The directors of the Monterey Horse Park (Calif.) and Monterey County supervisors last week signed an agreement to take the next steps in creating a multi-discipline, 390-acre horse park on part of Ft. Ord, the decommissioned Army base between Monterey and Salinas, south of San Francisco.
The agreement requires the horse park\’s leaders to meet certain milestones over the next three years in order to lease the Ft. Ord land from the county. So far, the two groups have not negotiated the price of the lease.
The park has been in the planning stages since 2001, and the directors\’ plans call for at least 60 competitions to be staged there annually, creating an expected local impact of $65 million per year. The price tag for constructing the facilities is $40 million.
“Our mission is to preserve land for equestrian activities and public recreation; to provide a venue to host local, national and international competitions, training and education; to ensure that this extraordinary land in this unique setting will be enjoyed by future generations,” said Myron “Doc” Etienne, the MHP president. “This agreement with the County of Monterey is a giant step forward in realizing this goal.”
The MHP\’s proposed facilities include a grass grand prix field, numerous sand-based rings, several dressage rings, an indoor arena, and a cross-country course. The MHP also borders 11,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management property, where trail riders and boarders at the park can roam.
The park will also have RV hook-ups and space for horse camping, but a significant percentage of the property will be preserved as a wildlife sanctuary.
The horse park directors hope that a transfer of the Ft. Ord property can be made from the Army to the Ft. Ord Reuse Authority by next July. That transfer, they believe, will expedite their planning and construction, but it will probably not be completed until the Army has certified that its unexploded ordnance has been completely removed.
In addition to Etienne, the 16-member Board of Directors includes Chairman Rod Hisken, Secretary James. T. Hendrick, Derek di Grazia, Linda Allen, Loris Henry and Charles L. Lloyd III.