Columbia, Mo. (November 19, 2009)—A Thanksgiving weekend horse show will mark the grand opening of the Sapp Building Covered Arena at the Boone County Fairgrounds. The Cowgirl Tuff Barrel Bash will be held November 27 to 29 and feature more than 300 horses from 12 states. The recent completion of major construction on the Sapp Building Covered Arena was essential to bringing this event to Boone County.
“This show has been here in the past, but they were starting to look for another venue that had a covered warm-up arena,” said Fairgrounds manager George Harris. “Having this arena completed allowed me to keep the show this year and keep them on our schedule for the future.”
In 2007, a consultant recommended a covered equestrian arena as the number one way to increase revenues at the Boone County Fairgrounds. When Billy and Glenda Sapp of Columbia donated a 22,000 square-foot building to the County in 2008, the Boone County Commission decided to use the building for a covered warm-up arena at the Fairgrounds. The building was taken down and transported from Old Hawthorne to the Fairgrounds with the help of community volunteers and the Boone County Fair Board. Construction of the arena began in the spring of 2009. Community support for the arena has also included monetary donations from MFA Oil, MFA Charitable Foundation, Boone County Farm Bureau and Boone Electric.
More than 70 events are already scheduled at the Fairgrounds for 2010. Harris says that this is a direct result of the new arena.
“Up until this time, it was difficult to get and keep events at the Fairgrounds because we didn’t have a covered arena for people to prepare and warm-up before a show,” said Harris. “The new arena has solved this problem, and we are all very excited about it.”
An official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Sapp Building Covered Arena is planned for the spring.
“We know that the Sapp Arena will be a great asset to the Boone County Fairgrounds and will serve the community for many years,” said Boone County Northern Commissioner Skip Elkin. “In fact, we have already booked several new equestrian events as a result of this facility, which will bring in revenue for our community. Ultimately, this will help us maintain our rich agricultural heritage in Boone County.”