For years, it seemed like the Monterey Horse Park—a proposed nonprofit equestrian venue in the former Fort Ord—was destined to become a reality.
It had widespread support among local equestrian enthusiasts, and more importantly, the backing of would-be Monterey Downs developer Brian Boudreau.
But on Jan. 29, a message was posted on the Monterey Horse Park's Facebook page announcing that the nonprofit was dissolving due to a lack of adequate funds after Monterey Downs went down in flames in December 2016.
Monterey Downs, a proposed residential and equestrian-themed development on over 700 acres of the former Fort Ord, was initially approved by Seaside City Council in November 2016 before seeing that approval rescinded a month later after Boudreau refused to indemnify the city for potential litigation surrounding the project.
The recission of that approval included de-certifying the project's environmental impact report, which included the environmental impacts of the proposed 111-acre horse park.
"Today we must bring you sad, but not unexpected news," the Jan. 29 post reads. "We have been working with an attorney over the past year in the mechanics necessary to dissolve the 5013c and the Monterey Horse Park. This was not an easy decision.
"In a meeting with FORA and county officials," the post continues, "we learned that while both would continue to welcome the Monterey Horse Park on the former Fort Ord, we were counseled to have 'at least a million dollars in the bank' for the costs of that pursuit. For permits, studies, EIR, etc. That did not take into account the inevitable lawsuits and legal costs. All of that without a shovel of dirt moved…
"After 15 years of "fighting the good fight”, attending meetings, providing information to the communities, writing letters, fund raising, etc. we find that we are not able to continue at this time. Perhaps, going forward, the communities will realize what has been lost, will want to resurrect the project, and will make it easier for the dream to be realized…
"There were no letters or emails unsent. There were no unmade phone calls. As a community, MHP supporters did everything that could be possibly be done to make the vision a reality. It didn’t happen, but not through any fault of our own. So we are proud of our dedication and efforts, and hopeful for perhaps another day."