Saddle club estimates $3 million economic impact at mid-season

Work begins for new practice arena

The Henry County Saddle Club Board of Directors released their mid-year update this month.

“We have continued to grow and maintain the facility even in the wake of higher fuel prices and operating costs,” the board said.

The Henry County season started in February with the Morgan Horse Auction. They counted 122 horses and 586 visitors during the two-day event.

The Saddle Club hosted a reigning clinic in March, with 27 horses and 92 visitors, and three shows in April, which brought in a combined 476 horses and 4,665 visitors.

In those first three months of the season, the Henry County Saddle Club estimated their shows brought $782,068 in economic impact to the area.

The four May shows lasted 13 total days and had an estimate impact of $391,272. Henry County had 2,795 visitors in May due to the horse shows.

The five-day Henry County Saddle Club American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Indy Circuit at the beginning of June brought in an estimated $516,460 and counted 3,869 visitors to the 217 horses.

The next three shows in June saw 371 horses and 4,922 visitors combined. Those shows produced an estimated $680,068 locally.

There were seven HCSC shows in July, including the Henry County 4-H Horse & Pony Fair. The club counted 5,619 visitors that month and 553 horses. The July shows had an estimated impact of $717,978.

The Indiana Quarter Horse Association summer show in early August saw 128 horses and 1,741 visitors over four days. The Saddle Club estimated that show brought $243,712 to Henry County.

As of Aug. 11, the Henry County Saddle Club estimated its shows had generated $3,215,414 so far.

The Saddle Club has hired an architectural engineer who is now working with the state on the new practice arena.

“It is our hope that we will be able to start the project soon before we see another rise in building materials due to the increase in fuel prices,” the board said when releasing their report. “The engineer has stated that there are a lot of new requirements that he is working through that were not required in the past.”

“It is our hope that when the new practice arena is completed, we will be able to add additional shows extending our show season,” the board continued, “but we are very pleased to have added three new shows in 2024 that will be larger shows allowing us to make additional improvements specifically in electric lines and poles.”

The Saddle Club upgraded to LED lighting in 2020-2022 and have been able to offset the increase costs of electric.

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– Story by Travis Weik (Editor@TheCourierTimes.comof The Courier-Times. Read more local stories at