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Horse lovers unite: Making plans to improve arena at fairgrounds

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By Donald Richie

A group of horse enthusiasts are trying to organize a club for like minded folks to share their love of equines and possibly make some changes to help the community.

After the Morgan Riggs Memorial Rocky Mountain Horse Show at the 4-H fairgrounds in May, organizer Paulette Klein said she immediately saw the need for improved facilities.

During preparation for the show, Klein had established the Central Kentucky Horse Club (CKHC) as a fiscal agent for the event.

Once it was over, she said extension agent Gary Carter asked her to place the club under the umbrella of the extension office.

I said I would love to do that, she said.

With that support, the club will hold its first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Harrison County Extension Office, 668 New Lair Road.

Klein is inviting anyone who wishes to move Harrison Countys horse interests forward to come to the event and see what the club is about.

Its not breed-specific, so anybody - even if they own a mule or a donkey - can come, she said. Its going to be helpful to them, too, because well cover all equine subjects.

First on the agenda, however, is improving the facilities at the fairgrounds.

We think the community could generate a lot more money if we improve the facility, said Heather Fryman, who is also supporting the efforts, noting that two-day shows would bring in more visitors who would patronize local businesses.

The 4-H Saddle N Spurs club has taken on the task of repairing and covering the existing arena, said club leader Kelly Downs.

The arena suffers from two problems at the moment: size and drainage.

Downs said the arena needs to be at the national standard of 120 by 200 feet.

Theyre going to put in new footing, Downs added.

The next big step will be to fix the drainage problem which has led to several shows being delayed in the past.

In fact, the Riggs show had to be moved to the fairgrounds gravel parking lot because the arena was wet.

A lot of people wont show under those conditions, Fryman said.

On top of repairs, Saddle N Spurs is also spearheading a project to install a covered arena.

To help in that area, CKHC will work toward having new stalls and a camping area for show participants to use.

Other planned activities for CKHC include trail rides, camping,shows,parades and cookouts.

Educational topics planned for future meetings are horse health,nutrition and forage, vaccinations,diseases, breeding, hoof and leg care, disciplines and horse jobs.

Horse College is coming this fall. Courtesy of the Harrison and Bourbon County extension offices, this course is similar to the Master Cattlemens course and will cover numerous subjects on equine issues over a five to six week period.

For more information, contact Klein at (859) 235-8950; cell, (859) 588-3394; e-mail, pmkleinky@gmail.com or the Harrison County Extension Office at (859) 234-5510.