Indoor riding arena

Raising the bar | St. Lawrence University

The Elsa Gunnison Appleton Carousel Renovation Project is underway.

Home to the six-time IHSA National Champion St. Lawrence Riding Team, the Elsa Gunnison Appleton Ride, located on the edge of the St. Lawrence University campus past Des Elms Avenue, is quietly improving to take its rightful place as a world-class venue. A state-of-the-art equestrian facility with 54 stalls and a 220-foot by 200-foot heated indoor arena with a Euro Felt sole, the facility also consists of 30 acres of grass, available for horses owned by the university and students. boarders, as well as several smaller all-weather paddocks.

Built in the 1960s with support from the Appleton family, the original structure was ahead of its time, elevating the stature of the Saints riding team that had been found four decades earlier in 1925. In addition to six national titles, the St. Lawrence Riders have won 28 individual national championships, and most recently the Saints qualified for the IHSA championships by winning the last 11 regional titles, but the facility hasn’t kept pace with the accomplishments of the team.

Thanks to the generosity of several Saint-Laurent families, however, three phases of renovations have been completed, and phase four has begun with six stalls scheduled to be upgraded this spring. Stalls originally designed for small animals typical of the 1960s and 1970s have been renovated to comfortably accommodate today’s horses, with new features and improved insulation.

The renovation initiative is key to modernizing the facility to meet the needs of 21st century competitive riding programs. Additional resources are needed to complete the final stages and provide the Saints’ nationally recognized riding team with an arena worthy of champions.

Contact Andy Whittier, Director of Athletic Development, at 315-229-5511 or, for more information on project support.