Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building to Officially Open June 6th with Arabian Horse Show
Related Document: Will-Rogers-Equestrian-Multi-Purpose-Building-Opening---FINAL.pdf
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - Will Rogers Memorial Center (WRMC) announced today that its highly anticipated Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building will officially open on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. The $32 million construction and infrastructure project was initiated in 2009 and was completed on schedule, to host its first event for the Region 9 Arabian Horse Championship Show.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Wednesday, June 6 at 9:30am, to celebrate the new expansion. Media and invited dignitaries will honor the opening of the new 740 Priefert premium horse stalls, exercise arenas, underground tunnel transport systems and other infrastructure improvements.
Scheduled speakers include Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, benefactor Edward Bass, city council member Dennis Shingleton and Kirk Slaughter, public events director for the City of Fort Worth. The ceremonial ribbon will be presented
Artist Mike Mandel's series of seven porcelain and glass murals will be unveiled, depicting images of horse breeds and equestrian disciplines. The beautifully rendered murals also honor two historically significant horses: Wimpy - the 1941 grand champion of the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show, bred by famous King Ranch, and Soapsuds - humorist-philosopher Will Rogers' favorite horse and the horse on which he taught his children to ride. "Fort Worth's commitment to significant enhancement of the Will Rogers Memorial Center ensures that our complex remains competitive for the largest and most visible equestrian events in the world," said Kirk Slaughter, public events director for the City of Fort Worth. "We are excited to have our first practice training in the arena on June 6th and culminate all the work that has been done to make us the perfect host for these horse shows."
The Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building at WRMC has already had an impact: The Appaloosa Horse Club board just approved a five-year contract extension with Will Rogers for their World Championship Show and have announced the move of the ApHC National Show/Youth World Championship Show to Fort Worth for 2013-2017. Fort Worth had been in competition with Tulsa, OK, for the National Show/Youth World Championship Show, which runs nearly two weeks during summer with approximately 3,500 entries. The inaugural events in the Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building are the Region 9 Arabian Horse Association Championship Shows, which run June 7-16. American Paint Horse Association (APHA) also had critical requirements to keep their show in Fort Worth. "These improvements make what was a quality venue into a first class location for Paint horse enthusiasts," said Billy Smith, executive director of the APHA. "There is a lot of competition to attract the best horse shows in the world. This really puts the ‘cowboy' into ‘Cowboys and Culture'".
"NRHA is ecstatic about the grand opening of the Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center," said Dan Wall, Executive Director of the National Reining Horse Association. "When our members look for an ideal show venue, they place a priority on having an abundance of general riding locations and adequate training areas to prepare their horses to show; and the recent improvements in Fort Worth definitely meet those expectations. We are also thrilled about the additional stalling capabilities which make Will Rogers very well-suited to host large NRHA events." "This new facility allows us to better promote our city as a destination for equestrian events and underscores our strong western and equestrian heritage," said David DuBois, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau. We look forward to showing our Fort Worth hospitality by hosting visitors at our new Mobile Ambassador Center at WRMC." The Equestrian Multi-Purpose Building includes two indoor 100' x 200' exercise arenas on the upper level with large flat‐screen monitors to keep exhibitors connected to show schedules and results, and approximately 740 new horse stalls on the lower level. An expanded underground tunnel system will allow livestock to be transferred throughout the complex without interfering with traffic or exposing the participants or their animals to inclement weather.
Established in Fort Worth in 1936 to house events near downtown and in the Cultural District, the Will Rogers Memorial Center attracts more than two million visitors a year. It is host to an extensive variety of cultural, educational, recreational and sporting events and has become a premier destination for national and international equestrian events. www.willrogersmemorialcenter.com
About the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau The FWCVB is the official destination marketing organization of the 16th-largest city in the United States. The organization is dedicated to promoting Fort Worth as a premier business and leisure destination.