Chamber horse committee holding open house Tuesday
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Aug. 11, 2005 -- Interest in the equine industry continues to grow in Hopkins County and in this area of the state, due in large part to efforts by the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce’s Northeast Texas Horse Committee to raise the level of awareness of the benefits directly tied to the equine industry.

To further promote the industry, the Northeast Texas Horse Committee will be hosting a free open house Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, according to Chamber of Commerce President Bill Elliott.

“This open house is to educate folks that might be thinking getting a horse for a child or grandchild who need to know more about how to care for a horse, the safety things to be aware of about horses,” he said. “That is the purpose of it, to teach people more about this [equine] business and more about the care and conditioning of the animal itself.”

In the past few years, a number of families engaged in the equine industry from across America have moved to Hopkins County and the Northeast Texas area as a result of this concentrated advertising campaign, and evidence of “word of mouth” advertising has been noted at equine events across the country, according to Elliott.

The Northeast Texas Horse Committee held a very successful barrel race at the Civic Center last fall, with more than 150 entries, including National Finals Rodeo Barrel Racing winner Kelly Kaminski. The total purse for this competition was $9,000.

In March, the committee participated in the filming of a national television series, “The Best of America By Horseback,” which was broadcast nationwide in July on RFD-TV. The event highlighted the equestrian trails and facilities at Cooper Lake State Park.

A number of other events including a three-day barrel race, a “ranch versatility” event, equine presentations during Kids Safe Saturday, clinics on various equine topics using local and national personalities, and a three-day equine exposition featuring nationally known clinicians are being planned.

Those attending the open house don’t have to own a horse.

“Everybody is invited, anybody that has even the slightest interest in horses or is in a business that could benefit from the equine folks that are moving in here,” Elliott said. “And there are a lot of them.”

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