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NW Equestrian & Event Center in financial limbo Saturday, March 31, 2007

(left) Stormy skies over the Northwest Equestrian and Event Center Wednesday mirror the financial status of the facility in Boring. Owner Mark Broeg lost the barn to foreclosure on Thursday.

(right) Mark Broeg discusses the future of the Northwest Equestrian and Event Center Mar. 28 with Gresham Outlook reporter Kari Hastings (not shown). As expected, the bank foreclosed on the Boring, Ore., facility on Mar. 29.

Mark Broeg is an interesting character. He took over the financially challenged Northwest Equestrian and Event Center about a year ago. Last Thursday, he lost it to the bank, wh
ich immediately resold it to a property wholesaler. You can read Kari Hastings' story in the Outlook.

You might remember that I photographed a rodeo at the Center back at the end of February. Wednesday, I got a much better look at the place.

For such a large barn (90,000 sq. ft., 200 stalls, 14-acre property), it was very quiet. Apart from Mark, there was just one girl cleaning her horses' stalls, and one other man I glimpsed walking down a hallway. One of the main reasons it was quiet was that three quarters of the stalls are empty. Granted it was a Wednesday morning, but it was also spring break week. Nobody was working their animals in the arena.

I'm no expert on horse barns, but it did strike me that the stalls—the empty stalls—were quite dirty. It didn't look like they'd been cleaned since their last occupant left. Maybe it's a chicken-and-egg thing, but it doesn't seem like a good way to attract clients. And Kari uncovered that in her story. The office and bar were in sad shape, too, with dusty, unused display cases, empty paper cups and straws, and kernels of popcorn on the floor.

Mark didn't want to be in the pictures. He wanted the story to be about the barn. Despite his protests, I took one photo of him on the phone in his office, but he noticed just before I did it, and stuck his hand up in front of his face. After some discussion, I convinced him to pose for a portrait with one of his horses, and later I was able to photograph him talking to Kari.

That's where the photo above was made. Rather than sitting in the booth with us, he pulled the rocking chair over from the corner, grabbed an empty Coors Light can from the recycling bin and lit up a cigarette. I wasn't sure whether the paper wanted to run a photo of him smoking, but it was him, so I found a way to make it work. I had to get an angle that didn't have the reporter in the picture, and his wide-brimmed hat shaded his tinted glasses. Fortunately, he tipped his head just so, and I was able to get the picture. The only regret I have about it is that the pillar behind him obscures the poster of a scantily-clad cowgirl advertising Three Olives cherry vodka. It seemed to fit into the character of the place.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems like you got a real good idea of the kind of guy he is. Real smooth talker. He doesn't even care about all the lives he has affected during his "rein". He just abandoned the employees that he had leaving them with nothing but promises that he is going to pay them or "settle up" as he calls it. Before he kicked us off the property he said we stopped working and did not owe us any money. The family that lives their now have been loyal to him waiting on his promises for payment. I was told that they have been living on eggs and top ramen soups. It is a shame. I drove by and I see the family is still there, I hope the new owners are better than this character.

Anonymous said...

You don't know the half of the type of person Mark Broeg is. My suggestion stay as far away from him and all his scams as possible, they go way back.....

d turner said...

what type of help is needed and to make this center work let or make it part of our ore heterage as we need horses for the kids inner city the handicapped the friendless
a horse will be everthing to learn to ride care and expand d dieig reasourses that all ages of people need! I do not need to care what this other person said, mark has saomthing good for all of us horses are part of us the human factor .

JoAnn Harper said...

Thank God that the Pfeiffer's are back and what a wonderful job they have done repairing the "Barn" and that S.O.B. Mark is gone. What a waist of space he is, and I will sign my name. JoAnn Harper!