Westernaires get permanent home near Jeffco Fairgrounds

The Westernaires, a youth horse-riding organization that’s been around for more than 70 years, is getting 20 acres of ground next to the Jeffco Fairgrounds on which to train its riders.

Jefferson County this month agreed to transfer 20.69 acres southeast of the fairgrounds to the Westernaires, giving the organization that was founded in 1949 a permanent home on property they have used for their programs and facilities for decades.

There is a deed restriction attached to the land transfer that requires the Westernaires to use the property for its programs or for other park and open space purposes. If it doesn’t, the county can take the property back.

Additionally, Jefferson County commissioners would need to approve any transfer or new use of the property. The county first conveyed land at the fairgrounds — four acres — to the Westernaires in 1964. They received another 1.4 acres in 2001.

The Westernaires is a mounted precision drill organization serving youngsters from 9 to 19 years old. Some members also receive training in specialty acts, like trick riding, roman riding and dressage.

The group regularly appears at the National Western Stock Show.

“The Westernaires is a staple in our county, and we would like to see them remain here,” Commissioner Andy Kerr said. “Transferring this property to them seems like a course of action that is appropriate.”

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