Last fall I wrote about the Mackinac Island Horsemen’s Association (MIHA) and their dream to build a community stable for the island. The MIHA has worked diligently for three years to fund this project through proceeds from the Mackinac Island Festival of the Horse and from private donations. Through their hard work, and the generosity of people who love this island and everything it stands for, over $190,000 has been raised. With those funds, and with a construction loan for the remaining amount, the MIHA broke ground this spring, and the community stable is going up so fast it’s like watching a time-lapse photograph.
If you go back and look at the photos above one more time, you will notice that everywhere you look there is sand. I think I mentioned in last Fall’s story that people associated with the Horsemen’s Association believe this spot of land was somehow ordained to be used for this purpose, and Jim has made that belief even harder to deny. Of the three places on the island that could have been used for the facility, the other two that were surveyed had about an inch of topsoil and nothing but rock below that. This piece of land, and as far as anyone knows it is the only property like it on the island, is sand – pure, white almost-beach perfect sand – the safest, easiest, and most natural setting for a horse facility. No rocks to dig through, no hauling in of sand for topsoil. Jim says the money that was saved in construction with just that benefit alone is unbelievable. On an island with very little topsoil and limestone below that, to find this 4-acre spot with nothing but sand for many feet down is truly a gift.
If things continue to progress as planned, the stable will be open by the middle of June, and that is truly remarkable. But please don’t think the work is over. Donations are appreciated, and if you’re interested in making a contribution, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get you to the right person. Another way to contribute is to plan on visiting the island during the third annual Festival of the Horse July 20-24. Proceeds from all the activities during this special event will go toward the community stable debt. Click here for 2011 Festival of the Horse information: http://www.mackinacislandfestivalofthehorse.org/.
Please make a visit up to see the community stable part of your island visit. The site is located on British Landing Road across from Wawashkomo Golf Course. And you’ll be seeing lots more of the activity up there as the summer progresses right here on this blog. It’s only a 10-minute bike ride from our condo, and I’m planning on taking riding lessons this summer – yes I am!
If you’d like to read the original article about the community stable, you can find it by clicking here: https://bree1972.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/if-we-build-it-they-will-come/.