So what happened to the plans for the building? Lots.
There were many challenges in 2020 that impacted our ability to operate, fundraise and proceed with the project as designed. Our Community was hit especially hard with the dam failures and devastating flooding. And it happened during a global pandemic. To find our path forward, we sought support and encouragement of community leaders to revise the scope of the project and to align the costs more closely to the committed funds in order to advance the project for our community. The revised scope of work uses a design build approach and valuable insight gained from the initial project scope of 2019. The project delivers 155 stalls in the four-season building and another 70 stalls in an adjacent barn being moved and repurposed on the property as an improved asset. Total Stall capacity exceeds 410 stalls for seasonal use with an additional 127 harness barn stalls available for event use. The design allows for planned expansion of the facility based on the 2018 master plan for the fairgrounds.
The equine and livestock industry continues to thrive and our wait list for events demonstrates the desire for organizations to hold events in Midland, Michigan. Our key stakeholders, including area businesses as well as new customers will benefit from this project. The fairgrounds will benefit from additional revenue, area businesses receive direct economic impact, customers will benefit as their events can host more participants in our community and we help meet the demands in the equine industry.
The project is estimated to take 6-8 months for completion, with the project designed to be started in the Fall of 2021 and be completed by May 2022. This is a very positive project for our community with several local contractors working on the project. “Our plan is to increase capacity and as a result, better serve our customers and the community. This project is good for everyone; the equine industry, the fair industry and Michigan as a whole,” says Trish Steele, manager of the Midland Fairgrounds. “This equestrian center project would be sustained through the contracts for future use in operations. It is a self-sustaining business model that has proven to be effective in fairground facilities across the U.S.”
This four-season equestrian venue will provide an economic benefit to the local businesses and commerce, as it will add 30,000 visitors to the area during a time of year in which they would not normally be present (late fall and throughout the winter).
In addition to grant funding from local family and private foundations, individuals, businesses and organizations, the Midland Fair will be hosting fundraising events in 2021 to support the equestrian center project. Through the generosity of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation in Midland, the Midland Fair has been awarded a $1 for $1 matching grant up to $200,000. This award will maximize contributions and help us reach our goal of fundraising for the project. To learn more about the Rising Strong campaign and how your tax-deductible contributions can support this project, visit midlandfair.com.
The Midland County fairgrounds serves approximately 375,000 visitors annually through a variety of 114 unique events which are held at the facility. A recent study from MSU’s Center for Economic Analysis shows that the Midland Fair events generate more than $3.70 million dollars of new transactions annually into the Midland County economy and supports the equivalence of about 48 jobs.
Visit midlandfair.com to learn more about this exciting project!
Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, retrain and re-home at risk equines. We assist law enforcement agencies and accept surrendered horses from owners displaying a clear need for help (we are not a retirement facility). Our goal is to find every horse in our care a forever home through adoption. This is accomplished through medical rehabilitation and training to ensure each horse, rideable or not, has the skills needed to be a good equine citizen. Established in 1995, the farm is run by our Board of Directors, a small staff of 5 employees and over 100 volunteers helping care for 70 horses at any given time! Our programs include 2 volunteer shifts per day seven days a week, the groom team, the rehabilitation and training team and the maintenance team. Our property of 22 acres holds 23 pastures, a small indoor arena, the Madi Memorial Arena (outdoor) and the Rehabilitation and Obstacle Training Course.
Even with the challenges of this last year, 2020 saw 63 adoptions! 20 companion horses and 43 rideable horses were placed in appropriate, loving homes. So far in 2021, we have welcomed 56 intakes and placed 41 horses.
We have started installation of an automatic watering system and need your help to complete it. This will save on chore time year-round, allowing more time spent with the horses, reduce heating bills by $1,400/month 6 months out of the year, reduce water waste and make volunteering at Horses’ Haven in the winter a much easier task. We have raised $26,000 for this project and need $24,000 to complete.
Horses’ Haven has partnered with the ASPCA to remove geographical barriers in adoption. Early 2020 we made 5 trips to KY bringing 19 horses to Michigan which were quickly adopted into wonderful homes. New this year is the Horse Adoption Express, organized and funded by the ASPCA/Right Horse. Addressing the problem of geography is a large scale effort that needs to have the industry coming together, problem solving, evaluating resources and acting. Through the Horse Adoption Express Program this year, we have welcomed and adopted 6 horses from FL rescues and 10 horses form MN. We are excited to see what we can accomplish in the future with this large collaboration both helping at risk equines, utilizing what our wonderful programs have to offer and fulfilling the demand for adoption in our horse community.
2021 Open House and Haven Hoedown Fundraiser
We will be holding our annual Open House on September 18th from 12-4. This is a family friendly day of meeting the horses, kids activities and touring the farm. RSVP’s are appreciated via Facebook Event post, Facebook messenger or through our website “contact us” form found at horseshaven.org.
In addition, we are continuing the night with our first Haven Hoedown!! This will be a night of music, dancing and food. Tickets will be available for purchase on our website or at our onsite Tack Store.
Michigan Silver Lake State Park ORV Dunes and Lake Michigan Shoreline Horseback Riding
Pilot Season November 1-14, 2021
The 2021 Season will be offered through the Michigan Horse Council. Each participant must join the Michigan Horse Council. $20.00 Individual or $30.00 Family for annual memberships.
The American Horse Council (AHC) will hold its second annual virtual fly-in for youth on Thursday June 24, 2021 beginning at 10:30 AM ET.
The June MHC Coffee Hour is Monday, June 21st from 7 – 8 pm. MHC will have special guests sharing about how to prepare for horse shows and the art of hosting a horse show.
MHC is proud to release the first show of the Michigan Horse Council News. In this show MHC highlights Michigan trails, MHC events, State Representative, Julie Alexander, and therapeutic riding. We hope you enjoy!
Thank you to everyone that joined us last night for the May Virtual Equine Coffee Hour where we celebrated the strong partnership with the Michigan Mounted Police. Check-out the full session here if you were unable to attend.
Eleven outstanding Michigan State University (MSU) students pursuing livestock industry-related programs of study for the 2021-22 academic year were recently awarded $30,000 in scholarships by the Michigan Livestock Industry Scholarship Foundation (MLISF). Foundation President, Pete Blauwiekel said, “simply getting good grades is not enough to be recognized with one of these scholarships”. In addition to academic achievement, the scholarship’s criteria include extracurricular leadership and involvement, written and oral communication skills, and enthusiasm in pursuing a livestock (beef cattle, sheep, swine, equine or meat products) industry career. “Those individuals selected for this honor have a clear passion and demonstrated involvement in the Michigan animal industry and a commitment to its future improvement”, said Blauwiekel.