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From left, Jamie and Bonnie Schaefer are all smiles during the dedication and grand
opening of the Schaefer Boarding Barn at the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve last Friday.
PHOTO BY JEFF EASON



Originally published: 2014-06-09 13:06:21
Last modified: 2014-06-09 13:20:10

Schaefer Boarding Barn opens

by Jeff Eason

When riders return to the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve today for the opening weekend of annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, they will notice a distinctive change in the landscape. 

Thanks to a donation from Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer, owners of Westglow Resort and Spa, a new boarding barn has been built to accommodate horses at the preserve. 

A dedication ceremony for the new facility was held last Friday. 

Burr Collier, president of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation, explained how the boarding barn project began and evolved. 

"Bonnie and Jamie invited a few members of our board out to Westglow to discuss our plans and dreams for the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve," Collier said. 

"In an hour and a half, they had made a commitment to our organization, which has developed into this magnificent facility." 

Stephen Carter Price, general manager of Westglow and an architect, designed the new boarding barn. 

"Stephen's lifelong dream, BonnIe and Jamie tell me, was to build an equestrian facility," Collier said. "So, they provided us with Stephen Carter Price and we are deeply indebted to him because he has worked long and hard to create this beautiful structure." 

The building was built by Adam Rice with the Blowing Rock Home Company. 

"Adam actually went to Lexington, Ky., and toured countless horse barns with Jack Clark, consultant on this project Collier said. "He brought back a lot of great ideas to Blowing Rock, and the horses here will be happy to see how they live in Kentucky." 

The new facility includes running water and a fan in each stall, high ceilings to deter the summer heat, kitchen facilities and other amenities. 

During the opening ceremony, Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence spoke about the importance of the charity horse show to the town. 

"The Blowing Charity Horse Show has been such a huge part of Blowing Rock for many, many years," Lawrence said. "I think that with this addition, and everything else going on here at the preserve, it's going to continue to be a real economic driver for this community. 

"This facility is going to be a showcase for our horse show grounds for many years to come."

The boarding barn was officially opened when the Schaefers opened the two outside barn doors and brought their horses, Sugar and Diablo, into two of the facility's stalls. 

"This has been a real labor of love and we're just happy that our boarders have a place this nice," Bonnie Schaefer said. "We're very excited for our boarders." 

After the opening ceremony, all in attendance were invited inside the new facility for tours and refreshments. 

Susan Little of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show board presented Bonnie Schaefer with a metal sculpture of a horse's head to thank her for contribution to the new facility. 

Barbara Wright, a member of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show board for the past 40 years, was in attendance during the boarding barn's grand opening. 

"I was raised in a house over by the Cone Estate," Wright said. "We used to walk up Cone Road to see the horse shows each summer." 



Charity Horse Show

Thursday marked the beginning of the first weekend of the 2014 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show. 

The saddlebred competition continues through today. 

The show's hunter/jumper competition takes place July 22-27 and July 29-Aug. 3. 

Started in 1923, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is the longest continually running event of its kind in the eastern half of the United States. 

The event began when Lloyd M. Tate held the first horse show off  Green Hill Road, not far from the Green Park Inn. 

After a short stay in the Mayview area and on a vacant lot of Ransom Street, the show was moved in 1934 to its current home. 

Equestrian fans of all ages are invited to attend the show as spectators. 

Tickets are $10 per person and the show is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. 

A day ticket allows the spectator to come and go as they please. 

For more information, visit http://www.blowingrockhorses.com.