TRINITY — A proposed equestrian facility was approved by Trinity City Council this month that could soon see horses and rodeo events come to Old Mendenhall Road.

An overview of the project presented to City Council depicts a preliminary blueprint for an events center that will feature horse-centric affairs. A former Martin-Marietta rock quarry, the 130-acre property at 6185 Old Mendenhall Road, would be used primarily to train horses and host rodeos, musical events and concerts on site.

The events center comes on the heels of a handful of attempts to facilitate the purchase of this property, which now belongs to a widow.

“We worked for about three years to find a buyer for this property to no avail,” said H.R. Gallimore, speaking on behalf of Judith McKague, the owner of the property. “When we started, Mr. McKague was living. He has since passed. Mrs. McKague is a widow now and would like to sell this property and move on.”

According to Gaillimore, a deal that would have brought a Carvana used car location to Trinity fell through due to wetlands on the property. Gallimore said that he and former Trinity planning director Marc Allred had worked on the project that would have brought the car dealership.

When that proposal ultimately reached an unsuccessful conclusion, Gallimore said that he brought the equestrian facility to Allred, who said the city did not have a specific use that would permit such a facility. As a result, Gallimore and La-Deidre Matthews, with Fox Rothschild Attorneys in Charlotte, brought a request for a text amendment.

Matthews explained to council members that principal use of the land will be limited to an equestrian facility. Days of operation will be restricted to Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Plans for a 60 x 220 linear sand track were presented, and Matthews stipulated that no horses would be sold, rented, boarded or bred on site. The fenced property would maintain areas for horse stables and storage facilities, with a three-to-four horse maximum.

Randolph County is no stranger to rodeo facilities and efforts to increase the presence of livestock in the area. Darrell Frye, chairman of Randolph County Board of Commissioners, recently pointed to the efforts of Archdale residents and officials who joined the effort to bring a large-scale agricultural center to the county.

Frye specifically mentioned that Jerome Davis, famed bull rider and Archdale native, had served on the committee tasked with making preparations for the site. Davis, Frye said, lent his experience by giving advice on what types of arenas are needed for the project, what kind of stalls and other logistical items.

Though a separate project and ultimately fluid in the form it has taken throughout the planning phase, the agricultural center signaled renewed interest in livestock. With the equine proposal now approved, Trinity is also driving the interest.

Voluntary annexation has been discussed, according to Matthews, due to the nature of it being in the Randolph County ETJ — making it a dry area. Any such annexation would come back before local governing boards and will be included in future editions of the A-T News.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.

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