About Spring Gulch Equestrian Area
Spring Gulch Equestrian Area is located on 106 acres owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and leased by the State of Colorado. In the mid-1960s there were terrible floods that devastated Englewood and Littleton. The Corps of Engineers created a system of flood controls, which include Cherry Creek and Chatfield Reservoirs. Part of Chatfield includes the dry dam area known as Spring Gulch. Because the area is part of the flood control system there are limitations as to the use of the land. About 35 years ago some far-sighted equestrians petitioned the Corps and Colorado to use the land as a horse park, primarily as a schooling area for cross country jumps. As you can imagine, the sport of combined training was fledgling in the Rockies and through the hard work and dedication of a few individuals, Spring Gulch Equestrian Park was created.
Colorado State Parks used to lease the park in 25-year increments, but the contract for the park has now transferred to the Highlands Ranch Metro District. Because Highlands Ranch Metro District is responsible for maintaining the park there is the regular park fee that is due upon use of the park. The Metro District takes care of the bathrooms, trashcan collection and placement of picnic benches among other chores. The Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the drainage at the area. They are adamant that no one rides horses on the dam road or up and down the sides of the dam road. There is concern that these activities will cause erosion and that would end our ability to use the park.
The jumps have been built largely with voluntary donations, manpower and planning. MSEA-CCC has donated a significant number of jumps as well as the funds to pay the course designer/builder. Friends of Spring Gulch was formed many years ago to further fund the jump building. The first few jumps that were built were built on the outside (north and west) of the dam were small and built with the aim of being jumped in both directions. The later focus has been put on Training and Preliminary jumps as well as moveable jumps. Most recently, attention to problem jumps was emphasized with sizable complexes being built in order to offer schooling over more than just logs on the ground, repair to older jumps that have years left in them and expanding our jump selection for various level courses.
Friends of Spring Gulch and the CCC have also partnered with the United States Eventing Association's Frangible Fence Technology Fund to bring more jumps with the latest safety technology to this historic and popular area.