August 2008
Featured Articles

Fayette County's Multi-Purpose Complex

Started As a Dream, Steps Up to Reality

By Don Linker
Click to enlarge  
(From left) Sammy Hindman, local rancher; Lance Ezell, manager of Fayette Co-op, and Jeff Sullivan, President of the Fayette County Cattleman’s Association, inside one of the building at the Fayette County Multi-Purpose Complex containing Equestrian World Stalls by Tarter purchased from Fayette Co-op.  
Thanks to the hard work of the Fayette County Commission and area people, the dream started 12 years ago is now a reality. The first building to go up was an open air structure 150 feet by 150 feet on land just off Highway 43 near the Super Wal-Mart. A packed house at a Fayette County Cattleman’s Association rodeo convinced the county commission and the board of directors the complex needed to grow. With the help of Representatives Collins and Thigpen, Senator Roger Bedford and United States Representative Aderholt, another open air building was added thanks to state and federal grant money.

“Grow as the need arises” has always been the attitude of the board of directors who oversee all phases of the operation of the complex. The directors 
represent all areas of the county and include Sammy Hindman, Jeff Sullivan, John Gordon, Mark Patton, Nolan Wilson, Warren Griffith, Larry Trimm, Bud Hokit, Larry McCaleb and Malcom Gilreath. Work began eight years ago on what would become a first-rate indoor arena with a fully-equipped concession, restrooms, seating for 1,500 people and 48 camper hook-ups. The first building now houses the Extension offices and the Fayette County Farmers Market, while the second building is home to 96 Tarter Gate horse stalls purchased from Fayette Branch of AFC.

The facility has been used for a multitude of events including horse fairs, tractor pulls sponsored by G&H Sled Company, hunter jumper events, Alabama Cowboy Mounted Shooting State Championships, district dairy show, Fayette County Cattleman’s Annual Rodeo, NBHA promoted by Karen Hulsey of Haleyville, motor cross, tough man contests, both AQHA and local horse shows, horse training clinics and Relay for Life. Youth activities like 4-H, FFA or other youth events are encouraged and can be held in the arena at no charge. The residents of Fayette County can be proud of having a complex in which virtually any event can be held.

John Gordon, Fayette County Administrator, added that day-to-day operations of the Complex are handled by Mr. Phillip (Rabbit) Rushing. At present, Rushing is the only paid employee and, along with occasional inmate labor, makes sure the facility is maintained and ready for the next event.

John Gordon; Sammy Hindman, local rancher; Jeff Sullivan, President of Fayette County Cattleman’s Association; and members of the Multi-Purpose Complex Board of Directors would like to thank the Fayette County Commission for being the backbone of this project and for their continuing cooperation and support. They added that Mr. Rushing makes the operation of the facility smooth and orderly, and is greatly appreciated. They also expressed their appreciation to Lance Ezell, manager Fayette Co-op, for his willingness to help out and support events.

If you are having an event and need a first-rate facility, consider Fayette County Multi-Purpose Complex, with rates of only $300 per day for the arena, 48 camper hook-ups, 96 horse stalls and community support. For more information or booking dates, you can contact John Gordon at (205) 932-4510 or Sammy Hindman at (205) 270-1486.

Don Linker is an outside salesman for AFC.

An aerial view of the Fayette County Muli-Purpose Complex.