IRON RIVER—The Iron County Horse Committee is seeking funds to help in its efforts to replace the boards and posts in the fence that surrounds the horse arena on the upper level of the Iron County Fairgrounds.
The fence has been in place since the arena was built more than 20 years ago. But the boards and the posts have deteriorated, are unstable and need replacement, according to horse superintendent Nancy Johnson.
“The deterioration causes safety concerns should a rider lose control of the horse,” she said. “In addition to safety issues, the width of the fence boards detracts from the view of the horses and participants during the horse shows.”
Johnson said the new fence will be made of metal panels instead of board and post.
Over the past year, the committee raised approximately 70 percent of the funds needed for this project through direct donations, a benefit dinner and other fundraising activities.
The Iron County Fair Board loaned the committee the balance of the funds so it could order the panels and complete the project in 2014.
The panels were delivered last week and have been installed inside the existing fence, which will allow the arena to remain usable during the deconstruction phase.
Most of the old boards have been removed, and the support posts will be removed and replaced throughout the summer.
“The arena will look its finest when all the old posts have been removed, the support panels have been installed and new gate posts are installed,” Johnson said.
The project should be nearly complete by the 2014 Iron County Fair on Labor Day weekend, Johnson said.
The Iron County Horse Committee will continue its fundraising efforts over the next year to pay back the funds borrowed from the fair board.
The committee is accepting donations for the panels in any amount. Patrons will be posted on a sponsor board located on the fairgrounds.
Information regarding the fundraiser can be obtained from Tammy Mehlberg at 265-9096 or Nancy Johnson at 906-367-1217.
The arena is located on the north end of the parking area. The arena itself is a practice venue and is able to hold the horse events during the Iron County Fair. Last year, the arena hosted three horse shows, as well as a practice session and a couple of clinics in the arena. Area horsemen will often be found riding and practicing in this arena during the week.
The arena facility is available to all county residents.
The Iron County Horse Committee is a volunteer organization and a subcommittee of the Iron County Fair Association. Its focus is to provide equine-related educational events, clinics, shows and practice sessions for all area horse enthusiasts with a focus on youth development.