Albuquerque Journal reports. I cut, paste and comment.
Valerie Cole with the New Mexico Horse Council — a nonprofit organization that promotes the horse industry — was among those who submitted ideas to the state for Expo's redevelopment. She was elated over the suggestion that Expo would get the equestrian center. "We think it's great," Cole said Monday evening. "We believe the facilities are underutilized, and we would love to creatively use them more."
Because there are already extensive equestrian facilities at the fairgrounds, this only makes sense. The cost of replicating them exceeded the funding which will go much further for renovations the fairgrounds have long needed.
The Governor and others have said they are trying to promote equestrian and agricultural arts. Such arts are not exactly booming in popularity. As I've said before, building additional facilities wouldn't change that. Not so coincidentally, the location of new facilities becomes a likely excuse for extending expensive new public infrastructure to open up more area to land gobbling development. Ironically, it is land gobbling development that makes rural horse keeping and agriculture nearly impossible.
We can best support and promote rodeo and horsemanship through programming funds for education and events. Not capital. Capital funding, beyond what is necessary for repair and replacement, will support and promote new construction. Which is nice. But not the same thing. Horsemanship is not about hammering.