Camelot Center plans ribbon cutting

SOUTHINGTON – A ribbon-cutting will take place Saturday for a new indoor riding arena at the Camelot Therapeutic Riding Center, 3498 Barclay Messerly Road.

The center, which focuses on equine assisted therapeutic riding, is planning a 7,600-square-foot addition to the arena, which will be designed to provide year-round shelter for anyone participating in the program.

The ribbon-cutting is set for 6 p.m. Saturday during the “It’s a Christmas at Camelot” fundraiser, which will include music, food and silent and live auctions. For tickets or to make a donation, call 330-889-0036.

Brenda Evans, volunteer coordinator at the center, said the fundraiser helps raise needed money for the center.

She said an old area at the center that needed to be torn down will provide the needed room for the expansion of the riding arena. Evans said the new area will have a canvas-domed arena on the western side of the current building and will include a wheelchair lift.

Nicolette Darkangelo, board president at the center, said the center’s mission is providing therapeutic riding to physically, mentally or emotionally disabled disadvantaged children and adults. The program uses certified instructors and trained volunteers and offers individuals the opportunity to learn horsemanship skills and basic horse managements skills.

Darkangelo said the center is accredited with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Parent Joseph Svarny of Masury said his daughter, Hannah, 14, has been riding at the center for three years. Hannah had a heart transplant and rides for therapy.

“They have been wonderful to her. She loves being here,” he said.

Evans said once the new arena is completed it will take two weeks to get up and running.

She said there will be more room for riders and trainers.

Evans said they were able to get grants for the facility and hold fundraising.