The Borderland Quarter Horse Association will host more than 40 horses from Canada and the U.S at its biggest-ever annual show this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Emo Fairgrounds.
But if fair board members get their way, the show will be even bigger in years to come.
The board is looking to build a multiplex facility large enough to house some 40 horses—more than tripling the space available in the site’s current stables.
The complex also would include showing facilities and a canteen.
“With this facility, we could probably double the number of horses that are coming in now [for the show],” said Gary Beck, a member of the “barn committee” planning committee for the project.
The space also could be useful as a venue for other activities, Beck said.
“This building won’t just be used for horses. We’re looking for partners [in the project] who’ll be able to find their own uses for the building as well,” he remarked.
“You could hold car shows or trade shows in there. It’s bigger than a hockey arena.”
Beck added an indoor complex would mean the horse show no longer would hinge on the whims of Mother Nature, which has been a problem in the past.
“The show could go on rain or shine. Even some of the entertainment events could go on in there instead of being outside,” he noted.
“The new facility will raise the number of tourists coming to the area as well because there would be, on average, about three people per horse coming to the shows.
“That’s a lot of revenue into the district.”
While nothing is final yet, fair board members hope the multiplex will be up and running within two years. “It’s pending on government funding and the number of partners who are willing to come in,” Beck said.
Those who attend this weekend’s show, which is free to the public, will have a chance to see a model of the prospective building at a booth devoted to the project.
A draw also will be held, with all proceeds going towards offsetting the cost of construction.
Meanwhile, the upcoming show will include halter classes, English competition, western pleasure classes (Saturday and Sunday only), and a futurity for young horses.
Judges for the competitions hail from across Canada and the U.S.
The show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days.