A longtime horse rental business at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank will be shutting its doors this summer after a lengthy legal dispute between the business owner and facility officials.
Julie Schad, owner of Griffith Park Horse Rentals, said she is looking forward to a fresh start at the end of May, when her sublease with the equestrian center expires.
She couldn't say exactly where the new stables will be located, but Schad said the 55 horses she currently owns and rents out to those who want to go on a horseback ride will have a new home soon.
"It'll be in Southern California, but it doesn't look like we'll be in this area," she said on Thursday. "We'll certainly invite our current clientele to where we're going, but it'll certainly feel like starting over."
Schad is leaving the equestrian center after several years of disagreements between herself and those who run the facility.
According to a lawsuit filed by Schad on Feb. 24, 2015, she alleged the Los Angeles Equestrian Center breached a contract they had entered into on April 15, 2014.
Under that agreement, the center was supposed to negotiate a sublease extension with Schad and draft a request for proposal to be submitted and approved by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, which oversees the equestrian center.
However, Schad alleged the request for proposal was biased and favored a competing horse rental business owned by James and Scott Perez, who own Circle K Riding Stables in Burbank.
Neither George Chatigny, general manager of the equestrian center, nor James and Scott Perez could be reached for comment.
In the 2015 lawsuit, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center had issued Schad a written notice to vacate the center within 60 days. Schad claimed the notice did not specify the reason for the eviction, and she was up to date on all the fees she had to pay under the sublease.
As the 2015 lawsuit was being heard, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center filed an eviction lawsuit against Schad on May 6, 2016. The case was ultimately dismissed in January 2017, when the two parties settled the original lawsuit.
Schad took over Griffith Park Horse Rentals, which has been at the center for more than 50 years, back in 2003 and spent $150,000 to purchase the business, according to the lawsuit.
During that time, there were about 20 horses and a handful of horse stalls when started, Schad said on Thursday.
She said she invested about $250,000 into the business, which resulted in 30 covered stalls, according to court documents. There are currently 55 horses in the stables, Schad said.
Because of a nondisclosure agreement she signed as part of the settlement, Schad could not provide detailed information about leaving the equestrian center.