A day at the earmark races


I’M TOO EASILY DISTRACTED by eamarks. Since the Office of Management and Budget posted its earmark database, I’ve found it hard to concentrate on the 1990 portion of the SF-LLL timeline (which is mostly written but still needs a lot of links). Instead, I keep looking up things like this:

Virginia Equine Center Foundation / Virginia Horse Center Foundation

1 recipient will receive $992,000. This is a first-time earmark.

Description: The earmark funds were used to provide a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities grant of $992,000 to the Virginia Equine Center Foundation. It was used to construct a community and therapeutic riding facility at the Virginia Horse Center. This grant was assumed by the Virginia Horse Center Foundation. The community and therapeutic riding facility provides a weekly education program to learning disabled students from the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, and Rockbridge. It also provides therapeutic riding services to cancer patients referred from the University of Virginia and the Medical College of Virginia. The organization intends to offer similar services to the Rockbridge and Buena Vista School systems. USDA Rural Development, also provided a Community Facilities Direct Loan of $11,500,000 to the Virginia Horse Center Foundation, which was used to purchase the Virginia Horse Center in Rockbridge County, Virginia, from the Virginia Equine Center Foundation. The Virginia Horse Center is a 600-acre facility for horse shows and other livestock events. There are currently eight barns, eighteen show rings and arenas, including a 300′ x 150′ indoor coliseum. There is a five-mile Olympic caliber cross-country course, and also an internationally recognized carriage driving marathon course on Virginia Horse Center property. The Center also offers additional amenities including: 2 campgrounds, a restaurant, banquet facilities, and a gift shop.

The Commonwealth of Virginia set up the Virginia Equine Center Foundation (the governor appoints its board members), while the Virginia Horse Center Foundation seems to be a traditional 501(c)3. I looked on the Virginia Horse Center Web site, and while I found plenty of information on clinics for horse owners and showing off thoroughbreds, there was on information on therapeutic riding. There’s some background on the facility here; I liked this bit:

There’s a strong misperception that people who own horses are across the board wealthy people,” says Lethia Hammond, the center’s director of development.

That’s what bugs me most about the modest suburb I live in: my neighbors have so many horses, I can never find a space to park my car…