When gazing on the beautiful 51-acre property known as Bell Mountain Ranch Equestrian Center, it’s hard to imagine it in its former state. It had only been a year since the Penrod family had a vision. Able to look past the weeds and neglect, they set out to preserve and rehabilitate the ranch for the community.
Calling the Bell Mountain Ranch (BMR) community home, The Penrods would drive past the vacant ranch property during their daily drive. “We live in the neighborhood, so right when we were moving in three years ago, this place was going under,” recalled Kathy Penrod.
As years passed with no one living there, the area eventually became a neighborhood eyesore. “It left a lot of broken hearts because this ranch had been such a community gathering place in the past.”
While they had thought about buying an investment property, the timing wasn’t quite right and restoring the large property would be a big undertaking. But soon after, the push came that they needed; the ranch went into foreclosure. “That’s when we decided to buy it and bring back this amenity to the community.”
Owning a horse property was important to the family for another reason. A few years prior, their daughter who suffers from severe anxiety had finally found comfort through her connection with horses.
“My daughter’s life has literally been changed for the better,” Penrod smiled. “We see how when we put her on this horse, how her anxiety just disappears and she gets confidence–that’s what opened us up to the possibility of a horse property.”
Now they just needed to get the right team in place to help them with their new project. “We were so blessed to find James, and the rest of the awesome team who have helped us with this every piece of putting the ranch back together,” Penrod said.
Equestrian Center Director James Reed, along with the team at BMR, have been instrumental in making the ranch function again. “We have actually redone all the water lines and built all new fencing for the 51-acre property,” Reed remarked. “We are finally ready to rock and roll.”
They have also been busy restoring the boarding stables as well as adding exterior runs and arenas for horses and their riders to practice in. It’s work that they couldn’t have completed without the help of local high school students over the summer.
“There were 14 teens here over the summer from Douglas County and Castle View,” Penrod added. “We showed them how to use jackhammers and a power washer to help us get rid of poop and the awful smell–they were life savers.”
Now cleaned up, Bell Mountain Ranch Equestrian Center is in business and wants to extend an invitation to the community to experience their story. “We want this place to be like our slogan says, ‘A piece of history, a peace that renews, a piece of our heart and a piece of you.” she continued, “It’s really a Cinderella story–left broken and unwanted, it just needed a little bit of community love to bring it back.”
Come experience the GRAND OPENING PARTY this Friday from 4pm-8pm! There will be food, carnival games, a bouncy house, horse demonstrations with trainers and booths with local vendors.