Non-profit Friends of Franklin Parks, City Partner on Stunning Multi-Purpose Equestrian Facility
After three years of fundraising and one year of construction, the new Tractor Supply Co. Arena at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm is set to open to the public. A Grand Opening event that includes an all-day, multi-breed horse show and demonstrations has been set for Saturday, April 2.
The public is invited to attend the free celebration of the return of horses to the legendary 200-acre farm located at the northern gateway to downtown Franklin, which became a city park in 2007. The non-profit Friends of Franklin Parks was formed in 2012 as a way to leverage private support to enhance public parks, and has raised more than $1 million to build the Arena. In addition to Tractor Supply Co., other major corporate sponsors include Franklin Synergy Bank, Infiniti of Cool Springs and Tennessee Equine Hospital, and hundreds of individuals contributed to the project.
“It’s been a long time coming, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the community, our corporate partners and the incredible city parks department,” said Monty McInturff, president of Friends of Franklin Parks, which will operate the new arena. “The horses are coming back to Harlinsdale, and we want everyone in town to come be a part of it with us.”
Local equestrian trainer Kathy Lewis will host an all-breed fun show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring speed and skill events ranging from jumping classes to barrel racing. At noon, the Grand Opening program will include a spectacular showcase of equine talent. The new concessions stand will be unveiling its spring menu, and various demonstrations geared toward children and adults of any interest and skill level will be held throughout the day. Pony rides and other fun activities will also be available.
The five-acre Arena site includes the 150’ x 300’ arena surrounded by grass berms with terraced seating, a scoring pavilion, a warm-up ring, three large fenced paddocks, public restrooms and a concession stand. Friends of Franklin Parks is currently working to raise funds to complete the restoration of the historic mare barn, which will offer 24 stalls for day use.
A number of other equestrian events are already scheduled for the spring, and the Franklin Polo Academy will be offering arena polo lessons and exhibition matches throughout the summer and fall. For more information, visit www.tractorsupplycoarena.com.