“With over 300 barrel racing horses each of the four days needing as many stalls along with an indoor arena and practice areas, the Walworth County Fairgrounds improvements in 2016 and the coming summer will accommodate the event very well,” Association President Heidi Jo Dawson was quoted as saying in a news release . “The fairgrounds and its board of directors are clearly committed to continually improving its facilities even if our event grows.”
In 2015, the the Walworth County Board and the fair board agree to fund a long term strategic plan from a multi-event facility consulting firm. The results showed the equine area of the fairgrounds as an area with high growth potential.
In 2016, the fair board constructed 100 additional covered horse stalls and in the spring of 2017 the existing saddle horse stall barn will be renovated. Both projects made possible in part because of assistance from Walworth County. These projects bring the total horse stall availability in line with needs of large equine events like the state barrel racing finals.
“We are excited to be the new home for the state’s NBHA barrel racing finals and the community will be too. This four day event will have a great deal of economic impact on local and regional businesses” said Larry Gaffey, general manager of the fairgrounds. “This is the type of event that our facility improvements were intended to attract.”
The finals previously have been held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison for the last several years. .