Lake Oswego Hunt, a part of Lake Oswego's history, faces a mountain of challenges, including the need to maintain and repair its historic barn and offer amenities attractive to the modern equestrian.
LOH is seeking to improve its facility and its programs to remain viable in the face of economic challenges and increased competition from barns in surrounding areas. For many who treasure LOH, this is a sad time. Its survival depends on community help. LOH has an immediate need for volunteers and $50,000 and is hoping for $50 from 1,000 people. If you appreciate its history, the open space or have ridden there, consider mailing $50 or more to Lake Oswego Hunt, 2725 Iron Mountain Blvd., Lake Oswego, OR 97034. Please share this need with your friends.
Paul Murphy developed Oswego with a vision that residents would live and play in Oswego. He gave the property to LOH in 1936 with the polo field built circa. 1928. LOH's predecessor, Multnomah Hunt Club, was located where Wizer's is now. Members would ride up A Avenue to the Iron Mountain Trail that ended at the polo field to play polo. In 1936, LOH was formed. LOH insisted on trails and this was a sticking point. The Wizer site provided immediate access to what is now Tryon Creek State Park. Homes are built over former trails. It would be sad to see 100 houses on the LOH site with the resulting traffic through the neighborhoods.
LOH has operated for 74 years and is on the National Historic Register. It needs at least $2 million in upgrading. LOH will add programs, host fundraising events, and ask the community to assist in updating the structure. An historic facility in Virginia has 600 members and only 200 ride. The others enjoy maintaining the buildings. Another historic facility in Cleveland, The Windsor White Stable, is being restored, in part, by community labor. If this plan succeeds, LOH can remain on its site.
Contrary to the view of some, LOH has not been and is not now composed of a 'bunch of rich people'. The riders have a passion. In fact, some riders share a horse and expenses which reduces the cost and time demands. Riding also prepares children for life. Children learn to set goals and focus on accomplishing them, responsibility, problem solving, confidence, and how to handle disappointment as well as winning. My lifelong support of LOH is based on wanting others to have the opportunities I had. Riding did give me life skills for which I am grateful.
LOH is considering all options, including adding a Western Program. All programs are open to the public, and one is not required to be part of a program. Casual riders of all breeds of horses are very welcome. The Riding Academy and summer camps are open to children and adults. LOH will continue the Dressage, Eventing and Hunter / Jumper Programs. These programs, hopefully, will keep the barn full which is necessary to break even on daily operating costs.
Help save LOH by sending a check to 'Lake Oswego Hunt' and volunteering to help with: Friends of LOH; LOH Alumni Group; Building Maintenance; or Grounds and Trails. Contact LOH Manager, Katie Purdy, at 503-636-0674 or managerlakeoswegohunt.com if you are interested.
Adrianne Brockman is a resident of Lake Oswego.