Club looking to go from its current spot of 14 acres to new property with 40 acres
VANCOUVER — The Clark County Saddle Club, which prides itself on helping the community whenever there is a need, is now asking the community for a little help.
The club is looking for donations in order to move from its current location to its new one, a property that almost triples the size of the club’s land, allowing for more room for horse trails and all things equestrian.
“It’s a little gem for so many more generations to come,” said Haley Minsker, a board member of the club.
The saddle club already sold the land that it is on now, located at 10505 NE 117th Avenue, off of Washington State Route 503. The club is leasing the land, roughly 14 acres, back from the new owner on a month-by-month basis.
The new property, about 4 miles north, will give the club 40 acres. That spot is full of trees, with plenty of space for an indoor arena, clubhouse, and an outdoor arena. Plus there will be plenty of trails through wooded areas.
“It’s like a big horse park,” said Jackie Phillips, who chairs the board of directors.
The Clark County Saddle Club has been around since the 1940s. The board expects that the move to the new location will ensure that its future is secure. There, it will be surrounded by its own acreage. The current location is now surrounded by apartment buildings, with plans for more development in the area.
“We want to keep a rural aspect in our county,” Phillips said.
The club also wants to continue to provide for the youth in the region. The club supports 4-H, runs clinics, has play days, hosts Rodeo Bible Camp, and also is home to WAHSET — high school equestrian.
“What we bring to the community is very valuable,” Phillips said. “We try to do a lot for youth and building character in kids. I think horses and horse events are a big character builder. It’s something we are losing in this county. Everything is a big development. People are losing the opportunity to do things with their horses. There are fewer and fewer places to go.”
Beyond the club’s activities, the club also has been there when needed. Last month, in less than 24 hours, club members organized and then executed a plan, turning the club into an evacuation center for horses affected by wildfires in Washington and Oregon.
Now, the club is asking for help.
The club has already put in much of the infrastructure that is necessary at the new property. It also has already purchased the indoor arena. That part of the project is in the permitting process. The club needs funds in order to build the arena, and eventually move the outdoor arena from the current location.
Minsker described it as the “old-fashioned, old-school way where we are asking for donations.”
For a tax-deductible donation, people are asked to go to the Clark County Equine Foundation website: https://www.clarkcountyequinefoundation.com/
There is a way to designate that your donation goes directly to the saddle club’s move.
Or, people can donate directly to the club.
The goal for now is to raise $500,000. The total cost for the move will be more than $2 million, but Minsker said that the $500,000 number would be a good start and would allow for the construction of the indoor arena.
She used horse owner terminology:
“If you can get the first horse in the trailer, the rest will follow,” she said.
Being on a monthly lease at the current location makes for uncertainty.
“It is urgent to get to the new property as soon as possible,” Minsker said, standing on the new property. “Our members feel that. ‘Are we going to have somewhere to ride?’ The quicker we get here, the better.”
There is no official timeline, but Minsker said she hopes to raise the money, complete the permit process, have the arena built, and be in the new location by the summer of 2021.