MALONE — The Franklin County Fairgrounds will have a new facility this summer: an indoor riding arena currently under construction.
Fair Board director Dave Gokey said the arena will replace an outdoor riding area. He said construction should be complete by mid-May.
A horse show in June is planned, he said, and is planned for the new arena.
“In case of bad weather, riders and people presenting their horses will not have to worry about getting wet. We can hold these events in inclement weather,” Gokey said.
The new ride will be larger than the outdoor ride it replaces.
“It was on the back burner for about a year. We just didn’t have the funding, but we were able to find funding this year to do it,” Gokey said.
Gokey said it made sense to keep the arena near the same site due to its proximity to the stable.
“It doesn’t interfere with anything that happens in the grandstand when we move the horses from the barn to the arena,” Gokey said. “There’s little traffic there – pedestrians and vehicles – so it was the perfect location.”
Gokey said the decision to increase the size of the arena was made due to the popularity of horse shows in the area.
“Horse shows in the North East are a good sport; we see more and more people starting to show horses,” Gokey said. “We thought we could get a bigger arena and possibly attract additional horse shows.”
Gokey said equestrian events were also popular at the county fair.
“During fair week, we have maybe 20 to 30 shows in each class,” Gokey said.
The new arena has been under construction since December and was delivered to the fairgrounds in early April, Gokey said.
“The contractor we use, he started digging and putting cement in mid-March,” Gokey said, adding that surface work has started and the contractor “is ahead of schedule.” .
Gokey said the show’s board is gearing up for events in early June, with the auto show and demolition derby scheduled for June 4-5.