TR&HC addresses community on club’s finances, office move

Published 4:16 pm Friday, January 27, 2012

Editor’s note: The following is a letter sent by Tryon Riding & Hunt Club board members to members, friends and the community in general.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
The Tryon Riding and Hunt Club (TRHC), now in its 87th year, has been an active and sound community organization for the Polk County and surrounding region for decades. From annual events, the TR&HC has been able to donate back to community organizations such as FENCE, Rotary, Boy Scouts, local fire departments, etc. in substantial ways. Now it finds itself in an unenviable position like many other non-profits around the nation.
Historical annual events such as the Block House Steeplechase, the Summer Horse Shows, the Any and All Dog Show and Fall Horse Trials, great traditions in the community, have seen a decrease in participation due to the economic downturn. A direct impact has been a decline in donations. Without firm and focused leadership, these events could not have continued well in the past few years.
Prior to this downturn the TRHC found it necessary to find a permanent site for the administrative and volunteer office. The officers and Board of Directors felt it necessary for the ‘every day running’ of the organization, while providing a secure home to numerous historical artifacts. The result was a commercial building purchased in 2007 at 289 S. Trade Street. A commercial loan from a community bank was agreed upon to purchase this site. This loan was also deemed a positive by the BOD as this bank was the feature sponsor of the Block House Races for several years with future sponsorship assured. As the TRHC only needed one office, the site seemed to also be a logical choice with three other offices within the building leased to other small businesses.
As the economy declined in 2008, tenants closed and the units became impossible to lease. One only has to drive down Trade Street to see the multiple offices and commercial buildings sitting empty. The TRHC carried the burden of the full leased space for two years. In October 2010 the officers and Executive Director of the TRHC met with the community bank to negotiate and restructure the terms of the loan. The goal was to satisfy the loan while working within the constraints of declining event and donation income. Since that time, numerous attempts have been presented to the bank to satisfy the organization’s financial obligation. These attempts have been dismissed without any chance of recourse. The TRHC has now accepted the fact that the building will be foreclosed upon.
This foreclosure will not detract from the mission of the TRHC officers, membership and Board of Directors. The economic support that equestrian sport has had and continues to provide this area is great and without question. The TR&HC leadership is committed to the future of the organization and its impact on this community’s economy. With the annual events of the TRHC, its heritage and history, the leadership of the organization is moving forward.
The new home of the TRHC will be at the Green Creek Equestrian Park. The new office, park and all development that has occurred with the park has been donated with the specific purpose of seeing the park come to fruition. As this move and foreclosure takes place, the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club is looking towards continued support from the community.
Sincerely,
Board of Directors of the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club