Agriplex society balks at arena use answers

Equestrians seek membership details, lessee stands firm

On April 28, a response from the 100 Mile Agriplex Society was sent to the individual equestrians and some members of the 100 Mile & District Outriders Club who had insisted they need answers to questions that surfaced during a heated March 4 meeting.

The horse owners want more information about gaining access to the old Stan Halcro Arena for equestrian use.

Jenny Bakken, who speaks as an individual equestrian (who is an Outriders member) and was at the March 4 meeting, says the society’s reply is inadequate.

Details have been outstanding since that meeting on membership costs, hourly usage rates, and an arena schedule, she says, adding she was disappointed with the “unprofessional” response.

The April 28 e-mail to 10 attendees, signed by five Agriplex board members, briefly states all the required information was “laid out in the handout” at the meeting, including “the plan, cost and conditions” for equine use.

That handout refers to a fee “as low as $25 [an] hour depending on membership fee and volunteer hours worked,” and noted other groups are paying $1,500 a year plus $20 per hour.

“This is not a price list, this has no structure at all,” says Bakken. “There is no application form; it’s completely unorganized.”

She explains the Agriplex Society had agreed to provide the equine enthusiasts with answers to six questions narrowed down at the meeting, as noted by its then-director, meeting chair John McCarvill.

These included a clarification of the terms, establishing the costs, determining a drop-in fee, and other answers still outstanding, Bakken adds.

“If it was already handed out … at that meeting, why would [McCarvill] say ‘I would get back to you with all this information’?”

Society chair Peter Reid notes he pointed out at the meeting that these issues are moot, as the society recently had the lease agreement changed to exclude “individuals” from arena use.

“It is for groups only. All those things they were talking about were if it was individuals. So it is no use responding to them because it was irrelevant.”

He adds McCarvill has since resigned from the Agriplex Society board, so he no longer speaks to its issues.

The individual equine aficionados first need to form or join a group to qualify for arena use, Reid says.

“Everything is covered in the letter we sent … the lease was switched over from individuals to groups, so there is no more to say.”

Once a user group has applied and has a member on the Agriplex board, he says all of the issues raised will be dealt with then.

However, Bakken says she would need to have specific application forms, a price list and an arena schedule to determine if usage is feasible before asking a new or current group to do join.

Outriders Club vice-president Ron Szigety says it is local individuals, not his group bringing this issue forward.

Therefore, he has little to say on behalf of his group, but does confirm it would like to see the financial statements and where the $1,500 annual contribution goes; the society agreement, definitions, and regulations; and how to apply for membership.

Like Bakken, he wants answers to the six questions – but prior to an open meeting for interested parties he is planning for early summer.

“We will see what the outcome of that will be.”


100 Mile House Free Press