Bouchie Lake Recreation Grounds are well known for its equestrian grounds. They are a pride of the area and well used by both individuals and user / affiliate groups. The facilities include the main arena, warm up arena, a 6 stall barn, concession, and parking area.
Here is a little history about the facilities and the primary groups using them.
Similar to the Bouchie Lake Hall, the equestrian grounds at the Bouchie Lake Recreation Grounds were constructed by volunteers. Originally, the main arena was the property of the Bouchie Lake Saddle Club. In 1985, the Quesnel & District Riding Club/QDRC formed as a result of the amalgamation of the Bouchie Lake Saddle Club and Dragon Lake Riding Club. Following the creation of the QDRC, the arena became property of the QDRC. In 1991 the QDRC obtained “not for profit” status in the province.
The arena has long been used by the QDRC for club events. At this time, what became the Bouchie Lake Gymkhana Club / BLGC was part of the QDRC. Bleachers were added to the grounds in 1987. With out-of-towners showing up for QDRC events, the club decided that a barn was needed on the grounds. With assistance from the Bouchie Lake Recreation Commission (Society) and monies raised by the QDRC a 6-stall barn was constructed, by volunteers, in 1988.
The Warm Up Arena was completed in October, 2010 with the Grand Opening being held in May, 2011. The total value of this project was $10,718.00 (in kind = $4886.00; cash = $6620.00). The development of this arena was very much a collaborative effort between funding agencies and local organisations. The lead proponent of the project was the Bouchie Lake Gymkhana Club in partnership with the Bouchie Lake Commission with the primary funding sponsor being Horse Council of British Columbia / HCBC. Other partners included QDRC, Waylen Trucking, Awesome Buds & Blooms, RC Contracting, and R&J Wilson Backhoe services.
The grounds and associated facilities / structures on the property are now owned, and insured, by the Cariboo Regional District. The properties were conveyed to the CRD when these properties were included under the umbrella of the North Cariboo Recreation & Parks function. Land title documents shows that the CRD has owned the property since 1992.
The equestrian facilities continue to be used by the QDRC, BLGC, the Quesnel Pony Club and many other user groups and individuals. They are also available for bookings for private lessons. Any rental fees received for exclusive use of these properties is used to off-set the costs associated with maintenance and /or repairs.
This large (120’ x 250’ / 36.5 m. x 76 m.) outdoor sand based ring is well maintained and unless booked, is available for “casual use” at any time. The arena has an announcer’s booth at one end (furthest from the road) and for viewing, bleachers are located along a long side. The netting that exists now between this arena and the baseball fields to catch any “fly balls” was erected in 2012.
Warm Up Arena
This arena is a fairly recent addition to the grounds and measures 72’ x 131’ / 22 m. x 40 m. Unlike the main arena, this arena cannot be book so it is always available for public use. The footing is also comprised of sand.
This 6 stall (box) barn is available for use by renters during on-site events. No horses are boarded here on a continual basis. No shavings are available on-site; as such, renters must provide their own shavings. Following use, the stalls must be thoroughly cleaned out (all shavings removed).