renovates former Blair Horse Stables
plan to open facility to the public
(September 2007) Although it was only noon,
the temperature in the barn was already sweltering as Kelly Carr of
Henryville, Ind., adjusted the sprinklers that helped cool two of her
horses, April and Trick Point. Carr was waiting for a construction contractor
to arrive to begin work on a new make-up arena to be added to the existing
indoor competition arena.
by Daniel McCollum
Carr is working hard to get her
River Valley Ranch, the former
Blair Horse Farm, ready for
several upcoming rodeo events.
It will be open to the public.
Ive got a lot of work to do in a very short
time, she explained.
Carr, 47, along with husband, Lance, 49, recently bought the Blair Horse
Farm, located at 256 Badger Rd., on the Madison, Ind., hilltop. They
are doing extensive renovations to get facilities in place before they
hold the Sept. 21-23 Indiana State Finals of the International Barrel
Racing Association. The championships are free for spectators and open
to the public. Action begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, when riders
compete for awards and prize money.
Chuck Blair operated the Quarter Horse facility for many years before
relocating to Gainsville, Texas, to run another operation. Kelly rented
the indoor arena from Blair for years before he decided to sell the
property to her family this past May. The name of the 119-acre farm
just off Hwy. 256 has been changed to River Valley Ranch.
Kellys parents, Joe and Jan Shulthise, of Louisville, Ky., are
the actual owners of the ranch, although Kelly and Lance will control
all aspects of the new indoor equine facility.
The Shulthises own Shulthise Feed Co., which provides feed for the top
Kentucky thoroughbred racing trainers. My parents get to feed
all of the Kentucky Derby horses, said Kelly.
Apparently, the entire family is horse-oriented. Kelly is a champion
barrel racer, while Lance, who also works at Ford Motor Co., is a winner
at team roping. Kellys niece, Crystal Shumate, who will be helping
to run the ranch, is a champion barrel race, too. Kellys daughter,
Joey Zuber, won the world championships in 1997 when she was only 11
Ive grown up with horses, and this is what I know,
The Carrs, who also run a 150-acre ranch in Henryville, plan to play
host to regularly scheduled indoor rodeos in their Saddle Up Arena but
need to complete their renovations first. Parts of the new plans are
to completely turn the inside of the arena around to put the office
and scoring boxes near the new make-up, or practice, arena. Then more
bleachers will be added along the sides of the arena to accommodate
larger crowds. On the outside of the arena, a new parking lot has already
been added, and electrical hookups for trailers are being installed.
A VIP deck section for sponsors will be constructed above the concessions
area, which is also undergoing major construction. Lasers for accurate
barrel placement have already been installed, and electrical work is
being updated for computer and phone lines.
We have to really move on all of this work in order to get it
done before the September finals, said Kelly. We will have
everything in place, though.
Saddle Up Arena has also been awarded a prestigious event in November.
The Professional Womens Barrel Racing Association has selected
Saddle Up Arena to play host to the Great Lakes Circuit Finals on Nov
2-3. The event has been held in Louisville for decades, but a contentious
legal battle has brought the event to Madison this year.
This is such a huge deal, said Kelly. To be chosen
to host this particular event is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I cant
believe we actually got it.
Winners in this event will advance to the world championships in Pocatello,
Idaho. A world champion could come out of this barn, she
said in awe.
A grand opening event for River Valley Ranch is being planned in conjunction
with the November championships, but details are still being finalized.
She said she is looking for corporate or individual sponsors who would
like to help put on these shows.
We will be offering VIP packages for anyone interested in these
events or the rodeos we will hold in the future, she said. We
want to offer families in this area something unique, yet affordable,
said Kelly. Rodeos are such great family fun; everyone loves them.
In addition to the shows that will be presented, the equine facility
will also offer a full range of services, including breeding, horse
sales, barn rental and open riding at select times. Later this fall,
Saddle Up Arena will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays for
For more information about sponsorships
or events at Saddle Up Arena at River Valley Ranch, call Kelly Carr
at (812) 294-1494.
Back to September 2007