Last month, the Clark County Saddle Club took in more than 150 animals, such as horses and other livestock, to help those directly affected by wildfires.
Clark County Saddle Club Board Member Haley Minsker said the club posted on social media that it was available to take in animals and provide a safe place for people to take their horses if evacuating.
The club took in horses, llamas and goats, as well as their owners if they needed a place to stay. Minsker said people camped out on the club’s 14-acre property if it was needed and volunteers came to cook food and set up camps.
Minsker said people at the facility adhered to COVID-19 safety guidelines, such as social distancing and wearing masks. Because the facility is all outdoors, keeping distance between households was relatively easy. Many locals donated supplies, food and paneling to keep the families and animals safe during the crisis. Minsker said the club began accepting hay donations once the facility was up and running as a safe zone.
However, despite the wildfires causing a state of emergency, Minsker said the Clark County Saddle Club received complaints about the number of animals on their property when they were offering a safe place for evacuees. Frequent calls about animal activity was one of the first reasons the saddle club began searching for new property in Clark County.
While the Saddle Club was quick to support others, it’s now asking for a little help itself.
To help support the costs of the new facility, the club is raising money through fundraisers and grassroots campaigns. Located a few miles north of the current location, the new 40-acre facility will feature a brand new arena, outdoor recreation areas and more. However, because of COVID-19, many of the club's fundraisers have been rescheduled, canceled or moved online. Minsker said she wants to focus on “the old school and traditional way of fundraising: within the community.”
Minsker said the club is looking for community support to help get the new facility off the ground. “We’re asking for community support in hopes of raising $500,000,” Minsker said, explaining that the total cost of the arena is near $2.4 million. “We’re working really hard but because of COVID we are struggling.”
Minsker said the club has been around since 1946 and has been a prominent member of Clark County’s equine community. From hosting the Clark County Rodeo to sponsoring high school equestrian events, Minsker said the club wants to continue to be a driving force in Clark County.
“Having the saddle club continue to be a part of the equine community is huge and we need help to continue that right now,” Minsker said.
According to Minsker, the club has sold the current property it sits on and is paying on a month-to-month lease until the new facility is ready. Currently, the club is still in the permitting process for its new arena. Minsker said the permitting process is taking a long time and the club is struggling because costs continue to go up with little progress being made.
“We need community support right now,” Minsker said
Those wanting to help the saddle club with a tax-deductible donation can do so by making a donation to the Clark County Equine Foundation online at clarkcountyequinefoundation.com/donate. Donations can also be made directly to the club at clarkcountysaddleclub.com/support/. For more information on the saddle club’s new facility visit bit.ly/2EZUKLu.