The event calendar is quickly filling up for the Bulloch County Agricultural Arena, and already there have been a number of successful events held at the newly opened facility on Langston Chapel Road.
Since its ribbon-cutting in April, there have been four different equestrian events, two of which were three-day events, said Billy Springer, arena manager.
In May, the Daniel Culpepper Roping School held a roping event, and JX2 Team Roping Productions held a three-day roping event, he said. Evermore Farm held its hunt seat show in June.
There were other events scheduled but were either moved to another date or postponed, according to the arena schedule posted online at www.bullochag.com.
But now, as fall approaches, "We're fixing to get super busy," he said.
Next month, Good Times Barrel Racing Association is slated for Aug. 3; the National Barrel Horse Association is having a show Aug. 10; JX2 Team Roping Productions is coming back Aug. 16–18; and the Horseman's Quarter Horse Association will have a show Aug. 25 and Aug. 26.
One upcoming non-equestrian event is the American Bully Kennel Club Dog Show, planned for Nov. 2. There will be an admission charge for this event, but most events are free to the public, Springer said. For events that will have an admission fee, there will be a notation on the website calendar.
Also, some events listed on the calendar are "pending," which usually means finalized plans have yet to be made. There are several future events — some with returning groups — booked into 2020, he said.
As with every new facility, there has been a little "tweaking," but overall, everything seems to be operating smoothly, he said.
"We have had some feedback on the arena footing, and we listened," he said. But "like some people like their steak grilled one way and some like it another," different people have different preferences. The main objective is to maintain a safe environment for riders and horses using the arena, he said.
Some residents have expressed concerns about parking, but "unless we have a flood, like 3 inches in an hour," there should be no parking issues, he said.
"The office complex (Bulloch County Center for Agriculture) nearby is also county-owned and used for extra parking."
For competitors, the facility has ample stalls and more than 50 camper hook-ups.
Something new for local riders
The arena isn't solely for use by large competitive groups. In September, local riders — or anyone who wants to haul horses to Statesboro — will be invited to use the arena for a fee.
"Our 'Open to the Public Riding Program' will allow Bulloch County residents and nonresidents to utilize the facility on scheduled days," he said. "Details will be posted soon on our website and Facebook page."
Riders who want to use the covered arenas (main arena and practice arena) for practice and training will be able to stay dry in inclement weather. The hours are likely going to be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with some weekends possible during the winter, Springer said.
As new programs and events are introduced, they will be listed on the website.
The arena Facebook page is listed as Bulloch County Agricultural Complex.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.