July 07, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Equestrian Center Dedication

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board will hold a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m., Friday, July 9, along with a weekend of open house activities, for the new 53-acre Valley Water Mill Park Equestrian Center, 4007 N. Farm Road 171.

Free opening weekend activities are from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, July 9 through Sunday and include:

Free open riding is available at the facility’s indoor and outdoor riding arenas from noon – 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. In order to participate, owners must bring their own horse, complete a liability release and provide a copy of their horse’s negative Coggin’s Test. Horses are not provided for riding at the property.

Free refreshments will be provided on Friday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Free collectible horse figurines will be available for the first 100 kids 12 years of age and younger on both Saturday and Sunday. Equestrian Center mouse pads are available for all attendees throughout the three-day celebration, while supplies last.

The Equestrian Center also is the new home of the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse of Greene County. The non-profit organization is designed to promote good horsemanship and fellowship through clinics, charity events, fundraising, trail rides and other park events. The Posse also provides security at local events and will participate in local parades, rodeos and fairs.

“The Posse will support the community by providing search and rescue services and security patrol at events. However, their primary focus is teaching youth horsemanship and other skills that emphasize making positive choices,” said Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott. “I am very excited about this program and look forward to working with this group of volunteers as well as the Park Board.”

The Equestrian Center features a 200-foot x 90-foot indoor arena with sand footing; 170-foot by 115-foot fenced outdoor arena with all weather sand footing; restrooms; eight-stall horse barn; existing home being used as offices; parking; and meeting room with full kitchen available for rent. Birthday party packages and half-day rentals are available. Facility hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The main office number is 417-833-3291.

The Equestrian Center is the latest improvement to the 124-acre Valley Water Mill Park. Other amenities at the site include a lake, fishing piers, lake-and-streamside learning stations, maintenance center, one-mile hiking and other in-park trail, and future Watershed Center of the Ozarks.

The project was funded as part of the 2001 voter-approved 1/4-cent city-county parks sales tax. The total park renovations and development cost is $1.55 million. The primary contractors for the project were Kennedy Contractors, American Paving and Anchor Fence. Esterly Schneider & Associates provided architectural services.

Directions to site: from Glenstone Avenue & Interstate 44 – travel north to Valley Water Mill Road, turn right. At Barnes Avenue (Farm Road 171), turn left. Travel approximately 3/4-mile to Equestrian Center on left.

For more information, media contact: Tom Moore, Superintendent of Special Facilities, 417-353-1827; or Jodie Adams, Director of Parks, 417-864-1329.