The newly covered arena at Lander University’s Equestrian Center will be dedicated on Saturday, Jan. 26, when the equestrian team hosts the first regional International Horse Show Association competitive event of the spring semester. President Daniel Ball will officiate at the grand opening at 9 a.m., and the public is invited to attend. The Equestrian Center is located on the grounds of Burton Center on Hwy. 72/221.
Town & Country Construction built the roof, and Heaner Design Group was the architect on the project that took about 10 months to complete. Both are Greenwood firms.
The dedication will include the presentation of an American flag that was flown in Iraq in honor of the Equestrian Center on May 5, 2011, by SPC Matt Culbertson, a member of Bravo Company, 151st ESB of the South Carolina National Guard. Culbertson and his family have close ties to the Center: his wife, Ashley, as a longtime volunteer in the equestrian program, and their son, Benjie, the recipient of rehabilitation services provided by the university’s Bearcat Therapeutic Riding program.
Equestrian Center director Nancy Poston said having the covered arena means that therapeutic riding clients will not have their sessions interrupted by bad weather. “And horse show events and training for riders can take place rain or shine,” she added.
Equestrian coach Mary Hughston-Weaver said Lander will host two Western shows on Saturday after the dedication and two shows on Sunday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. both days. Between 50 and 60 riders representing Lander, Clemson University, Georgia Southern University and Wesleyan College in Georgia will compete.
She said Lander’s Western team is having a very good year. The team is tied with Clemson for high point or first place. Timothy White is ranked high-point rider in reining and horsemanship.
This will be the first time the covered arena will be used in a competitive event and Hughston-Weaver said equestrian team riders are working with horses to get them accustomed to riding under cover.