• 64°

Arena gets 1st new contract

The Covington Center Arena has scored its first new contract since being leased by Don Bullard.

Bullard said Friday, the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) has signed an 11-month contract to secure the first weekend in each month for a “cutting event” at the arena. The first show is slated for Sat., Sept. 5. There will be no show in October, due to the American Quarter Horse Association event already on the books.

“So, they just added another month on the contract,” Bullard said. “The AQHA people have said they plan to fill this place up, so we’re very excited all the way around.”

Those two associations are just the beginning to a busy season at the arena, he said.

“In about two weeks or so, we’ll have the (Covington Cowgirls’) drill team Junior and High School rodeo, then the (Pilot Club) walking horse show right after that.”

Bullard said all the months of preparation — paving and laying new dirt inside the arena, renovating the stall area and putting the “polish” on the building — appear to be paying off.

“We get calls from all over from people inquiring about what we’re doing here,” he said. “I tell them when they come and see what we’ve done, they’ll be amazed.”

Bullard, who took over the arena’s operation and maintenance in July, said he hopes to be able to provide entertainment “other than horses,” starting next year.

“We’ve gotten out of the construction business,” he said, referring to the recent sale of his excavating company. “After the first of the year, we’re going to get into the entertainment business and be able to book acts other than horses.”

Bullard said the time between now and first of the year will be spent “getting everything just right.”

“When people come here they expect things to be just right,” he said. “And that’s what we’re going to be spending our time doing — getting things just right.”

Currently, Bullard is in the process of installing 80 new RV hook-ups, which would bring the total number to 160, and is obtaining quotes to install an air conditioning system. Bullard said he hopes to have the system installed by spring of next year.