owners will announce a decision regarding running the summer series by March 1.