Melinda Katchur, the Surface Creek Saddle Club's secretary/treasurer, recently gave a tour of the arena grounds. Much work has already been completed to prepare for the club's summer gymkhana series. Everything is painted, the area and adjoining track have been "ripped" and leveled, water leaks and roofs have been repaired, and the area has been mowed and cleaned up.
So, Katchur says, the arena is ready, although the work of maintaining a safe and efficient equestrian environment is really never done. Like any non-profit which depends upon the support of individual volunteers and community business sponsors, the club has its own particular wish list. And here it is:
1. Safer and sturdier arena fencing. The fence separating the track from the arena (see photo) is in need of replacement. The pipe framework is broken in places and neither the chain-link fencing, which is suspended from the frame, nor the steel belting at the base of the fence form a safe barricade. The current fencing needs to be removed and replaced by new steel framework embedded in a concrete stem wall. The club already has safer and sturdier galvanized steel panels on hand but these cannot be installed until the new framework is in place. Adding a sprinkler system to the new fence would be ideal. A generous contractor who was willing to donate some or all of the services/supplies needed for this replacement project would be a welcome partner in solving this, the club's number one priority.
2. Storage. A shed to store the club's tractor and other equipment and supplies.
3. A new, more powerful tractor. The current tractor is not powerful enough to perform necessary arena maintenance and a leveler attachment is also needed.
4. Fire hose reels. The arena and track must be periodically wetted to maintain a good surface. The club has fire hoses but the reels would help make best use of the hoses.
5. Grandstand coverings. Currently spectators need to bring their own umbrellas to use as sun shades and protection from rain.
6. Ideal world wishes: Bathroom repairs and a new round pen where riders can prepare their horses for competition.
Any individual or business desiring to help make these wishes come true is urged to contact Keith Stillings, president of the Surface Creek Saddle Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.