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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Equestrian Complex Gets Financial Boost from Bond Issue

LAS CRUCES - A proposed horse teaching center and equestrian arena at New Mexico State University will get a $500,000 infusion toward construction from passage of state Bond Issue B on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Plans have been developed for an Equestrian Complex that can serve NMSU's equestrian teaching program, equestrian competition and a host of other activities, like those related to state 4-H and FFA competitions. The priority is to build a 5,200-square-foot Equestrian Center, with tack room, locker rooms, classroom and office to support the daily programs underway.

"This is great," said Ron Gurley, the project's development director and alumni officer for NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences . "This will energize our working group to go out and finish raising the money to complete the project."

Project plans include a building with a classroom, tack room, lockers and office plus an arena for riding events. Costs for various options range from $2 million to more than $4 million, depending on the arena configuration. Options range from an improved open arena to a totally enclosed, climate-controlled arena with 1,000 seats and a concession area.

The arena site is on the southwest portion of the NMSU campus between Sam Steel Way and Stewart streets.

The state bond funds for the project will be added to $100,000 from severance taxes awarded to the project in the last legislative session and approximately $30,000 in private funding. Severance and bond authority funds were the result of legislation introduced by state Sen. Fernando Macias in the last session.

"We have an equestrian team at NMSU that competes for the national championship every year," Gurley said. "They deserve a good facility, but so do all the students taking horsemanship classes at the university."

NMSU's Western equitation team won national championships in 1995 and 1998 and was runner-up in 1997. NMSU competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association with more than 280 colleges and universities.

Those interested in the project can call Gurley at (505) 646-1455.