WILMINGTON — Members of the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce on Friday toured the expansive World Equestrian Center (WEC) and were invited to consider partnering with the facility to grow their own businesses.
Formerly known as Roberts Arena, the State Route 730 venue has evolved into one of the largest equestrian sport complexes in the United States.
Bill Harless, sponsorship sales manager for WEC, emphasized equestrian sports are family-friendly. An informational packet noted that equestrians represent an affluent demographic.
As just one example of a local business opportunity, Harless mentioned there is a need for a dry cleaner delivery service.
Area businesses that partner with WEC will “benefit the sport we love, and the area we’re in,” said Harless.
Horse enthusiasts from 35 states and four continents have participated in WEC shows. Moreover, most exhibitors traveled from out of state to come here — 23 percent were from Ohio, according to a leaflet.
The Roberts Family has a Cadets Junior Horsemanship program which awarded more than $225,500 in scholarship money to subsidize horse showing costs in order to open up the WEC experience to families with fewer financial resources.
The summer shows concluded on Sunday, according to the 2017-18 schedule. Following a short break, a packed schedule will resume in late September at the World Equestrian Center.
For a show schedule, please visit www.wec.net. Spectators can attend the shows free of charge in the climate-controlled indoor arenas.
Ground was broken in spring 2017 on a sister facility in Ocala, Florida, adjacent to the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, another Roberts Family enterprise.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.