Another step was taken Wednesday toward construction of an indoor arena for the Buckboard Therapeutic Riding Academy.
Kenneth and Gladyce Helzer, a rural Gering couple, officially donated their land at 14th and Floral just south of Gering for the facility in a signing ceremony with Buckboard founder Kathy Gatch. Gatch says the donation is a “dream come true” and came about after the couple had a conversation with Buckboard supporter Dr. Daryl Wills.
Gatch says the plan is to place a 66′ X 120′ building on the 1.4 acres so the developmentally disabled children who get the benefits of riding horses in the summer and fall can conduct the activity year round no matter what the weather . Gatch is also wanting to ramp up an adult ride program and a program specifically geared to help veterans with PTSD issues after they return from overseas.
Buckboard needs to raise another $50,000, approximately a quarter of the total, to complete the funding for the arena. Gatch says fundraising efforts will be made over the remaining months of this year to raise the money so the arena can be ready by around the first of the new year.
Buckboard recently received a conditional use permit from the Gering city council needed to build on the donated land, which is zoned agricultural.