Plans for undercover arena
IF horses in Gympie could talk, you can bet they’d be asking for an undercover arena to perform their dressage, show jumping and team penning competitions in.
But since we don’t have the equivalent of a Mr Ed in town, we’ll take Show Society president Lars Hedberg’s word for it.
Mr Hedberg has just finalised the design of the region’s first undercover equestrian centre.
He said with other arenas in the state booked solid, the Show Society’s investment would provide solid returns and a profit for years to come.
“It will fill a gap in infrastructure for the show society and the community,” Mr Hedberg said.
And the cost of the 70 metre by 30 metre arena sits at about half-a-million dollars.
Stage one, about a third or 20 metres of the arena, will be finished for the 2011 show and cost more than $100,000 Mr Hedberg says.
“We’ll then complete the rest through profits and seek state and Federal Government assistance.” .
The rest of the stages will be phased over the next four to five years as funds come in – money for the first stage is already in the bank.
“We’re very excited about it. It gives us a long term project.”
Mr Hedberg credited the money Gympie showgirl entrants had raised over the years for the project getting off the ground.
Gympie Regional Council and the Turf Club have thrown their support behind the project which includes new stables, pens, viewing yards and toilets in the final stages.
At a Gympie Regional Corporate Governance and Finance Committee Meeting last month, Cr Ian Petersen said he thought the arena was an excellent idea for the region.
He moved a motion that council commend the Show Society on the multi-purpose covered arena project and offer in-principal support.
“I’m happy to offer them whatever we can.
“This is going to be not only an indoor arena but a general purpose facility.
“A facility like this is great for Gympie,” Cr Petersen said.
The motion was carried.
The building is to be erected on the eastern side of the racetrack near the Ramsey Road competitor entry gate.
In a letter to council the Show Society said the facility would be multi-purpose and available to a wide range of equestrian and other groups as well as individuals.
A report has previously been prepared by the Queensland Government for an Equestrian Centre proposal at Imbil but the Show Society said a facility at the Gympie Showgrounds was ideal.
So horses around the region will have to put up with the elements for a bit longer, well until the first stage of the arena is finished.