WEB ONLY: Ontario Equine Centre proceeds with development plans

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.”