Equestrian center offers year-round riding

A rider at the Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center, Cedar City, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University, it is said, has closer ties with the horse than any institution in the nation. SUU offers an applied associate degree in equine studies and since the degree’s approval by the Utah Board of Regents in 2008, demand for the program has grown each year.

Cedar City, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News
A rider at the Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center, Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News

To accommodate the program’s expansion, in 2010 the university began a fundraising campaign to build an indoor equestrian teaching facility.

With contributions from the Cedar City community and other donors, the Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center was built, opening its doors officially Mar. 19 during the SUU Founders’ Celebration.

SUU said it is grateful to the many generous donors to this facility, including Connie C. Holbrook, Garth & Jerri Frehner, SUU Valley Farm, Energy Solutions, Shannon Family Foundation and Edward and Shirley Stokes.

“The SUU Equestrian program has continued to grow and flourish,” said Lee Wood, associate professor of agriculture. “In fact, all of our classes are full nearly every semester and there is great demand for instruction.”

Wood said he thinks that working with horses gives students a more well-rounded perspective and has helped him be a better father and person.

“We have to adjust to the horse,” Wood said. “The same applies to our human relationships.”

For many prior years, students and faculty held classes on horsemanship outdoors in inclement weather. The new indoor arena now provides protection and comfort for the students, faculty and staff.

Riders at the Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center, Cedar City, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News
Riders at the Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center, Cedar City, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of SUU, St. George News

The new 22,900-square-foot arena holds horsemanship classes for beginners as well as advanced students, in addition to courses in horse production. The facility also hosts a variety of Future Farmers of America events sponsored by the SUU Agriculture Program.

The Kenneth L. Cannon Equestrian Center has contributed to many students’ success in Equine Studies at SUU and the new center continues to promote the growth of the program.

SUU said it is thankful for Cedar City’s dedication to education. With the help of the community and donors, the new center was possible and expanded the educational needs of the 600-plus students in the program.

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