After months of uncertainty about the fate of the Quentin Riding Club, the sound of a gavel signaled the start of a new chapter as the iconic property was auctioned off for $2.1 million.
First reported by East Coast Equestrian, the buyer is Louis Hurst, president of Alden Management Co., Inc, the company that owns the Alden Place adult living community located near the historic equestrian establishment.
LebTown reached out to Alden Place, which confirmed that Hurst had indeed purchased the property on Saturday.
The sale of the Riding Club must be settled by August 27. A 10% payment was made the day of the auction and will be held in escrow by the club’s lawyers.
Sixteen bidders registered prior to the auction, with one bidder taking part in the auction via telephone. Local auctioneer Harry Bachman handled the auction in which the bidding process took around ten minutes.
Saturday’s auction was for the property itself. All of the club’s personal property will be auctioned off at a later date.
Parking spots were at a premium for Saturday’s auction, which began promptly at noon, due to a crowd easily exceeding 200 people that congregated inside QRC’s Barn 5.
18 of the 46 acres within the property are “clean and green.” Clean and Green is a preferential tax assessment program that bases the value of land on use values rather than fair market value. Rollback taxes would be due for any portions of land that aren’t kept in a qualified use.
Quentin Riding Club President Greg Shaffer said that the once the sale is finalized the club’s debts will be paid and then the club’s members will meet to decide what the course of action will be for any remaining funds.
“Our first and primary goal is to the Quentin Riding Club and its legacy. When we could not save the Club, then we had to shift our focus to protecting the members,” said Shaffer, noting that the board had made a strenuous effort to sell to an equestrian group.
“We have a lot of members who have not donated, but lent money over the years, and there’s plenty of paperwork to substantiate some of these loans. We couldn’t save the club, so we had to make our people whole. We owe money to various small businesses within the community, and we needed to make them whole.”
It is not yet known what the plan is for the property, which has been owned by the club since the original group of Lebanon businessmen organized themselves in 1934 and acquired the historic stables of the William Coleman Freeman hackney farm.
The auction followed the club’s closure last fall due to a build up of debt and ongoing operational losses. A group of anonymous investors made an attempt to purchase the property, but the attempt fell through in part over a deed restriction that would have stipulated the property be maintained as an equestrian facility.
Saturday’s sale included no such deed restriction.