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For Toni Kerekes, Paradise Tails promises a lifeline to a moribund scene, one she’s spent most of her life enjoying. There’s a dearth of coaches and clinics, she says, and a total lack of equestrian amenities. Need oats? Head to Vancouver. Ditto brushes and veterinary services.
“If Paradise Trails were developed, and we could get the trainers up there, it would attract so much more,” she says.
At the same time, she’s used her position on the proponent’s advisory board to push for larger lots, if only to support private barns, as the centre has room for just 40 animals. She put forward that position mainly because she wants to live there, and she thinks she can afford it, though she considers herself fortunate to be in that position.
Paul Sowerby understands the controversy. A local horse breeder, he’s built and designed facilities like this across the country. In fact, Paradise Trails has him onboard with their project.
“I think the overall project itself is unique for this area,” he said, noting that the nearest, similar entity is in Langley. “And because it’s unique, everyone wants their questions answered. And the developers have no problem. The developers have a great reputation as far as what they’re doing.”
Not good enough, says Jackson. “Let’s do it,” she says. “Let’s build an equestrian centre. But let’s not have 82 mansions attached to it. Let’s call it what it is. The equestrian centre is a great idea, and, if it’s a viable business, it’ll make it by itself.”