Horse people are passionate about their horses and enjoy gathering together for competitions and exhibitions. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable, centrally located, horse and people-friendly venues that are well-maintained. Add in the capacity to support large numbers of horses, riders, and spectators and it’s nearly impossible.
Luckily, the Pacific Northwest has the Grant County Fairgrounds in Central Washington State. The people that run the fairgrounds are working hard to make their venue the premier equestrian facility in the Pacific Northwest. The fairgrounds are centrally located in sunny Moses Lake, which has some of the best weather in the Pacific Northwest with only 7 inches of rain per year. Access from I-90 is easy for large rigs and the town has amazing restaurants, breweries, hotels, and a huge lake. It really is an outdoor-lover’s paradise!
The fairgrounds staff have been diligent, with the support of the county commissioners, to continue to invest in the facilities when many other fairgrounds and facilities are stagnant or regressing. The Grant County Fairgrounds want you to think of this facility first when deciding where to host an equine event of any kind.
Top Amenities and Lots of Room
The fairgrounds offer two large indoor riding facilities — one with a heavier footing ideal for barrel racing and the other with a sandier footing better for cutters, reiners, and performance horse events. In addition, they have a 6000-seat rodeo arena with state-of-the-art lighting—likely the best lighting of any rodeo arena in the Pacific Northwest. They also have an outdoor riding arena for warm-up and a loping pen.
If you’re planning a large event, the 187-acre Grant County Fairgrounds has 430 covered horse stalls and can quickly set up another 125 uncovered stalls. There’s plenty of room for temporary stalls to be brought in. There are 456 RV sites with hookups, 70 of which have full hookups with the rest offering water and power. There are also 5 restroom facilities on the grounds with showers and 3 dump stations for RVs.
A Staff that Works to Please
Those who manage and operate the fairgrounds make it a practice to listen and react to requests from customers. Recently, it was suggested the fairgrounds purchase a ripper and tiller to better work the ground, and now a new tractor, tiller, and ripper will soon be delivered!
Fairgrounds management is also focused on the camping facilities, upgrading them to accommodate large rigs and make the campgrounds as inviting as the equestrian facilities.
It’s All Happening at The Grant County Fairgrounds
Barrel racing events are very popular at the fairgrounds for riders and spectators. The footing in the Ardell Pavilion has had amazing reviews throughout the Western United States. The ample space at the venue has allowed them to host barrel race events as large as 720 horses. Other commonly run events include cutting and Quarter Horse shows in the Harwood Pavilion, which has a sand/dirt footing.
Spectators and competitors have plenty of bleachers for viewing the action, an on-grounds café provides delicious food, and bathrooms are clean and plentiful.
The fairgrounds are also beginning to host clinics. The first one is this September and will feature Mark Shaffer, who has traveled the world with his Mechanics in Motion training.
Fair management and staff continue to work hard to improve and expand the grounds. They are currently replacing some of the older stalls and moving to asphalt-paved stalls with stall mats for more comfort and ease of cleaning.
The Grant County Fairgrounds has a courteous, dedicated, knowledgeable crew who ensure events go off without a hitch. Their goal is for everyone who comes to the Grant County Fairgrounds to have a wonderful time.
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.