Laird Township

AHA Weekend Show in Laird

AHA Weekend Show in Laird
The Algoma Horse Association was proud to host their first event in the newly refurbished outdoor arena at the Laird Fairgrounds on Saturday July 2nd, 2016.

Laird Mayor Dick Beitz cuts ribbon on new arena.
Laird Mayor Dick Beitz cuts ribbon on new arena.
AHA members, Peter Jurich and Heidi Reinecke, worked with the Laird Fairgrounds Management Board, Council, and contractor Darwin Belleau to see a $40,000 improvement project completed within 5 weeks. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at noon on Saturday where AHA members thanked everyone involved for making the much needed upgrades possible.

The fairground facility was not being utilized, as it had in the past, due to the poor condition of the ring. At some point the ring had been filled with sand, which was too deep and loose for competition.

Peter Jurich grooms the arena between events.
Peter Jurich grooms the arena between events.
The refurbishment project included the sand being removed and replaced with a combination of sand, loam and silt. AHA member Peter Jurich says, “The new mix is just right. The horses can get a good footing and the proper traction they need to safely do barrel racing and other speed events." The ring was also tile drained, so that heavy rainfall won’t lead to cancelled events.

The entire fence around the arena was taken down, repaired and resized to meet Ontario barrel racing regulations for competition.  This opens the opportunity for bigger events to be held at the Laird venue in the future. A new groomer for the arena and a timing device for race events were also purchased for use at the facility.

About 50 riders signed up for this weekend’s two day event. Rodney Madahbee traveled from Manitoulin Island to compete. He and his horse had a wipe-out here, the first year the deep sand was installed and hasn’t been back until now. He was impressed with the improvements they’ve made as he was one of the first racers to try out the refurbished ring on Saturday.

Pre-event warm up in the new ring.
Pre-event warm up in the new ring.