Clark County Saddle Club hosts barrel racing event at new location


The Clark County Saddle Club is all settled in its brand-new facility south of Battle Ground.

On Dec. 3, the facility off of state Route 503 was host to a full day of events. It started with a “Cowboy Bazaar” and barrel races in the daytime, followed by a watch party for the National Finals Rodeo that evening.

The barrel races that day featured about 200 contestants, Barbara Jones, a saddle club member who helped organize the event, said.

A club member since 1969, Jones said the current location is the third piece of land the saddle club has been housed at since it was founded in 1946. Most recently, the club moved from its Orchards location on state Route 503, north of Northeast 99th Street.

The club sold the 14-acre old location to a development company for $2.5 million and closed on the 40 acres for the current club grounds for around $770,000 in 2019.

The property features an expansive indoor and outdoor arena with room to grow. The club opened its facilities to events this March and has been the site of competitions like Saturday’s races since. Jones said the club had a Memorial Day race with about 400 contestants.

Outside of big events, Jones said the club dedicates weeknights to specific activities, like barrel racing, roping and gaming obstacles, as well as open riding nights.

Currently the club has close to 600 members who get to enjoy the use of club facilities, according to Jones.

The new arena has already proven “wonderful” for events at the club.

“We were so lucky here,” Jones said. “This ground is magnificent for barrel racing.”

Even outside the grounds has been an upgrade, Jones said, as the entrance from state Route 503 includes an intersection with a stop light. The intersection coupled with a wide road that leads to the club have allowed large trailers to easily come and go, avoiding the traffic problems the old location had.

Though the facility has played host to several events already, the club isn’t fully built out yet. Jones said there are plans for a warm up arena that will be placed on the property.

Jones said equestrian activities have been a significant economic driver for Clark County, especially now with a facility rivaling any other of its kind in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

“There’s so many horses in this county alone and (horse owners) have always supported this county greatly,” Jones said. 

That support is likely to increase if trends Jones has seen continue.

“I’ve been here 50 years putting on barrel races at this club. … It just keeps growing,” Jones said.