Tag Archives: Hottentot Riding Club

Joan Biggs, born in 1926, in Hampden Heights North Park where she rode horses 75 years ago

Dear Friends,

Joan Biggs

Joan Biggs, born in 1926, standing in Hampden Heights
North Park in southeast Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014.

The photo attached shows Joan Biggs, born in 1926, standing in Hampden Heights North Park in southeast Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014. Joan rode horses in the park from 1938-1944 as a member of the Hottentot Riding Club. In the photograph behind Joan, you can see construction workers pouring concrete to erect a new school in the park. On July 10, 2013 Denver city officials traded 11 acres of parkland to Denver Public Schools (DPS) as a building site.

Girls From Hottentot Riding Club

Teen-aged girls, members of the Hottentot Riding Club, pose on horseback near Denver, Colorado.
Taken between 1950-1960 by Lloyd Rule
Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library.

In exchange, city officials received title to a building at 1330 Fox St. The city Charter prohibits sale of any part of a park unless approved by the voters of Denver in an election. Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock and Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson refused to allow citizens of Denver to vote on this issue. Friends of Denver Parks, a local nonprofit, filed a lawsuit to prevent destruction of the park. Although Denver’s zoning code of 2010 designates this land as an official city park, to be preserved and protected by the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation, city officials insist that it is not a park. A jury trial in Denver District Court is scheduled for May 19.  In the meantime, DPS is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on construction that may have to be torn out if the jury decides for the plaintiffs.

Also attached are the affidavits of Joan Biggs and former Denver City Council woman Susan Barnes-Gelt.  The affidavits show that Hampden Heights North Park has been used and recognized as a park since the city acquired the land in 1936. You decide who is right.

Affidavit of Joan Biggs

Affidavit of Susan Barns-Gelt


Motion for Emergency Injunction, Colorado Supreme Court

Dear Friends,
Attached please find copy of motion for emergency injunction with Exhibits 1-18 that we filed in the Colorado Supreme Court on Thursday Mar 6.
The Affidavit of Susan Barnes-Gelt (Exhibit 6), shows that HHNP was designated a park when the 1996 Charter Amendment was adopted.  Also, all Denver parks, including HHNP,  were designated by Ordinance 333 Series of 2010, and the 2010 Official Map and zoning code, which show HHNP and all other designated parks.
The discouraging news is that DPS started pouring concrete and steel structures in the park on March 3.
We will ask Judge Stern to grant summary judgment in our favor next week and stop the destruction of the park.  Please don’t expect a ruling anytime soon.
Trial remains scheduled for May 19.  Our evidence and witnesses are solid.  See Exhibits 1 and 6-17 attached to the motion.
The city will file motions to deny a jury trial and dismiss the case.  I remain confident of a favorable outcome because truth is on our side, and Rule 38 Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure provides a jury trial in all cases involving title to real property (which this is).
Thanks to all of you for your awesome support and continued interest.  Really special thanks to witnesses Susan Barnes-Gelt, Sandy Dennehy, Joan Biggs, Carolyn “Charlie” Gallagher, Dave Norden, Amy Laugesen, Jim Kellner, Charles Bonniwell, and Dave Longbrake.  Their cooperation was amazing.  Their testimonies are included in the exhibits.

John Case