Arena management workshop Jan. 22

Shelby Abrams carries the American Flag in front of the stands at Saturday's Chickasaw County Rodeo at the Agri-Center in Houston. The three-day event brought crowds to town for an ag exhibition, buckaroo rodeo and ranch rodeo.  (File Photo/Floyd Ingram)

Shelby Abrams carries the American Flag in front of the stands at Saturday’s Chickasaw County Rodeo at the Agri-Center in Houston. The three-day event brought crowds to town for an ag exhibition, buckaroo rodeo and ranch rodeo. (File Photo/Floyd Ingram)

Management of facilities used for rodeos and other equine events will be the focus of a Jan. 22 workshop at the Mississippi Horse Park in Starkville.

The three-hour workshop will begin at 1 p.m. and is for individuals responsible for agricultural centers and other equine venues, as well as anyone who produces or hosts horse shows, barrel races or other equine events, said Judith Phillips, research associate with the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University.

“The workshop is a result of a recent study showing that the most important factors influencing participation and attendance at equine events in Mississippi are ground conditions and arena safety,” Phillips said. “The study was part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded project to revitalize Mississippi’s agricultural centers.”

The workshop will feature techniques used by professional area managers and event promoters to maintain safe footing for horses during equine events. The Mississippi Horse Park recently received the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s 2013 Footing Award.

Partners in the project include the Stennis Institute, the MSU Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development and the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors.

The long-range goal of the project is to help Mississippi communities capitalize on their agricultural centers as an economic resource, said Extension economic development specialist Rachael Carter.

“We are using what we’ve learned through a comprehensive market analysis of the Bolivar County Expo Center to help communities statewide take advantage of these resources,” Carter said. “The upcoming workshop is the first event in a statewide training program for all persons involved in managing and operating these facilities.”

Admission to the workshop is free to the public, but participants are asked to register by calling 662-325-3141.

The workshop is a pre-conference event of the Jan. 23-24 Back Stage Pass conference for festival and event coordinators, sponsored by Mississippi Main Street, the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division and the Mississippi Arts Commission.
Registration for the entire conference is online at msmainstreet.com/index.php/events_news/event/2751.

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