Losing money, stable owners charge

first_imgScott Perez, owner of Circle K Riding Stables in Glendale, said Kolb’s concerns about safety are unfounded; riders will stay away from burn areas. “They understand this is for the public, and they’re not going to abuse the situation,” he said. “They have a lot to lose not having the trails.” Indeed, local stable owners are coping with financial losses daily since the fire. Perez said he went from renting 30-50 horses a week for rides to about 14 this week. At Griffith Park Horse Rental in Burbank, business is down from about 75 riders per week to about a dozen. “It’s been a disaster,” owner Julie Schad said. Both Perez and Schad also took issue with the city for permitting Sunset Ranch Hollywood, located at Beachwood Drive, to resume rides through the park Friday while they are shut out from Skyline Trail, which winds along the mountain’s northwest face and was not burned. “They know that we use the trails for our livelihoods,” Schad said. “When they gave another stable access, it would’ve been nice (to) give us access as well.” Jason Marchant, Sunset Ranch’s general manager, said the stable received a permit only after park rangers inspected their route. Also, only guided rides are allowed at this time, he said. “If anything goes wrong, (the guides) are responsible and we’re responsible.” Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose 4th District includes Griffith Park, said authorities are considering more horse-trail openings early next week. “I understand this is inconvenient, but we’re erring on the side of safety,” he said. “There are some trails that have trees that may or may not fall. The trails that are on top of ridges and on the side of mountains are very unsafe.” eugene.tong@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “There is no reason for these trails to be closed whatsoever,” he said. “Those horses need exercise. There are people in my stable who are saying, `My horse is going nuts.’ You don’t want to go through the whole summer and have them only to walk around in circles in the equestrian center.” But Recreation and Parks spokeswoman Jane Kolb said riders can easily enter the burn areas. “It’s very easy if you’re on one trail to get to another trail in the burn area,” she said. Rangers busy restoring the park do not have time to patrol for equestrians. However, sections of the park are still dangerous, she said. Loose earth and combustible tree stumps remain potential hazards. “Everybody wants back in, but we need to make sure it’s safe,” she said. “We’re opening parts of the park almost daily. (But) we have debris to clean.” San Fernando Valley stable owners are fuming about horse trail closures at blackened Griffith Park, where they say they’ve been shut out while stables over the hill have been allowed back in. More than a week after a raging wildfire burned 817 acres and damaged trails, horse riders on the Burbank and Glendale side of the park – which suffered little damage – still can’t ride there. Meanwhile, a Hollywood-based ranch was permitted Friday to resume guided rides through the park north into Burbank. Hiking is still not permitted on any trails in the park. Wayne Jason, 52, of Pasadena, whose mount is boarded in Burbank, said the city Department of Recreation and Parks has overreacted. last_img