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By Emily Bontrager
Since Erin Bash was eight years old, she has shown horses in 4-H at the Clark County Fair. Last November, Erin decided to talk with the Junior Livestock Committee about replacing the horse arena at the Clark County Fairgrounds.
The Junior Livestock Committee approved her request and Erin and her parents, Jim and Nancy Bash, started asking for bids for the project.
Erin is a member and an officer of Ashton Cloverleaf 4-H Club and the local Clark County FFA chapter. She will be a senior next year and has hoped to get a new horse arena installed at the fairgrounds for a while.
“The biggest thing is just the safety for our members. It’s a very old arena, and it did decay over time and we need a safe place for all of our members to practice,” Erin said.
“There are a lot of younger kids in our group and my nieces and nephews are coming up, so I felt like if I didn’t do something now about the arena it might always get shoved to the side.”
The old arena was last rebuilt in the 1980’s and a few improvements have been made over the years, but the arena was in need of a makeover. According to Erin, the arena was made of old metal panels, which were stapled to wooden posts. Some of these posts were rotting, so they really needed to be replaced.
The horse arena at the Clark County Fairgrounds is used for practices or warmups for the Clark County Mule Festival and practices and shows for the 4-H and FFA members. The arena is also used by the public.
“Adults go out there and use the facility, so it was a big deal to them too. They wanted to come to the meetings and help out because this isn’t just for 4-H or FFA, it’s a community and for anyone that has an animal,” Erin said.
The old arena was torn down by
Erin, her parents, and a few other members who show horses. The new horse arena was completed before Mother’s Day by Toby Eicher and his crew of workers. The new arena consists of six-panel continuous fencing and will be more sustainable than what was previously installed.
Sand has also been donated to spread around the arena, which will be better for the animals and those practicing in the arena.
“Nobody wants to fall off on hard ground and just the footing for the horses is important. When you get the mud, it’s not fun because then we would have to practice out there too,” Erin said.
You can check out the new improvements to the horse arena at the fairgrounds. Be sure to go and support the 4-H and FFA horse members at the Clark County Fair in July.
Donations to replace the horse arena were given by IMI Equipment, Boltz Family Farms, Clark County Mule Festival, Eicher’s Farm Supply, Cline’s Corner, Shamrock 4-H Club, Ashton Cloverleaf 4-H Club, ADM, and the Clark County Fair Board. Two loads of sand were also donated from Ideal Sand Mix.