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Winter Update to our Members

posted February 20, 2013

2/20/13

Dear Membership,

This is a mid-winter update to bring all of you up to speed with what has been going on at Southlands!  Many of you know that we lost Deb Dows’ home in a fire the morning of October 31st 2011.  The remains of the house were demolished and the area has been returned to a pristine grassy area that overlooks the paddocks on both sides of the driveway.

We have plowed, tilled and planted the southernmost fields in a concerted effort to grow our own hay once again.  The cost of hay has and will continue to rise with labor and fuel costs going up. We are looking forward to saving money and bringing the Foundation closer to the mission of cultivating agrarian connections.

The new outdoor ring has been completed! The new space was lifted out of the low laying area it was in and sports a state of the art dustless riding surface that while lending itself mostly to flatwork can and is utilized for some lower level jumping at our Schooling Hunter/Jumper shows. Word quickly spread around the area that we had a “GREAT” new space to ride in and the attendance to our schooling dressage shows climbed steadily throughout the season! This lovely area to ride would never have been possible without the physical and financial support of our members!

The largest and most successful fundraiser in the history of Southlands is almost complete! The refurbishment of the indoor area is magnificent! The area is bright, clean and dust free! The membership raised over $64,000.00 towards state of the art dust free footing! One of the most exciting parts of this refurbishment from the Board of Directors and my point of view is that Southlands applied for and received some local grants to help defray the cost of the new roof! This is a huge accomplishment for our foundation! Again we thank our membership for believing in our program and helping to support who we are and what we do.

Southlands applied to the Hover Foundation and the Frost Foundation for assistance in covering the cost of a new roof for the indoor. The Hover Foundation gave us $5000.00 and the Frost Foundation $10,000. Interestingly, both founding members of these Foundations used to ride with Deb Dows many years ago.

Even through these challenging economic times our program at Southlands is strengthening and continues to build its holistic approach to horsemanship and our standing in the community; as we continue to offer quality programs in horsemanship, and appreciating open spaces and the animals, both domestic and wild that inhabit our beautiful lands! We look forward to other exciting projects and will continue to offer the best horsemanship and learning in Dutchess county as we move on in 2013!!

Allison King

Executive Director