By Justin Seward
The Dunmore Equestrian Centre officially opened its gates last summer and is making headway going into this year with more programming and hoping to have the indoor arena completed before next winter. The centre had recently purchased two-team horses in effort to attract more seniors to the grounds. “We want to offer carriage rides for people that just can’t either get on a horse or get near a horse, it’s just too difficult,” said Dunmore Equestrian Centre’s treasurer Cathy Schnell. There has been interest from organizations such as the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede for the horses’ services at the parade and from local professionals to use them for events. Schnell is a certified Equine western Canada riding coach and is wanting to start the Equine Therapy facilitated programs. “They’re instrumental in helping people overcome addiction and self-esteem,” said Schnell. “I would like to have an indoor facility that’s public and can offer all kinds of physical and mental health benefits.” The facility will be hosting a day of entertainment in June with the Teamster Log Skids, stock dog trials and trick riders for a fundraiser. Rodeo fans will get to see the Lil Britches rodeo on Sept. 9, 4-H will be hosting rodeos and local roping clubs will be practicing twice a week. The 4-H clubs will make their home at the facility at no cost in exchange for sweat equity. Meanwhile, the equestrian society’s focus this year is to continue to complete more parts of the centre after the Medicine Hat Accommodation Association donated $150,000 to get the centre off the ground last year, where they were able to purchase the outdoor arena kit panels and welded them all in place. There is a $4 million grant into the provincial government for the first shell of the indoor arena this year. Schnell said the earliest they would here is sometime in April but unlikely will. There has also been interest in obtaining the naming rights to the arena from businesses.