SAN DIEGO — A dispute is growing at Canyonside Ranch, a horse-boarding facility owned by the City of San Diego.
The current leaseholders have been ordered to vacate the property, but boarders accuse them of trying to tear down the ranch before their exit.
“This was dismantled. The wood was taken down,” said horse trainer, Amy Holman, while pointing toward a dismantled horse stable. “They’ve trashed it. They have done more in the four days to tear this place down than they’ve done in the six years to build it up.”
The City ordered the Osborne brothers to vacate the premises by Feb. 23.
The lease termination letter dated Jan. 23, provided to CBS 8 by the City reads in part, ”City staff observed that horse stalls were full of manure, the bin used to haul manure offsite was full, and piles of manure were laying outside the bin under a tarp.”
Some boarders claim the manure issue is just the tip of the iceberg.
“Mal-care of horses in the fact that we’ve had poor quality hay, horses skipped in feeding, inappropriate feed, rusty waters, leaky waters, unsafe pens, they’ve never been here to take care of anything,” said Holman.
The Osborne brothers then notified boarders at Canyonside to remove their horses.
“They’re telling us that we have to get out, that they’re going to lock our utilities, that we’re not going to have access to anything,” said Christine Castiglioni, who boards her horse at Canyonside.
“We have to remove our property, but we can’t remove our property when there’s a horse in there,” said current leaseholder, Brandon Osborne.
CBS 8 spoke with the Osborne brothers, who said they love Canyonside Ranch and had planned on retiring there.
“This is a small group of people who have done a hack job with the city to pretty much turn the boarders against us because they wanted different management and this is their way of doing it,” said Osborne.
To reassure Canyonside boarders, the city posted a notice which read, “The City of San Diego is not shutting down the stables. The city is not requiring that you remove your horses or belongings.
“I think the letter from the city says we don’t have to go. I’m not going anywhere,” said Castiglioni. “I don’t think anybody else should either.”
The city told CBS 8 they’re searching for an interim operator that would take over on Feb. 24, and that they’ll be keeping the stables open during this transition and working with the San Diego Humane Society to ensure the welfare of the horses boarded on the property.
“This is our relief, this is our mental stability,” said Holman. “This is our chance to get away from the things that we have to deal with in regular life.”
Editor's note: The day after this story initially aired, the San Diego District Attorney issued a cease and desist letter on Feb. 2 to the attorney representing the Osborne brothers clarifying their reasoning for the termination, "We wish to clarify that the reason for the City’s termination is the expiration of the Agreement. While the City has reserved rights with respect to any breaches of the Agreement that may have occurred, the City is not relying on any breach as a grounds for termination. The Agreement has expired and will not be renewed."
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