Riders want facility

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 1999

J.J. Johnson of the Dixie Riding Club was clear in his message to county supervisors: the children of the county need a place to ride horses.

&uot;We’re looking at the future,&uot; Johnson said at the board’s Monday meeting. &uot;If the children don’t have a place to ride horses, there’s nowhere to go but on the street to drugs.&uot;

Dixie Riding Club member Richard Logan asked supervisors is there was a decision on the Foster Mound Road site, which riding clubs suggested for an equestrian center.

Email newsletter signup

Supervisors had no immediate answer for Johnson or Logan.

&uot;We’re still studying this request,&uot; said Virginia Salmon, president of the board of supervisors. Salmon said supervisors are considering industrial prospects in the same area.

&uot;Meanwhile, the Liberty Park facility is open to them for practice and daily riding,&uot; she said.

Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis attended the meeting to discuss the district’s plans for the Liberty Park facility, county property which was purchased by the school district earlier this year.

&uot;We’re in the process of working out legal aspects of giving back those things that were put into Liberty Park,&uot; Davis said. &uot;Our eventual goal is to sell other items.&uot;

Davis said riding clubs can still use the facility if they call the school district. But riding club members said they cannot afford to stage equestrian events at Liberty Park because the school district requires a $1 million bond to protect it from lawsuits that might arise from such events.

&uot;According to our legal advice, we must require a minimum of $1 million of coverage to protect the school district,&uot; Davis said.

Supervisor Sammy Cauthen suggested that Natchez High School form an equestrian team, like other sporting teams, and allow the Liberty Park facility to be covered under existing school insurance.

&uot;If we can do such a thing, it would take time,&uot; Davis said. &uot;The expense of providing such a program wouldn’t be justified in the small group of participants. We’re concerned with getting kids to pass. Our money right now has to go to more academic pursuits.&uot;

Despite his concerns, Davis said he would investigate the suggestion and report back to the board.