Colorado Horse Park says it plans to continue operations

Facility near Parker has eliminated boarding, is looking for new show director

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The Colorado Horse Park recently issued a news release in an effort to dispel rumors that it is shutting down for the 2020 season, but the park has yet to find a replacement for its show director and announce its summer schedule.

The release, issued in mid-December, said the facility "will continue to operate as a horse park in 2020 despite recent rumors to the contrary."

The park has announced some changes to the nationally renowned equestrian facility in unincorporated Douglas County, south of Parker. Its show director resigned after two seasons. Long-term boarding serivices have been eliminated.

In the long run, the park may have plans to become a resort like its sister locations on the East Coast.

The summer schedule will be released by the end of the month, a few weeks later than usual, said Michael Stone, president of the Colorado Horse Park. Some smaller shows may be axed, but the bigger shows are still planned, said Stone, who is based in Florida.

The news release states Marion Maybank, the park's show director of two years, resigned and that the park is searching for her replacement.

The Colorado Horse Park is 150 acres of competition and boarding space. Prior to eliminating boarding late last year, the park housed as many as 100 horses per year, according to its website, chp.coth.com. It typically hosts 20 weeks of United States Equestrian Federation-rated hunter, jumper, dressage and three-day eventing competitions, including its Summer in the Rockies circuit and other international and national competitions. There are 11 arenas and 300 permanent stalls for use during competition.

 Now, the park is “evaluating the different events and leadership needed for a strong 2020 season,” according to the news release. The park also announced it would no longer offer boarding services at Colorado Horse Park, a decision consistent with the park's sister facilities in Florida and North Carolina.

Mark Bellissimo, an equestrian real estate mogul from Florida, bought the Colorado Horse Park, at 7522 S. Pinery Drive, in 2014 for $9 million, according to property records. Bellissimo owns and operates two other world-class horse parks in Wellington, Florida, and Tryon, North Carolina. Last year, Bellissimo's group invested $250 million into Tryon International Equestrian Center to convert the park into a resort destination, similar to that of his world-famous facility in Florida, Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Sources confirmed the plan from the beginning was to make the Colorado Horse Park like its sister facilities. 

Bellissimo brought the World Equestrian Games to his North Carolina location and hosts the Winter Equestrian Festival and Global Dressage Festival in Florida, a 12-week-long show.

Events at the Colorado Horse Park typically begin in May and run through October. 

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