The White Pine Corral Association will hold its first Gymkhana event this Saturday, August 29, 2020.
Sign ups start at 7am and events begin at 8am. Age groups start at 7 and under, and vary from 8-11 years old, and into the adult classes of 35 and over. Keyhole, Barrels, Poles and Water race are all included in the line-up of events for Saturday.
The association has worked hard to become a nonprofit, and take over what used to be the Ely City Corrals from the City.
The White Pine Corral Association approached the City Council in December 2019, to request approval to lease the entire City Corrals from the City of Ely for $1.00 a year from the next 20 years. This included the association taking care of the grounds, the arena, and overseeing the tenants who leased a corral.
The corrals had been in disrepair for several years, weeds growing out of control, a fire hazard at time, and in the late fall of 2019 a mare was discovered extremely emaciated at the corrals and had to be euthanized.
The Ely Times reported in December City of Ely Mayor, Nathan Robertson quoted as saying “ This was something that was proposed awhile ago, there were recent events that came to light that the city has been involved in, and the current administration wasn’t aware the city was involved because of the past administration.”
The Corrals used to be a more popular venue than the White Pine County Fairgrounds many years ago, and the association is looking to bring that alive again according to Billie Sue Heckethorn, the Vice President of the White Pine Corral Association. It is reportedly the first time a gymkhana event has been coordinated in over a decade or more.
The association over the past several months have already made several upgrades to the corrals.
Kent Lynsky, President of the White Pine Corral Association has purchased most of the heavy equipment on his own, to clean up around the corrals, arena, and everywhere around the property.
Vice President Billie Sue Heckethorn, “Gymkhana is a start of many events, and we want to show the community that the corrals are coming alive again, and this is to help bring back the spark to riding horses in our community.
The Reed family, members of the association as well, have put fresh paint on the bleachers, and made repairs to the Crows nest.
Terri Carrigan, Treasurer for the association said, “We’re working really hard to get this back to a place to hold family events.”
The arena lights were another major achievement. The lights hadn’t been turned on since the 90’s. Night time riding is another new feature at the corrals for the members, making it even more enticing for future events.
“We want to get youth engaged and give them something to do especially in these times. Our youth is our future, and it makes me happy to do things like this for our community,” Heckethorn said.