Representatives Gene Ward discusses Koko Crater Stables with Dr. Emogene Yoshimura.
Hawaii New Now on Feb. 04, 2014 story – By Ben Gutierrez
State lawmaker contends Koko Crater horse stables may be threatened
“HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Koko Head is known for the grueling hike to the top. But there’s an attraction inside the crater that’s been around a lot longer, and a state lawmaker believes its days could be numbered.
State Rep. Gene Ward (R-Hawaii Kai) pointed to new rules in the city’s latest contract to operate the Koko Crater Stables, which has been operating for decades, offering trail rides and lessons and hosting equestrian events.
“The horses that are there — there’s 30 now — cannot use, in this new contract, any of the trails,” said Ward. “It’s like you get a car but you can’t drive it outside the driveway.”
The city said riding horses around the botanical garden next door has been off limits since 2008 after alleged complaints of horse droppings not being picked up and plants being trampled, but now it’s putting that ban in the new contract.
Whoever gets the contract also won’t be allowed to sleep in the caretakers cottage that’s now on the property. Instead, a security guard would be allowed to watch the horses during overnight hours.
“A security guard knows nothing about animal husbandry, especially about equestrian husbandry, to do that,” he said.
Ward worries all the new rules will deter potential operators, and that the city may be trying to end the operation for good.”