Langer: Lights come on at Norris-Penrose

       There was just one small problem at the start of the Langer Equestrian Group's first-ever competition at the Norris-Penrose Event Center's Indoor Arena Jan. 31-Feb. 3.

On Silver Touch, Children's Jump Classic competitor Haley Matteson glides over a practice jump in the new warm-up building at the Norris-Penrose Event Center during the Langer Equestrian Group's first event there Jan. 31-Feb. 3. The building opens into the previously built Indoor Arena (large door). Langer will have another show Feb. 7-10.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “We didn't know where the light switches were,” laughed Charlotte Skinner-Robson, managing director for Langer's Colorado Division, which recently relocated its headquarters from Parker.
       Once the arena was illuminated, it was a smooth ride for the national organization, which specializes in hunter-jumper events. “It's such a fabulous ring,” Robson said of the dirt-floored Indoor Arena, noting that its 9,000-square-foot size is larger than that used for some World Cup events in the sport. Also, “the footing in here is wonderful, and it's very comfortable for the horses.”
       She also spoke highly of the new 3,600-square-foot building at the east end of the 30-year-old Indoor Arena, which allows riders to warm up and practice before arena competition. “It's gotten nothing but rave reviews,” she said.
       That building, a pre-fab like the Indoor Arena, was assembled recently as part of the agreement between Langer Equestrian and the center owners (the nonprofit Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation). The foundation will also use the new space to augment other Indoor Arena events, from equestrian activities to home shows, Norris-Penrose General Manager Johnny Walker has previously pointed out.
       The event participation was relatively low, with the 29 competition categories attracting just 27 entrants (most of them competing in several events). Robson expects that number to grow over time - perhaps even doubling for the show this weekend, Feb. 7-10 - as the word gets out about the new location and its amenities. For events in the warmer months, when outside rings can be used as well, the entrants will probably be in the hundreds, but even in the cooler season up to 100 competitors could be expected, she said.
       In fact, it was for events in the winter and spring that Langer decided to relocate from the Parker facility (the Colorado Horse Park), which had been its state headquarters for 19 years. “It was a great experience there,” Robson said. “But its indoor facility could not be dedicated to us because the boarders [at the stables whose doors faced into the arena] used it too.”
       The Langer agreement with Pikes Peak or Bust also calls for outside improvements near the Indoor Arena - an expansion to the existing Lower Show Arena (already finished) and two new outdoor rings.
       For more information about Langer and to see schedules and results of events, go to the website: leghorseshows.com.

A competitor in the Langer Equestrian Group's Children's Jumper Classic Feb. 3 clears a bar on the course inside the Indoor Arena.
Westside Pioneer photo

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