The Rolling Hills Estates Equestrian Committee on March 25 will consider enlarging the large warm-up arena at Ernie Howlett Park so reining classes in the Los Serranos Awards Circuit horse shows can be held.
The arena would be expanded from its current 65-feet by 195-feet dimensions to 70 feet by 200 feet.
The all-weather footing installed in 2012 does not allow a reining horse to properly performing sliding stops. Both horse and rider risk injury if such a maneuver is performed on the current footing, according to LSAC show manager Becky Martin.
Sand, which was previously used in the arenas, is the most appropriate footing for reining competitions, Martin said.
The RHE Equestrian Committee and Parks and Activities Commission were set to consider Tuesday night enlarging the current large warm-up arena, which has sand footing, to allow for reining competitions; however, the decision was postponed pending further review after Martin told committee members that even the enlarged dimensions of the arena would not meet minimum standards for reining competitions.
Nevertheless, "while not ideal, Becky Martin believes that Reining Class participants would continue registering for these Horse Show events if the arena was expanded to 70' x 200' and the footing was improved," according to a city staff report.
If no suitable arena at Ernie Howlett Park is found for reining, the annual LSAC horse shows will not be held at Ernie Howlett Park, according to a city staff report.
Funding for the proposed arena enlargement would come from Quimby fees earmarked for park and equestrian purposes. Quimby funds can only be used on capital improvements.