HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Equestrian enthusiasts are on a mission to bring horses back to East Oahu. Koko Crater Stables, which shut down earlier this year, is now on the verge of reopening.
The facility closed down at the end of May when the permit for the previous operator expired. Community members have now come together to save the aging stables.
"Every single roof on every single building leaked. Every single gate of every single stall was broken, and the fencing was just in disrepair and rot, and hadn't been painted in, I don't know how long," said Jane Mount, ambassador for the Koko Crater Stables Restoration Project.
"This has been a huge undertaking, but it's been a journey, and a nice journey to see a rebirth of something that's going to be great," said Michelle Mizutani, director of equine operations for the Koko Crater Stables Restoration Project.
The volunteers have worked tirelessly to rebuild stalls, paint fences and haul away lots of debris.
"We're fortunate enough to have a lot of professional builders in our group that are teaching us, literally, those of us like me that don't know how to build, rebuild a fence, how to do that. So we're really blessed," Mount said.
The group expects to bring in 18 horses by the end of this month.
"We had it figured out that it would take 14 horses paying full board to make it viable and honestly, at this point, we have a waiting list. We are not taking any more horses at this time. Not because we don't have the stalls for them, but because we still have a lot of work to do," explained Mount.
The group will be operating under a one-year revocable agreement with the city. Members hope to one day open a community education center and work with other organizations to offer lessons on horsemanship
"Horses bring out the best in people and I think that's what we're going to be able to accomplish here," said Mizutani.