New Arena Opens at Union Community Saddle Club with April Equine Events
Saturday, April 4, 2009, marked the day horse shows came back to Franklin County after years of none being held there. An arena once stood on the ground where Union Community Saddle Club Arena now stands. The old arena stood for years and was the focal point for horse shows in an area where horses are still very prominent. Horse lovers met at the arena to show off their horses and to establish bragging rights. Over time, with work schedules changing, different leisure activities evolved with the faster-paced lifestyle and interest in horses dwindled as leisure time became crowded with other activities. The old arena finally gave way to progress and succumbed to time and the elements.
The idea to promote the building of a new arena on the same Community Center ground began with Buddy and Cindy Doughit, and was promoted vigorously by them. Meetings were held and plans were made to build an arena that could be used once again as a gathering place for the community and horse lovers. The arena exists to promote equine activities, get young people involved, provide equine education and, of course, to entertain.
The support of the community has been phenomenal with monetary help, materials and labor. The club would like to express its appreciation to all who helped, including the Franklin County Commissioners, probate judge, Senator Rodger Bedford, Franklin County Co-op (Karen Linker, manager), Northwest Alabama Stockyards (Jim Martin, manager), area political leaders of the people who bring their animals for the pony and wagon rides, Linden Miller, Johnny Smith, Ralton Baker and family, Joseph Baldwin, Tommy Hallman and all the bands who have used their time and talents to help raise funds to make this project possible. Special thanks goes to the determined club members, some of whom do not own horses, for all the work and effort they put in to the success of this undertaking. Funds are now being sought to build an announcer stand and concession stand with bathrooms. Fundraisers are planned which include horse shows and trail rides.
The show season kicked off on with an Extreme Trail Horse Competition at 10 a.m. and an Open Horse Show at 5 p.m. Contestants were plentiful and came from as far away as Tupelo, Miss., and Ardmore. The club will have more competitions and shows on May 30, June 27, July 18 and August 8.
For information on horse shows or the trail competitions, contact Don Linker, (256) 221-7194; Teresa Casas, (256) 460-1242; Ron Alexander, (205) 269-5730 or Jeremy Glenn, (205) 272-0033.
Remember your local Quality Co-op has all your equine and livestock needs including feed, animal health supplies, tack and answers to your questions. They support equine activities in your area, and appreciate and strive to earn your business.
Don Linker is an outside salesman for AFC.