CADIZ - A reception to dedicate the new horse show arena at the Harrison County Fair grounds was held Thursday during the junior fair saddle horse show.
The event honored the donors and supporters who made the new, expanded vinyl arena a reality, according to Sherri Van Tassel, a member of the saddle horse committee.
"The new arena features a larger practicing and showing area, vinyl fencing with two gates for entering and exiting and new lighting. Other improvements include renovations of the announcer's stand, improvements to the bleacher area, renovations to the Grant Street wash bay for horses, improvements to the opposite entrance to the barn and refuse dump areas," she said.
"This project could not have become a reality without the collective efforts of our generous sponsors, donors, 4-H horse families and many local businesses who gave donations of goods and services," said Laynette Shively, saddle horse committee chairman.
"The project shows what can be accomplished when motivated people put their efforts together for positive change. Supporters took the opportunity to make donations in honor or memory of loved ones," she said.
Shively has been working with horses since her 4-H days with the Golden Horseshoe 4-H Club in Smithfield. Her daughter, Danielle, has a paint named Rambo, which she has been showing as a member of the Silver Spurs 4-H Club, and this spurred her mother's interest in becoming part of the saddle horse committee.
"We had work days at the fair grounds several times, painted buildings and did other work. The people on the horse committee are fantastic," Shively said.
"The next step is a fundraiser for getting a new barn. We started with a three-year plan. The first was for the arena, which we now have. This is the second step. For those interested in becoming a sponsor, donations can be sent to the Harrison County Extension Office, 538 North Main Street, Suite H, Cadiz, OH 43907," she said.
"The horse projects are growing. We have 35 horses in the barn. What it comes down to is the safety of the kids. We have the bigger and well fenced arena and we have lights to ride in the evening," she said.
A horse statue will stand outside the entrance gate to the arena. This was donated by Mark Anthony Hanni, who participated in horse shows during his younger years.
"This reminds me of hometown America," he said.
State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, congratulated the members for their involvement toward enhancing the fairgrounds and working to carry out the legacy of the fair.
"I am honored and privileged to be here," he said, thanking all who worked toward the arena for the young people and the values of our part of Ohio.