Plans for Equestrian Center Unfolding

DATE 02/10/2006 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Plans for Equestrian Center Unfolding

Mt. Pleasant Main Street Committee, in coordination with Sanpete County Economic Development and Kevin Christensen, director of the county’s Travel and Heritage Council, has unfolded plans for the development of an equestrian center that will serve all of the county.

The proposal, which was presented by the equestrian center committee at a Mt. Pleasant Main Street Committee this week, will be presented to the Mt. Pleasant Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Board on Tuesday, Feb. 14 2006.

“The centre will be a great asset for Mt. Pleasant City and Sanpete County,” Christensen said. “It has the potential to bring hundreds of visitors to various events sponsored by the community and to local clubs. The new complex will also provide stall space for lease. Riders will have the ability to escape cold weather during the winter, and during the summer months, they can head to the nearby mountain trails and experience the beauty of the Manti-La Sal National Forest.”

The equestrian center will be located on 55 acres of land on the north side of the Mt. Pleasant industrial park. Plans call for an indoor arena, two outdoor arenas, covered stalls, trailer parking, RV parking, a multi-purpose building with showers, a play area, tent area, and, possibly, a swimming pool. The adjacent airport, which focuses on recreational flying, will add another important dimension for tourism plan.

“This project, which will be developed in phases, will make an outstanding contribution to the economy of Mt. Pleasant and Sanpete County,” says Monte Bona, a member of the Main Street committee and Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council. The center’s development is part of an ongoing campaign by the heritage council to promote outdoor recreation throughout the region.

“Horse enthusiasts along the Wasatch Front need a place where they can participate in arena activities, as well as take advantage of the outstanding horse trails in a beautiful mountain terrain. Local trainers, clubs, schools and horse owners will be proud to host activities and invite fellow enthusiasts to visit the equestrian center in the Sanpete Valley.”

Bona says the Sanpete County region currently has more horses than it did back in the days when the animals were the main source of transportation, and horse enthusiasts are looking to construct a facility that would let them exercise, train and hold horse-related events and activities year round. In addition to horse enthusiasts and local business owners, Bona adds that all of the county could see direct and indirect effects from an indoor arena.

Benefits would range from bringing more tourists into the region to filling up hotels and motels, to expanding educational offerings for people inside and outside the community.

“We are continually looking for new opportunities that will allow Sanpete County to promote its many historical and recreational offerings,” Bona says. “This facility would complement the many other attractions we currently have.”

The center will also tie into a equestrian program at Mt. Pleasant’s Wasatch Academy. The Century-old private boarding school will be a major player in the project. Vern Fisher, Wasatch Academy’s director of development, is coordinating the Center for the school. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Wasatch and for the communities of Sanpete County,” he says, adding that the school’s growing equestrian program will link with the Center. Betsy and Pat Page, who direct Wasatch’s equestrian program, will also serve on the center committee with Fisher.

Kevin Stallings, who is heading the center committee, praised the effort and the expertise each of the committee members brings to the project. Other committee members are: Jared Nicholson, Ernie Booth, Dean Daniels, Juanita and Keith Ranch, Wanda Terry and Robert Olson.

Architect George Olson, who is located in Mt. Pleasant’s old caboose in the Railroad Depot Heritage Village, has prepared the design work on a volunteer basis. He has designed many other major recreational projects and will be crucial to the Center’s development.

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For more information Contact:

Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502

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