The Payson Horseman's Association feels that the (Payson) Event Center should be open for public use for many reasons.
The center was built with contributions of money, man power, and machinery at an estimated cost of $600,000. But because of the town's concerns of insurance liability, it is considering keeping the event center and the so-called practice arena (locked up).
Horses are dangerous, but so is playing ball or skate boarding or playing football or just walking down the street. There is always a possibility you might get hurt. Life is a gamble. The town has a blanket coverage liability insurance plan that covers ball fields, parks, playgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pools. That same insurance should cover individuals riding their horses in an arena for their personal pleasure, whether it be practice for events or just pure enjoyment.
The citizens of this community bought and paid for this event center. In 1990, a statewide survey was conducted jointly by the University of Arizona College of Agricultural Economics and Cooperative Extension, (which determined that) pleasure horses alone will directly return $2.42 million per year for Gila County. Additional money is generated for Gila County through indirect sales and spectator sports, such as the Payson Rodeo.
The study went on to say that man has discovered many uses for the horse, including stress relief, physical conditioning, work, sport, physical and social rehabilitation, as well as an appreciation for the aesthetic nature of the animal.
The Payson Horseman's Association, Inc. is dedicated to bringing individuals together as a unified organization to protect our trails, preserve our human and animal rights, and to benefit us individually with knowledge, love and the enjoyment of our equine friends. On behalf of our organization and our lifestyle for this community, we need to stand together and request the event center, which was built by the people of this community, be open for public use.