Western-style entertainment

Ark Regional Services is throwing a Western-themed party next weekend to raise money for improvements at its Equestrian Center.

Fence the Arena is set for 6-9 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Ark Equestrian Center, 1375 N. Pine St. Tickets are $35 or two for $50.

The event includes food from Born in a Barn, drinks from Northridge Discount Liquors and live music by Laramie-based country/rock group Westbound 40. Dancers from the Cooper Center for Creative Arts will also perform.

A silent auction will feature items such as handmade Western art, while raffle tickets are for sale for the chance to win a whole processed pig. Wagon rides will be offered for people walking to the arena from their cars.

“We want it to be a nice, casual evening with friends and good entertainment,” said Ami Egge, vice president of community resources for Ark.

Proceeds from the event will go toward replacing the fencing around the outdoor arena and pens, which is more than 20 years old. Sponsorships are also available for fence sections.

“The elements have done a number on it,” Egge said of the current fencing.

The center offers hippotherapy, therapeutic riding and stable management classes to people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Hippotherapy is therapy provided with the help of equine movement.

The center expanded its services in recent years to include equine-assisted learning in partnership with Albany County School District No. 1. During the past school year, about seven classes a week came to the center to work with horses as they learned lessons about integrity, respect and more.

Egge said the center is hoping to develop more community partnerships with providers and organizations. The goal is to give people the opportunity to work with horses as they tackle challenges such as grief, depression, learning disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The sky’s the limit,” she said.

In 2016, Ark installed new lights in the arena, allowing the organization to offer services during more hours of the day, especially during the winter.

Egge said the indoor and outdoor arenas are now available for rental, either for special events or riding.

Tickets for the fundraiser are available at www.arkhorses.org, at the Equestrian Center and at the Ark Regional Services building, 1150 N. Third St.

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