In January, 2013, ELCR partnered with Mary Ann Simonds and Wellington Equestrians to participate in an Equestrian Planning workshop held in Wellington, Florida. This workshop was designed to help local equestrians and business owners ensure a future for horses in their community by incorporating horse lands into community planning. Throughout the day, a variety of speakers addressed the issues that are vital to equestrian communities throughout the nation.
Equestrian Planning Education Workshop: The KY Horse Park as a Case Study
John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, gives a history of the evolution of the Kentucky Horse Park from its original vision through today. The Kentucky Horse Park is a showcase for what equestrian sport can do for economic development. The 2010 World Equestrian Games spurred tremendous growth for the Kentucky Horse Park, which fundamentally allowed improvements to be made not only to the Park but also to the city of Lexington.
Mike O’Dell, Project Director for the Village of Wellington, speaks about history of Wellington as a horse capital, as well as the challenges that it faces as they strive to improve the area for horses and riders, including issues about improving trails, education of best management practices and horse/rider safety issues.
Anna Gibson, Chief Executive Officer of the Equine Land Conservation Resource, speaks about the common themes that are present when communities strive to protect their equestrian lifestyle, including what generally works and what may not. She also gives three detailed examples of communities that have done this, highlighting the steps they have taken to be successful.
Diane Mercer Sauve, Director of the Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control, speaks about the mission and duties of the Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control. She overviews responsibilities on the part of the horse owner in Palm Beach County, as well as resources that the organization offers. She especially focuses on emergency planning for animal care during natural disasters.
Joan Hutchinson, Equestrian Facilities Manager of Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation, speaks about the vast array of equestrian facilities that Palm Beach County offers, and how the organization hopes to become a part of Wellington’s major plan.
Arthur Kirstein, coordinator of the Office of Agricultural Economic Development, USDA Palm Beach County, speaks about the resources that the Office of Agricultural Economic Development and Extension Services has to offer. He focuses on the importance of implementing nutrient management plans on horse operations, and legislation that affects agricultural operations.
Tiffany Snow, a Wildlife Biologist of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, speaks about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s mission and purpose, their responsibilities and resources they offer.
George Tauber of Equistar International stresses the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to planning for improvements to an equestrian community.
Equestrian Planning Education Workshop: South Florida Water Management District Resources
Loraine Mayers, Outreach Representative of the South Florida Water Management District, and Pam Wade, Bureau Chief of the South Florida Water Management District, gives an overview of the mission and responsibilities of the South Florida Water Management District. Wade gives a more detailed overview of her role of protecting and implementing regulations, and the kinds of resources that the Bureau has available.
Equestrian Planning Education Workshop: Palm Beach County Planning Division Resources
Isaac Hoyos, Principal Planner of the Palm Beach County Planning Division, gives an overview of the support that Palm Beach County Planning Division has to offer when constructing a comprehensive plan for an equestrian community.
Open Q & A with the panel members of the 2013 Equestrian Planning Education Workshop on January 30, 2013 in Wellington, Florida.