Less than a year after ground was broken at the site of the new Essa Agriplex, the 480-stall horse show facility just outside the city of Barrie has begun welcoming riders.
The facility is situated on 100 acres of land in Thornton, near Highway 400 and Highway 27, and features two jumper rings and four hunter rings, each with its own warm-up area. All competition rings feature sand footing on an engineered, tile-drained base and measure 9,000 square feet. The star attraction will be the Collard Grand Prix Ring, named in memory of Yvonne Collard, a long-time horsewoman, judge, mentor and supporter of the sport.
Open-air barns covered by a permanent steel roof house the 480 stalls, which measure 10 x 12 with eight-foot walls. Grooming and bathing is made easy and comfortable with 24 permanent wash racks, all with hot water. A permanent show office overlooks the barns and riding rings.
Cornerstone Farms started things off at the new facility by organizing four weeks of Hunter/Jumper Competition and one Dressage competition. According to the Essa & District Agricultural Society, which will host the Barrie Fair at the new facility from Sept. 28-30, dates are still available for associations or clubs looking for a horse show venue.
Future plans for the site include adding an indoor arena, horse and tractor pull areas, cattle barns, crops and educational buildings.