ONLY ON 3: Families want money back from horse camp that moved


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two families say their kids were giddy about going to horse camp this summer when their plans came to a screeching halt. Because of a sudden change in location, the neighbors say carpooling wouldn’t even change the distance problem. Now, they say they just want their money back.

Pat Clark and Trish Salvant were all set to send their kids to Shady Paddocks Stables in Wilmington for horse camp when they found out from the camp’s website that the facility had moved to Burgaw.

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When the two families decided to enroll their five kids in the camp, the barn was just down the road from their homes on Murrayville Road in New Hanover County. The night before their camp was scheduled to start, they found out the camp had moved to a stable in Burgaw.

“Sunday, the day before camp, my friend Pat called me and asked if I knew the camp had moved to Burgaw,” Salvant said. “She found out on the website, and that’s when everything went wrong.”

Salvant says she understands the hardships facing small businesses during the tough economic times that we live in today, but she just wants her money back.

Camp owner Sharon Rooks says she offered both families many options so that the kids could still participate in the activities they had been looking forward to.

“I’m willing to give Saturday, Sunday, whenever people can come if they have a special need,” Rooks said.

Salvant says although she appreciates the accommodations, they did not suit her and her family. She says Rooks told her she would return the money. Later Salvant found out it would not be. She says this is not acceptable.

“A week and a half went by. I didn’t receive my refund, so I called her, and at that point she told me she was not going to give me my refund,” Salvant said. “So that’s what brought us to you. We want to get our money back.”

Rooks says she has still been holding camps this summer with many happy clients. She says although she knows the change of venue was unexpected, she does not plan to return the money because she still offered the camp.

“I had to have a change of venue unexpectedly, however, we’re still open for business,” Rooks said. “We’re still providing the same services. It’s a short drive from Wilmington. It doesn’t take long to get here, and I’m about to open a new barn a couple of miles down the road.”

Both sides have talked with lawyers. They say they plan to go to the legal system to settle the dispute.