Horse park headed to Lowndes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Horse park headed to Lowndes

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May 19, 2008

Lowndes County - The horse business in Georgia brings in hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

"While we don't have betting, the horse industry is tremendous," says Terry Coleman, the Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture.  "Pleasure riding, there are a lot of people who breed and sell to the racing industry, certainly in the rodeo and show industry. So it's becoming one of the largest agricultural products we have in Georgia."

Lowndes County wants in on the action.

"Thousands of horses cross through our community on their way to Perry or other venues in Georgia and North Florida. We have a great opportunity here to catch that part of the economic development plan," says Rod Casey, Chairman of the Lowndes County Commission Office.

They've decided to transform Clyattville's Blackburn Park into the Lowndes County Equestrian Park.  It will feature stables, a horse arena and a multi-purpose trail.

The hope the new park will bring money in for the state and become another economic engine for the county.  "Its going to bring people to town. It will bring people that might eventually settle here," Coleman says.

Casey adds, "Not only will people bring their horses in but they'll be eating in our restaurants and sleeping in our hotels."

The park is still in the planning stages. But county officials hope to open the equestrian park by 2010.

The Department of Agriculture wants to create a equine park as well and visited Lowndes County today to hear the plans.

They say they may choose to build it in North Georgia or Perry.

But they may also put their budget toward making the equestrian Park in Lowndes bigger and better.  They expect a decision by the fall.

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