Users of Beban Park’s Agriplex are now a step ahead after brand new sand footing was installed at the facility last week.
The Nanaimo Equestrian Association, the entity which leases and manages barns, rings and the agriplex at Beban Park, undertook the project to replace the aging hog fuel footing as part of ongoing work to improve the grounds.
The work took place over the course of a day, on Feb. 18.
“It was at least 10 years old, so it had broken down to the point where it was starting to get a bit slippery and dangerous, particularly for the horses when they were jumping,” said Lesley Coultish, association president. “The entrance to the agriplex used to get really soggy – the hog fuel was saturated and would leave huge imprints and it was horrible to walk on.”
The new footing is a manufactured concrete sand mix which doesn’t absorb water in the same way as hog fuel, and doesn’t contain quantities of big rocks.
“It’s screened, it’s very uniform in size, and it’s washed, so there’s a lot less dust to it,” Coultish said.
So far, the renovation has been a big hit with the facility’s patrons.
“As a hunter/jumper group put it, they can jump more than one jump at a time,” Coultish said.
“It also opens us up to different types of events in that we can have more jumping events, better quality dressage shows, and it’s less dusty.”
Prior to the sand upgrade, the association also fixed some perimeter drainage around the building, and crushed gravel has been put in near the building’s entrances which has helped make it easier for vehicles.
The next item on the list is to get quotes on putting in a sprinkler system, Coultish said.
The agriplex is the biggest source of revenue for the association, particularly between October and March when wet weather drives user groups to take their activities indoors.
In addition to a variety of different equestrian groups, the Beban Park agriplex is also used by the dog agility work group, the Nanaimo Toy Run fundraiser and the Vancouver Island Exhibition.
The $10,000 project was made possible through operating expenditures and in-kind contributions from Milner Trucking, Hub City Sand and Gravel and K&M Bobcat.
For more information on the Nanaimo Equestrian Association, please visit www.nanaimoequestrians.com.