No need for an equine council in Polk County

Published 7:49pm Tuesday, February 18, 2014

To the editor

As an active member of our equine community, I am scratching my head at the article from Feb. 12 titled “Polk to meet with communities on economic strategy.” By reading this summary of the commissioners’ workshop on planning for economic development in Polk County, it appears that they are planning to create an equine council as “one of the plan’s main goals.” That would be a noble gesture if we needed an equine council, but as far I can tell, we don’t.

According to my reading, it says, “Polk Commissioners said creating an equine council here would give the equine community a voice and an opportunity to grow the industry.” Excuse me, Sirs, but we already have all that covered.

We have in place (and functioning quite well) organizations that handle our trails (FETA, CETA, NPA, Western Carolina Hunter Pace Association); organizations that handle competitions and disciplines (BRHJA, CCC, Carolina Mule Association, FRC, Harmon Classics, FENCE, Harmon Field BOS Tryon Riding and Hunt Club and more) organizations that handle horse owner and professional education (Farrier Jam, FRC); organizations that handle our foxhunting (Tryon Hounds and Green Creek Hounds), organizations that handle special needs (TROT, Mounted Patrol, FERA, PEER); organizations that handle youth and horses (River Valley Pony Club, Greenville Foothills Pony Club, Bridle Bunch 4-H, Foothills Jr Rodeo) and so on.

I appreciate the fact that someone thinks we should structure this based on a model used by the SC Upstate Equine Council, but there is very little similarity between the needs of the Clemson/Garrison Arena community and ours. In closing, I can only voice what many of us in the equine community are thinking, “Thanks, but no thanks.” We would appreciate the powers that be acknowledging that equine is important to this area, but otherwise, we’ve got this covered.

Do our commissioners know their community and what is already here?

– Ivey Sumrell, Columbus

Editor's Picks