The Ontario Equine Centre, a not-for-profit public and private partnership, is moving ahead with its plan to develop a world-class equine facility and research incubator, which will serve all equine breeds and disciplines.
Having consulted widely with the various levels of government and all sectors of the equine industry and with a sustainable business plan in place, organizers are now positioned to begin the final design work, the last step before construction for the facility in Puslinch Township.
President Jean Szkotnicki said the group leading the initiative was disappointed not to be included in Toronto’s bid to host the 2015 Pan Am Games. But, she said, the plan to develop the centre started long before Ontario decided to bid on the Games so moving ahead was never contingent on winning the bid.
“We congratulate the Caledon Equestrian Park on being chosen to take part in the bid,” she said. “However because our vision is different than Caledon’s we don’t see ourselves as being their competitor but rather more as being complementary. As such, if Toronto wins the Games’ bid, having the equestrian events in Ontario will be good for everyone”.
Szkotnicki said organizers continue to believe the Arkell site in Wellington County -Ontario’s equine heartland – is ideal for the 600-acre centre, which, according to estimates, will spark $70-million annually in economic activity and create 300 jobs.
“The Ontario Equine Centre has everything going for it,” she said. “We’re close to the world renowned University of Guelph, we have the perfect location and the topography is ideal for all equine activities. We plan to create a legacy for future generations that will support the entire equine industry, amateur sport, agriculture, agri-tourism, and Ontario’s economy on an enduring scale.”