A central west town is set to become one of the great equestrian centres in Australia following the announcement that the NSW state government is funding a brand new facility worth $1.5 million within the Blayney Showground.
To be built at the northern edge of the showground, replacing the current cattle pavilion and the single sand arena, the Central West Equestrian and Livestock Centre has been funded by the NSW government’s Regional growth Environment and Tourism Fund.
The multipurpose covered arena will include the construction of a steel framed roofed shed 80 metres long by 50 metres wide, the construction of a new sand arena and base, rainwater reticulation infrastructure, lighting and other associated works.
For Jo Copelin from the Carcoar and District Pony Club, the new facility will mean that the club will no longer have to cancel events because of bad weather.
“Out here during winter we have misty rain and snow and soon no matter what the conditions are, we can hold an event,” she said.
“There are so many children looking for a club like ours to help with their riding, and now they’ll be able to come along at any time with their instructors.”
President of Central West Dressage Beth Maclean said that the centre will make all the difference for the club.
“We’ll be able to hold state and national competitions here in Blayney without ever having to worry about the conditions,” she said.
“There will be riders here that range from novices all the way up to Olympic quality. It’s a dream.”
Andre Riphagen from the Orange Equestrian Club has been a part of the planning for the centre since its beginning.
“I went with the GM of Blayney Shire Rebecca Ryan to the first meetings in Sydney many years ago and this is our dream to have this built,” he said.
“It will always be available and even of an evening during winter, riders can come and practice jumping for a few hours when it’s dark outside.”
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said that the centre would create jobs, increase tourism and provide a significant boost to the local economy.
“This is a unique project, providing great value for the region. This is the only publicly accessible multipurpose covered area facility in NSW and supports the growing tourism sector in the Central Western region,” he said.
Blayney mayor Scott Ferguson said that the project was one of the most exciting to be announced in a very long time.
“There are a lot of stakeholders that will use this facility and have a truly multipurpose building,” he said.