The much-anticipated Grand Opening of the new Tractor Supply Co. Arena at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin is set for this Saturday, April 2, with a full day of equestrian activities set to delight horse lovers of all ages and interests.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., an all-breed horse show that includes speed and skill events will feature dozens of horses competing in categories ranging from hunter-jumpers to barrel racing. From Noon to 1 p.m., the competition will break for the Ribbon Cutting ceremony, and a number of exhibitions ranging from the Cedar Knob Hounds, Tennessee Walking Horses, carriage horses, an equestrian drill team and other exciting elements.
The event is free and open to the public, and is designed for families to explore all aspects of the equestrian lifestyle. Pony rides, a mechanical bull, and other activities and displays will ensure a fun day for all. Along with the new concessions stand’s full menu presented by Catering and Events by Suzette, sno-kones and kettle corn will be available.
The Grand Opening event will be a 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 have contributed to the project.
Friends of Franklin Parks Board President Dr. Monty McInturff says the key sponsors, the City Parks Department, and the community have made the project possible.
“This has been a true community effort, and we want everyone in town to come celebrate with us,” McInturff said. “The horses are coming back to Harlinsdale, and this will be a spectacular event.”
Franklin Synergy Bank has played an integral role as a sponsor and partner through the construction of the Arena.
“Franklin Synergy has a long standing commitment to Harlinsdale Farm and Friends of Franklin Parks. As soon as plans for the new Arena at Harlinsdale were discussed, we knew we wanted to be involved,” said Franklin Synergy Chairman and CEO Richard Herrington. “Our community is so fortunate to have such an asset right in our backyards.”
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 Tractor Supply Company Arena.
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