The Times-Picayune: Equest Farms in City Park breaks ground on covered riding ring
By Katherine Terrell
Equest Farms in City Park broke ground on a new covered riding ring Wednesday following years of fundraising.
Construction on the ring, which cost $620,000 in private donations, will begin next week and should be completed in four months, said Leslie Kramer, operator of Equest Farms.
Parking and lighting will also be improved, along with the addition of a new tack shop and office building.
Senator Mary Landrieu and New Orleans Saints Vice Chairman of the Board Rita Benson-Leblanc attended the ceremony. Kramer said Landrieu rode at the stables herself growing up and showed up one day to thank Kramer for rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.
Landrieu has been a big supporter of the expansion project, Kramer said.
"She's been an integral part of it. ... the park didn't know if they wanted to expand the footprint or even have an equestrian center," Kramer said. "Her support was helpful in them seeing the benefit. A lot of people would have liked to have something else there."
Kramer said the covered ring will be a critical part of Equest Farms' growth.
"We want to make this the finest equestrian center in the area," Kramer said. "Rain and heat limit what we can do as far as taking lessons and events."
When the ring is finished, there are plans in place to use it for horse shows and therapeutic riding. Equest will work with the New Heights Therapeutic Riding in Folsom. Kramer said the Steve Gleason Foundation has also expressed interest in working together.