Reader differs with editor on equestrian center

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 21, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

I am sorry that you are not sold on the equestrian center.

That fact is quite apparent noting that all of the letters supporting the equestrian center have been removed from the Suffolk News-Herald web site.

Email newsletter signup

Yes, owning and showing horses is an expensive proposition, but so are many of the endeavors our children participate in.

I have seen baseball bat and glove combinations that sell for as much as a horse.

Showing horses is an organized sport, just as little league is and the community supports them with ball fields.

There is a large equestrian community in the city of Suffolk, as recently witnessed by your reporter Allison T. Williams at the second meeting for the proposed Driver sports center.

The equestrian center will eventually pay for itself by generating jobs and tax revenue for the city in the form of restaurants and hotels.

Little league fields will not. (I do support and realize the need for more ball fields.

Fast pitch softball was a very big part of our lives for a long time.)

You state that public money is &uot;supposed to fund-things that benefit all of us and the least affluent among us.&uot;

I believe that creating new jobs in the city will do just that.

The Virginia Horse Center in Lexington generated over 37 million dollars in tax revenue for the county last year.

Extra tax revenue could go a long way to improve the pay of the cities

teachers, as well as the police and fire departments, without raising our property taxes.

At this time, the state is responsible for the majority of the cities roads.

Most of the people that are involved with horses are not wealthy.

We all make sacrifices to make our lives enjoyable, and that is what most people involved with horses have done.

There are a number of young people that regularly clean stalls in exchange for the privilege to receive a ride and a lesson.

They are called working students, and you will find more than one at most of the larger boarding facilities.

We also have children involved with the local 4H clubs who do not own, or have the ability to own a horse, but want to learn all they can.

Working with horses teaches children responsibility and caring for another being that no other sport can.

It is also an activity that evolves the entire family.

I would invite you to the Suffolk Horse Show Associations 3rd show of the season (May 1), but we do not have a location yet.

We are losing our private facilities to new developments.

The equestrians of Suffolk are not asking the city to purchase horses, saddles or any tack as you so rudely implied.

We are simply asking for a place to be able to get together and share our love of our horses.

Jeanne Sperling