Hundreds turn out to advocate for horses at Salt Lake County Equestrian Park

Hundreds turn out to advocate for horses at Salt Lake County Equestrian Park (Photo: Daniel Woodruff / KUTV)

(KUTV) Hundreds of people turned out to voice their opinions on an uncertain future for the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park.

At a town hall meeting Monday evening, several options were tossed around for the horse facility in South Jordan which costs the county roughly $1 million a year to subsidize. The park also needs several million dollars worth of repairs and maintenance.

"We've had to ask some hard questions," said Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton. "We've got to decide what's best for taxpayers and those who use the facility."

Alena Hunter, a horse trainer, spends a lot of time at the park and feels it provides a valuable service in Salt Lake County.

"I would like the funds to make it better," Hunter said, adding she would like to see bigger shows brought here to help cover expenses.

Several options are on the table for the park including leaving it as it is or getting rid of it altogether.

But the loudest applause came when county officials mentioned the possibility of investing more money in the facility to help it compete with other equestrian facilities in the western United States.

The Salt Lake County Council will vote on an option in the next few months.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams told 2News he wants to see horses at the park.

"I want to see it continue to be used as an equestrian facility," McAdams said, but he added that "we need to really have a mission for this facility."

But his Republican opponent this election year, Dave Robinson, accuses the mayor of not paying enough attention until now.

"We seem to forget about the west side in a lot of ways, and I think this is a prime example," Robinson said.

Back with the horses, Hunter doesn't talk politics or policy. She just wants to make sure the park sticks around.

"This is worth keeping, it's worth investing," Hunter said. "It's worth trying."

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