HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Koko Crater Stables is now full of horses ― and riders ― again.
The city awarded a five year concession to Horse Haven to manage the city property.
The group has also worked to restore the east Honolulu stables.
“The property is fantastic. I’m so glad that everything has gone according to plan so that we can continue to grow,” said horseback rider Lexie Stoebenau.
Jane Mount, Koko Crater Stables ambassador, says the concession is a major milestone.
"So it just put us back on the map. It put us back in business. It put us back on our feet. It tells the people of Honolulu this facility is here to stay," she said.
Three years ago, the stables shut down for a few months. The main building was condemned by the city and others left derelict and damaged. Crews used rope to hold cracking beams in place.
"We didn't know where to begin and you walk onto the property and you're like now what do we do," said head trainer Michelle Mizutani.
So the group and volunteers started to rebuild, repaint and restore. They also created a nonprofit called Koko Crater Stables Community Education Foundation to start fundraising.
“We really did something that was a little bit crazy and people said to us it’s never going to work. It’s too far gone,” said Mount.
Group members say the 8 1/2-acre property was given to the city by the Pauahi Foundation in the 1920s for equestrian activities and they want to continue that legacy so more families can ride here.
“This is a magical place and for us to cultivate what was given to us a long time ago by the princess. It’s an honor. Stewarding the land, it’s not just a responsibility, it’s a privilege,” said Mizutani.
The stables hope to create a community center one day and they’re looking forward to a free horse show in May.