Co-Written By Maura Titterington & Destiny Malone
Saratoga could soon be home to the first horse park in New York State!
What is a horse park? A horse park is a not-for-profit facility that can be used for competitions, horse shows, polo events and more. A horse park could also offer programs for riders with disabilities as well as clinics and demonstrations for educational purposes. A horse park is large enough to have the ability to host multiple events in the same weekend.
New York State Horse Park, Inc. is the organization devoted to creating the area's first horse park in Saratoga. They are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.
New York State Horse Park's mission is to provide "competitive, recreational and learning opportunities for youth and adults while respecting and caring for the environment; to preserve the rural, equestrian and agricultural character of the surrounding areas; and to provide a premier international, national and regional equestrian exhibition facility complementing upstate New York State's rich and historic involvement in equine activities."
Their vision for the park would include:
- a covered arena capable of seating thousands of spectators
- 2+ regulation-size dressage rings for competitions
- a grand-prix jumping course
- a cross-country course
- a marathon course for driving competitions
- a steeplechase course
- 3-4 warm up rings for 3-4 outdoor arenas (some equipped with lighting for night showing)
- trailheads or connections to existing trails in the area
- a place where retired Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and/or polo ponies will be housed
- an equine sports medicine and rehabilitation center
- possible future connection with an educational institution for equine-related studies
The accompanying image is a concept drawing of the proposed horse park by Joan Komorowski.
A Saratoga horse park could have a huge economic impact on the region. The events hosted at the park would draw more visitors to the area who will spend money on lodging, food, entertainment and of course horse supplies! The Kentucky Horse Park estimates $251 million is brought in annually in tax revenues.
Currently, the closest horse park is in Allentown, New Jersey, and this would be New York's first horse park! Why Saratoga County? A horse park in Saratoga is a natural fit as it already draws horse enthusiasts, and the region is equipped to accommodate large crowds. And why shouldn't Saratoga County be home to New York's first horse park? After all, our motto is "Health, History and Horses!"
The chosen location for the Saratoga Horse Park, between exit 15 and 16 off Jones Road, would provide easy access from the Northway for future visitors.
The New York State Horse park needs your help bring the concept of a Saratoga Horse Park to reality! As their website states: "Currently, funds are needed for promotional and educational materials, for a site selection feasibility study and for future fund-raising and community awareness events. As the project moves forward we will need funds to acquire the land, prepare architectural plans and construct the facility."
Find out more about the horse park! Visit the NY Horse Park website for more information. If you are interested in getting involved, contact Elaine Peake at 518-871-1275.