Equestrian Center Offers Year-Round Riding

Published: December 01, 2015 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Equestrian center offers year-round ridingSouthern Utah University, it is said, has closer ties with the horse than any institution in the nation. SUU offers an applied associate degree in Equine Studies, and since the degree’s approval by the Utah Board of Regents in 2008, demand for the program has grown each year. To accommodate the program’s expansion, the University in 2010 began a fund-raising campaign to build an indoor equestrian teaching facility.

With contributions from the Cedar City community and other donors, the Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center was built, opening its doors officially on March 19, 2015, during the SUU Founders’ Celebration. SUU is grateful to the many generous donors to this facility, including Connie C. Holbrook, Garth & Jerri Frehner, SUU Valley Farm, Energy Solutions, Shannon Family Foundation, and Edward & Shirley Stokes.

“The SUU Equestrian program has continued to grow and flourish,” said Associate Professor of Agriculture Lee Wood. “In fact, all of our classes are full nearly every semester and there is great demand for instruction.”

Wood said he thinks that working with horses gives students a more well-rounded perspective and has helped him be a better father and person.

“We have to adjust to the horse, the same applies to our human relationships,” Wood said.

For many prior years, students and faculty held classes on horsemanship outdoors in inclement weather. The new indoor arena now provides protection and comfort for the students, faculty, and staff.

The new 22,900-square-foot arena holds horsemanship classes for beginners as well as advanced students, in addition to courses in horse production, and the facility hosts a variety of Future Farmers of America events sponsored by the SUU Agriculture Program. The Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center has contributed to many students’ success in Equine Studies at SUU and the new center continues to promote the growth of the program.

Southern Utah University is thankful for Cedar City’s dedication to education. With the help of the community and donors, it was possible to build the new center and expand the educational needs of the 600+ students in the program. 

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