|By TIM THORNBERRY
WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. — A new town has risen in the rural section of Kentucky’s most-populated area, but it doesn’t have a zip code or a main street or a gas station.
To the folks who live nearby, it is a town like no other - made especially for their horses. The “town,” affectionately called Kentucky Cowtown, is a facility recently constructed with the horse and agriculture community in mind. It was the brainchild of area attorney Steve Howe and his wife, Monica.
“I felt this area needed something like this, not only for horse lovers, but for other events as well,” Howe said.
Kentucky Cowtown is a 52-acre agricultural expo center with a 32,000-square-foot arena that is fully handicapped accessible. The complex has a Western town with bathrooms, a viewing area, concession stand and announcer’s booth.
There is also a 6,000-square-foot, livestock handling facility that is free for use by area livestock producers.
“The funds for the handling facility were provided through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Council,” Howe said.
The arena is a Cover-All system, which allows vast amounts of natural light to penetrate while maintaining a comfortable environment all year. At one end of the facility is an authentic looking saloon complete with restrooms, a kitchen area, a full length bar, a piano, tables and chairs on the first level and a viewing area, office and announcer’s booth on the top level.
There’s even a hitching post outside the saloon. At the other end of the complex is a livestock holding pen with a working chute, scales and portable chute for up to 200 head of cattle.
Since opening in April of this year, the facility has been used for different shows and fundraisers and will feature a bull-riding event in November. Many young people use the arena for competitions and “fun days” where everyone gets a chance at blue ribbons for various events.
Selena Klaphake, 14, and her father, Troy, frequently visit the center as they share their love for horses.
“I think this place gives people my age something fun to do,” Selena explained. “We have 17 horses all together, and I like to compete in all the events.”
Troy said, “I think working with the horses absolutely gives young people responsibilities and keeps them out of trouble.”
Greg Stith and his son, Marcus, enjoy the facility and the chance to ride their horses and participate in competitions.
“Marcus has only been riding a few weeks but he has come a long way,” said Stith. “It amazes me how many people are into their horses around here.”
It is the love of the horse that has transcended a dream into a reality for Steve Howe and it is the love of horses of those around him that will put Kentucky Cowtown on the map.
For more information on this facility, call 859-823-COWS or visit www.kentuckycowtown.com
Published in the September 14, 2005 issue of Farm World.