Sunflower Farms is a private dressage facility located on 50 acres of pristine land near Bristol, WI. For equine enthusiasts dwelling nearby, the facility is a haven to appreciate their passion for horses and the disciplined beauty of dressage. “Some of our clientele drive an hour and a half to get here because of the surroundings and services we offer,” says Phillip May, general manager.
To provide the convenience and safeguard for sudden weather changes, the Sunflower management team researched numerous types of indoor riding arena buildings. “During our research, we viewed the tornado belt of Oklahoma. A number of conventional buildings were blown down or blown off their foundations by a tornado but their Structures Unlimited buildings remained standing through the whole thing,” says May. “The interior environment of the Structures Unlimited arenas was so different than the conventional arenas we viewed. When it came time to build our indoor riding arena, we decided it was going to be a Structures Unlimited.”
Prior to constructing the indoor riding arena, eight inches of limestone screenings were put down for the base of the footing. When the base surface was complete, construction of the Structures Unlimited riding arena was ready to begin. Structures Unlimited worked with Sunflower Farms in the design and engineering of the Structures Unlimited building. Once the building arrived on site, it took about 10 days to install the building. “The Sunflower Farms project had some unique customizations,” says Darnell Leffell, president, Structures Unlimited. “The motorized side wall curtains allow the riders and horses to feel like they’re outside even though hey’re inside. We also designed the arena to have four foot eaves which keep rain and snow away from the sides of the building and eliminate the need for a drainage system to keep water away from the building.” Once the installation of the building was complete, kick boards were constructed to keep horses away from the rail and to make it easy to grade the surface and pull the sand off.
What makes the Structures Unlimited riding arena unique is the pristine environment it provides to horse and rider in every type of weather. “It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s really sunny or if it’s raining, it’s always nice in the building,” says May. “No matter how hot it is outside, the building is always cool and there’s always plenty of natural light. During the summer we can have the sidewalls rolled up and it’s just like having an outdoor arena with a cover on it. The footing has stayed wonderful, all the dressage people really like it,” says May. “We really think that Structures Unlimited is the building of the future.”