Friends of Horseshoe Park announces capital campaign for equestrian center upgrades

Friends of Horseshoe Park announced March 17 it will begin a capital campaign to benefit Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre.

Jon Wootten, left, president of Friends of Horseshoe Park, discussed the organization’s capital campaign at the March 15 meeting of the Queen Creek Town Council. Joining him was Byron Kimball, a member of the FOHP board. The capital campaign began this month.(Independent Newspapers/Wendy Miller)Friends of Horseshoe Park announced March 17 it will begin a capital campaign to benefit Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre.

The purpose of the campaign is to boost the positive economic impact HPEC has on the town of Queen Creek by attracting high value events.

FOHP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, incorporated in 2010 to support Horseshoe Park Equestrian Centre as well as to help foster the rural heritage of Queen Creek.

Horseshoe Park, 20464 E. Riggs Road, is home to the annual Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek event that began March 15, showcasing a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association rodeo, a family rodeo, carnival and numerous other activities for the entire family.

The park also hosts events throughout the year including the Arizona Cutting Horse Association, Arizona Reined Cow Horse Association, Arizona Reining Horse Association, Cowboy Mounted Shooting, numerous local team roping and barrel racing events, 4-H events, flat track racing and much more.

The HPEC capital campaign will take place over a three-year period, beginning today and running through 2019.

FOHP is seeding the project with $5,000 and has committed an additional $5,000 to match individual donations between $20 and $500.

FOHP’s initial donation of $10,000 will result in $15,000 actually being donated.

Three concepts are being considered depending on the money being raised: covering Arena 3, making improvements to Arena 1 such as a sound system and building a permanent show office.

By covering Arena 3, approximately eight additional weeks would be added to the event season and could increase HPEC revenues by $160,000 per year. The cost to cover Arena 3 is projected to be $500,000.

The second concept focuses on Arena 1 improvements such as adding a sound system. While this would provide some savings for specific large events held at HPEC, there would be no additional revenue generated by this improvement. The estimated cost for this concept is $10,000-$30,000.

The third concept of building a permanent show office would remove the current show trailer, saving $540 per month. Estimated costs are variable depending on timing, square footage, location and other factors.

“Covering Arena 3 would provide the greatest impact to events and the community,” stated Jon Wootten, president of FOHP. “This improvement will add to HPEC’s multi-event viability and increases the premium use season by eight weeks. Covering the arena will allow for an additional weatherproof option so use of the arena is not lost. The other concepts will improve the park but will not specifically add revenue.”

FOHP is seeking $100,000 as its target goal for this capital campaign. The FOHP Board of Directors have indicated no decision will be made until the $100,000 goal has been reached. All funds raised during the capital campaign will be deposited into a specific account and no dispersal will begin until the start of construction.

“Donors may earmark their funds for a specific project with an additional agreement,” Mr. Wootten said. “For example, if a donor gives $10,000 specifically to cover Arena 3 and covering Arena 3 is not chosen or possible, all donated funds will be returned to the donor.”

FOHP board and committee members attended the Roots N’ Boots event to answer questions about the capital campaign. For additional information, contact FOHP via e-mail at info@friendsofhorseshoepark.org.

Donations for the capital campaign can be sent to FOHP at P.O. Box 1062, Queen Creek, AZ 85142.

As an organization, FOHP helps to organize, run and support special events at HPEC. FOHP are the hosts of the annual community event, Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek, which celebrates the Queen Creek rural heritage by providing multiple days of family oriented fun centered around an agricultural theme.

Editor’s note: Angela Askey is a member of the Friends of Horseshoe Park/Roots N’ Boots committees.

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