Aspen equestrian community seeks support on Cozy Point
For the equestrian community and the Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council, 2016 was filled with blessings. Horsemen, horsewomen and riding families arrived by automobile, bicycle and trucks and trailers to participate in the many wonderful equestrian events and enjoyments in and around our valley.
Each trail ride, rodeo visit, horse show, clinic, Cozy Point Ranch gathering, 4-H and Pony Club experience, local ranch cattle drive and branding, and each healing visit to a therapeutic riding center, united all horse enthusiasts across our valley.
I grew up in Aspen, riding horses as a child through the town. In the old days we would walk down to the Aspen Meadows, where the Aspen Riding Club and its big, white, two-story barn stood on the corner of Sixth Street and Gillespie, overlooking the old racetrack and fields around the Aspen Music Festival Tent. On New Year’s Day we would trek to that old, white barn, empty in the winter, and with neighborhood friends, we would relive and regale the past days of summer filled with horses, friends and tall tales.
On Jan. 19, there is a city of Aspen and Open Space and Trails decision coming up about Cozy Point Ranch that deserves special attention. We are asking all of our RFVHC members and Facebook followers to become involved with this outcome.
In the fall the city published a management plan for Cozy Point Ranch, which if approved, will change the equestrian facility forever. The RFVHC responded to their plan and created a compilation report on 22 issues the city’s plan discussed. We ask you to read the reports and become involved with the outcome.
Here are the links to the city of Aspen management plan (http://www.aspencommunityvoice.com/cozy-point-ranch-management-plan) and the RFVHC compilation response to the city (https://app.box.com/s/6kcmzkg9yqbe71wxqf33293ce54usn7n).
With your help, the historic, old, red barn at Cozy Point could become our community’s new reflection of the old Aspen Riding Club’s white barn of yesteryear. Young girls and boys could learn about the love for horses and Aspen’s Western heritage right in our own back yard.
The city of Aspen wants to co-mingle a large and prosperous farm project on the same parcel of land at Cozy Point Ranch. The Roaring Fork Valley Horse Council believes there is not enough land to co-mingle both entities. The equestrians and the farmers deserve to have their own parcels, separate and away from one another.
Cozy Point Ranch is the last and only public equestrian facility in the Roaring Fork Valley. The space for horses on this site is challenging at present.
With the expected growth of both Aspen TREE and Cozy Point Equestrian, safety and property degradation will come into play. The RFVHC compilation response outlines the reasons we feel this way. Please read the compilation found on our website http://www.rfvhorsecouncil.org and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/keephorsesontrails) and “like” us on Facebook. We need your support.
Karin Reid Offield
Harbor Springs, Michigan