BIG HORN — The Big Horn Equestrian Center holds several large community events throughout the year. To ensure continued success and community support, though, the nonprofit works to maintain a solid relationship with nearby homeowners.
The event season kicks off each year with the Snickers Big Horn Soccer Cup Mother’s Day weekend at the BHEC. It is followed by a full summer of polo practices and games, the Fourth of July fireworks show, Don King Days Labor Day weekend and Balloon the Bighorns event in September. Between the larger community events, the facility also hosts weddings and other smaller celebrations.
BHEC director Jill Moriarty said each event follows established protocols and complies with city and county regulations.
“We have a representative from the (Big Horn Equestrian Center’s) homeowners association that serves on the board of directors,” Moriarty said. “In this way we can ensure that the homeowners are made aware of upcoming events and by virtue of having representation can address the BHEC board with any concerns or suggestions.”
Moriarty said the BHEC enjoys a fantastic relationship with the HOA and maintains that relationship by making sure the HOA is aware and supportive of events.
Carol Smith moved near the BHEC three years ago and has hosted a large party for friends and family two of those three years. She observed fairly positive reactions to the center’s large events throughout the summer.
“Many of our neighbors have small groups for (the Fourth of July) evening and there is no neighborhood gathering,” Smith said. “Fortunately the events at the equestrian center are so well run that they have minimal impact on us.”
To allow for smooth events, the BHEC must follow a list of protocols, but Moriarty said most are simple.
After ensuring satisfaction and compliance by the HOA, the center obtains event insurance and files it with the insurance provider for the center. Polo athletes must sign waivers before participating in the sport on the fields and emergency medical services are on site for each polo event. The fire department remains on site during Balloon the Bighorns and Fourth of July festivities. Food vendors attending each event must obtain permits and licenses from city or county government and are required to collect sales tax.
“It’s all basic event-related [protocols],” Moriarty said.
Traffic and noise posed a problem for some HOA members in the past.
“At one time we had a homeowner that felt there was too much noise from some of the events,” Moriarty said. “That has not been an issue lately.”
Traffic in and out of the facility can be challenging, especially during the Fourth of July festivities when the vehicles leaving the event have only two available exits.
Homeowners allow the BHEC use of Gallatin Drive during large events, creating alternate routes for traffic to exit the facility.
“As long as we communicate the need for the usage of the road and keep the homeowners abreast of the activities, it is and we hope will continue to be a harmonious relationship,” Moriarty said.
While fireworks, hot air balloons and soccer will continue to attract large crowds to the BHEC, Moriarty anticipates the relationship between the center and nearby homeowners will remain open and positive into the future.