July 23, 2021

Arena Usage

Hear that Heard County Practice nights are going really well…not! Why don’t they just quit being so bull-headed and work with the community on what the community would like…and therefore they would make more money than they are making now…makes no sense to me…can they not do math and understand that they are paying an employee the same thing they were paying when we were doing practice nights but bringing in less money?

As you are well aware we have tried to have meetings to discuss the arena usage and have not been able to have any “discussions”…The arena director decided to have his “own” practice nights since I refused to DOUBLE the amount they were making me pay for the ones we had the end of 09 and March – Nov 2010.

They have been nothing but flops…one or two trailers at each.  The SAME salary is still being paid for the SAME amount of time being used…with not enough people there to even bother.

The community wants to use the arena to practice but they want to have some competition while they are there and be able to get timed runs, etc…to see if they are improving. Let us start the practice nights back, at the same rates and you will see trailers there again!

-Shari Wilkins


  1. What did the participants of your “practice” night pay you? You left that part out. Under the rules posted on the Heard County Website, if an event charges, the county gets part of the gate. Did you pay the county part of the entry fees YOU collected? The guidelines may need to be broader but in the interest of CITIZENS usage, not for the benefit of BUSINESSES trying to make money off the arena. My taxes as a citizen were used to construct this facility to benefit its CITIZENS, not businesses. What prevents private citizens from getting together, paying $10 to ride and time it themselves? Nothing. Why don’t you just cut to the chase-paying more fees cut into YOUR profits.

  2. http://www.heardcitizen.com

    go to OPINION




    Sounds like to me Shari you have done the math. When you are charging for timed runs and making a profit off what you are doing then you should follow the Arena guidelines and pay for the event. If that means you are paying DOUBLE then you should pay or simply don’t charge for the times runs and you wont have to pay DOUBLE. It sounds like to me you are taking advantage of the county and tax payers by profiting off the practice night runs. Everyone should be responsible and follow the Arena rules.

  3. Shari Wilkins says

    Well Stan and Jaime…whatever you guys last names are….I certainly have done the math…and thanks Russ for leaving half my letter out!!! I will try to complete the areas left off….

    First Stan….I never tried to promote my business there…just because I own a business doesn’t mean that I was holding practice nights to make a lot of money (if so I would have had them on the weekends when more people would actually be able to come from far off….)Anyway…there was no profit the first year and the people who came, paid and attended know that….I paid the $1,000 to purchase the timers, and paid people to work at my shops while Bobby and I (and a couple of my employees) went down there, took entries, announced and sat up barrels… I also paid for buckles for year end awards. Everyone who came had NO problem with it and would still come if I were still having them….I did not charge a gate admission and no I did not give part of my proceeds to the County…I added (based on number of entries) money to the open jackpot from those very fees and used the rest for the year end awards and to pay towards the timer purchase…yes, had we kept having it I probably would have made a few hundred dollars over the course of the year…which would have offset the people working at my shop and there….but the fact of the matter is…the county can get some money each month by renting the arena during the week or it can just sit with no money or one or two trailers can show up and not get as much as they were…if the county is paying the worker to be there the same and electricity the same why do you care if we are jack potting and giving awards? In addition why should I pay $200 for a total of 4 hours used during the week when you can rent the arena FOR THE SAME THING on Saturday for only $400 and use the arena up to 16 hours? And get much more attendance on the weekend as people will come from farther off. Makes no sense to me….if you go to lunch at a nice restaurant during the week you pay less than you do for dinner…if you stay in a hotel during the week you pay less than you do on the weekend….its called trying to get something instead of nothing….

    Now noting the attitude you both had it probably wont make any difference to you that that part of my letter to Russ was left out…you probably still feel that since I am a business owner that I was making all kinds of money…you probably also think Jaime that I should have just purchased the timers, and let everyone run for free out of the kindness of my heart…paid people to work my stores while I went to have the practice nights. Sorry, but I don’t make that much money at my store! I try to help the community all and when I can, but I do have to make a living…and furthermore evidentally noone thought they were being taken advantage of…if so I wouldn’t have had anyone showing up either (kind of like it is now….) And Stan…when I did hold an event there one weekend…Yes….I paid the county their fee and 10% of the profits….

    • Russ Massa says

      I told you in an email that we would only be running the first part of your letter. The rest of your letter was mostly comments from other people. Sorry for the confusion had you let me known sooner we could have corrected it for you…

      • Shari Wilkins says

        Yes Russ you did, but I did try to cover many areas that both of these nice kind folks wanted to jump me about…such as Mr. Stan thinking I was making money for my or as a business and the higher fee cut into my huge profit I was making…NOT! But in all honesty it probably wouldnt matter whether you posted it all or not as obviously Stan has an issue with me having a business and making money whether it was there or not…he is obviously not a fan…lol!

        He is also obviously not real clear on what he is even disputing or he would know you cant just “get together” and time yourselves…it takes a very expensive set of timers that time down to one thousandth of a second…not everyone has those lying around their house…and if thats what they want to do then why the heck arent they filling up the parking lot each month when Sammy has the “practice nights” he started in lieu of mine???? Just sayin….

        And Jaime…had the county provided the timers and someone there to time the runs and announce the times I would have been more than glad to just go use the arena pay my $10 or whatever and get to sign up, run in the order that their announcer called out and get a time…would never have even started the practice nights or bought the timers or ordered buckles for a nice year end award…and if you think I should have just paid for all that out of the kindness of my heart so as not to take advantage of the tax payers…why don’t you go purchase it all and start having practice nights and doing it all for free..and please let me know when they start…I don’t want to miss one!

        And again…YOU do the math…read the guidelines…figure up the hours in a day…and that there is no start or stop time for a Saturday…rate is $400 PERIOD…there IS a start/stop time for during the week…now are you going to fight for me and say its not fair for me to pay twice as much as they pay for a weekend rate??? Somehow I doubt it…..You have no problem with someone making a profit…as long as its on a weekend and its not me….You have not given any thought to the fact that maybe the “rule” needs to be reconsidered…you just immediately want to tell me how I am taking advantage of people….compare this…the last show held had over 380 entries…we averaged about 40 exhibitions and 20 to 25 entries in the jackpot class…they also charge exhibition fees, and arena charge….Now lets see if YOU can do the math….if so you will be able to see that is a LOT more people and if you break it down that way (just like my hourly rate I tried to show….) you will quite easily see that for the $400 they are paying they are making a lot better return than I was…even at the $100 rate…NOW do the math with me paying $200…it gets even worse…..and obviously neither of you are very familiar with “practice nights” or horseshows…but still you seem educated by the way you word your letter and the fact that you can spell and type…so maybe if you just “tried” to look at it from my point, and the point of the others that have tried to get things changed you “might” see …maybe just a “little” how we could think that its just not fair or right…the only difference is the day of the week they are being held on…and the people holding them…and the funny thing is two of them were at every one of our practice nights running right along with us…and would still be coming I have no doubt if we were still having them…Yes rules are rules are rules but sometimes they need to be changed to make sence of why we have rules to begin with…maybe a little more investigating into this type of facility should have been made before it was built and the rules were made…Just a thought….

  4. As a frequent attendee of Shari’s practice nights, as well as a Heard County Citizen, and frequent renter of the Arena, I feel I am more than qualified to add my input in this matter.

    Stan- Shari was not breaking any rules or regulations by her practice nights as the rules were written at the time she was holding her practice nights. She was NOT charging a “gate fee” therefore she owed the county nothing. The ENTRY FEES Shari collected were paid back out to the contestants. These practice nights were the highlight of our month and my whole family enjoyed them. I was , and still am, VERY upset that Shari isnt having them any longer. You said that you feel that the citizens needed to have more access to the arena- this was a wonderful way to allow for that. I appreciate your support in that aspect but please get your facts straight in regard to the rest of your letter before you accuse Shari of any wrong doing in this.

    Jamie- if you think that Shari made any great profit off of this you are sadly mistaken. She invested her own time, energy and money into doing something for the horse community and bringing people to the arena. She had to hire extra help to work at her store so she could take off, buy prizes to award to the winners, buy timers, and hire people to help work the actual event. I promise you what little bit of profit she made off the practice nights themselves was not enough to cover these extra expenses. And regardless- why should she be charged double the hourly rate for having a practice night on a WEEK NIGHT for a limited profit, when the people who are after a much larger profit on the weekends only have to pay half the hourly rate that she does? In no way shape or form is that fair. Regardless of if its for a 1.00 profit or a 1000.00 profit the rate should be the same- 25.00 per hour. The fact is that it WAS this rate and the county saw an opportunity to make THEIR money off Shari and changed it to double what she was already paying. Since its “ok” for the county to want to make a profit, why is it not ok for Shari to also? I dont see this logic at all. And- since they did away with the practice nights, now the arena sits empty not making anything when it could have been continuously making some money at least once a month. Yes- this logic is just as clear as yours is.

    I will save my other responses for the appropriate letters about the arena, thanks for your time. Chin up Shari- you were doing an awesome job and I for one hope something changes so you may continue your practice nights next year!

    Tanya S.

  5. Heard resident says

    Just wondering if anyone has noticed that the arena is being rented by individuals who then “charge” others per horse or per rider to come ride during the time they have rented it for…most of the time they are “making” money over and above the $100 “practice night” fee…key words…”making money”…how is this any different than the practice nights Shari was holding? Why is it okay that others can rent the pen and make money but she was wasnt suppose to?…

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