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It’s been a long time coming, but Los Alamos now has an indoor arena. Located at 750 North Mesa Road, the 75-foot by 200 foot steel-walled structure was the scene of a ribbon-cutting Friday afternoon.
County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers led off the festivities with a little boast.
“I’m sure there are many communities out there that are very envious, because they don’t have such a fine thing in their own location,” he said. He then went on to thank many of the people that made it possible, including Lisa Reader of the Los Alamos Pony Club, the contractors that put it together, his fellow council members, (Kristin Henderson, David Izraelevitz and Steve Girrens were in attendance along with County Clerk Sharon Stover) and the county staff members.
“Every time I do one of these ribbon cuttings I refer to the county staff members as the unsung heroes,” Rodgers said. “They’re the ones who do all the grunt work and don’t get acknowledged for it.”
While the Los Alamos Pony Club was a big proponent of the project since its inception, the facility is also designed for any activity where inclement weather could be a factor. The Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club plans to use it as well as law enforcement for search and rescue practices.
The site has restrooms, running water, electricity and lighting as well. According to the latest figures, the budget for the project was $786,421.
The indoor arena concept was brought to the council as a capital improvement project by the Los Alamos Pony Club in 2010. Reader noted that many in the community have been advocating for the indoor arena for at least 22 years, and thanked a long list of people for making it happen.
“All of us here promise you we will take very good care of it,” she said. “We know what you’ve invested in this community, our kids and us adults who like to still be kids.”
Equestrian Carol Bronisz said the arena will be a help, especially when the weather gets dicey.
“I think it will be fantastic,” she said. “Riding in the wind is just no fun. They get jumpy, plastic bags, things like that flying in the wind tend to spook them,” Bronisz said of the horses.
Joanna Casson, district commissioner for the Los Alamos Pony Club, said the facility removes weather as a factor forever when it comes to training and competing.
“This means we can have a facility to exercise our horses year round,” she said. “This will make sure to keep our horses in shape over the winter and even during the spring and summer when we have thunderstorms and high winds.”
She said the facility will also help their horses get used to competing in an indoor environment, another obstacle the club has had to deal with when competing elsewhere.
Melissa Blair, another equestrian, said the indoor arena is going to make a great facility to have 4H Club meetings.
“This place also gives us a facility for that as well as horse activities, and so we’re really excited about that aspect of having a covered arena,” she said.