By LARRY SHIELDS
SALEM - The new owners of Pure Gold Horse Stables want the public to see the facility and scheduled an open house for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 20.
The Pure Gold Horse Stables are under new ownership and Dave Cranmer manages the 43-acre facility located at 3325 state Route 45. Cranmer, right, is pictured with Collin Houlette of Elkton, a summer youth employment program worker, and Ty’s Prize Guy, a 17-year-old standard bred horse at the stables. The owners, Brandon Davis, Tom Lowry and Jim Fisher, all from the Canfield and Boardman area, want the public to enjoy the stables and have made them available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Pure Gold Horse Stables will hold an open house from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sept. 20 with food and beverages, Direct TV college football games, cornhole and horse activities. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)
The 43-acre site, billed as a "premier equestrian facility," includes a five-eighths mile exercise track, 16 full thoroughbred stalls, an 18,000 square-foot, all-weather indoor arena suited to barrel racing, training and practice along with a 60-foot round pen. The stables are located at 3325 state Route 45 just south of Salem.
Three area businessmen, Brandon Davis, Tom Lowry and Jim Fisher, all from the Canfield and Boardman area, purchased the Pure Gold and bring an "open gate" philosophy to the horse stables.
One of the first things they did was hire Dave Cranmer, a former Columbiana County Commissioner and retired Salem Fire Department captain to manage the 10-year-old stables.
Cranmer has been on the grounds since April and said Tuesday, "It's important that this facility is open to the public" - a complete reversal from the former owner.
"The owners want it open to the public, whether it's a horseman wanting to rent a stall ... or a youngster on a $100 pony, the public is invited," Cranmer said, "they want the public to know it is open and they can stop and look around."
Cranmer said he's happy to give tours and is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Just drive through the gate, he said, "I'll be here ... unless an event is going on during the weekend, the gate's open."
The horseman community has been invited, he said and the arena is available for show horse and saddle events including pole benching and barrel racing practice. The 18,000 square foot arena has six inches of sand on top of a compacted base for a soft floor.
Or, as Collin Houlette of Elkton said, "for a soft fall."
Houlette works at Pure Gold as part of a summer youth employment program and was tending to Ty's Prize Guy, the only horse on the grounds on Tuesday.
Cranmer said that so far the draft horse folks have stopped in to exercise their horses and a drill team rented the arena which has a spectator lounge next to the arena so the horses aren't distracted when they're training.
The lounge has a raised (stage) viewing area with a full-service kitchen.
It can hold 25 people and the stables also feature full-service restrooms with showers.
Each of the 16 stalls have separate hay and oat feed stations, water, sunlamps and overhead fans to keep the air moving.
There are also automatically-timed insect repellant sprayers in the ceilings to keep the flies down.
The 14- by 14-foot stalls are covered with shredded wood over the rubber flooring and are cleaned twice a day. If an owner is unable to tend to a stall, Cranmer said they can help out.
"They can let us know their need and what we can do for them," he said pointing out that contract terms can be found on the website: www.puregoldstables.com.
The overall plan is to invite the 4H and other groups and offer the facility for educational use.
"We're trying to stay locally oriented with the people," Cranmer said, noting people from eastern Pennsylvania, mid-Ohio and West Virginia have shown interests.
"Basically it's saddle-horse people and some throughbred people," Cranmer said.
With the Hollywood Racino set to open in Austintown on Sept. 17, Cranmer said that if they need a place for their horses Pure Gold can talk to them.
The stables includes a tack room with eight saddle holders and a saddle-up area where saddles and bridles are put on the horses. There is low lighting at leg level for veterinarians.
There is also a 60-foot round pen with a sand floor for training colts or for horses that need a tighter rein.
"Just about any good equine facility will have a round pen or arena," Cranmer said, adding the five-eighths mile track just north of the stables is basically an exercise track.