Let’s Hope Latest Attempt At Equestrian Plan Is A Success

This week, members of the Wellington Village Council hit the restart button on drawing up what could become the village’s long-awaited equestrian master plan. In a meeting with the Equestrian Preserve Committee, the council took yet another first step in attempting to tackle the issue. While we are glad to see another attempt at planning for Wellington’s equestrian future, we urge the council, staff and equestrians to push for plans that will stick where so many other attempts have failed. It was just last year that former members of the Equestrian Preserve Committee were working on this very issue, yet the entire process has now restarted.

With changing government leaders that stump for divided interests in the equestrian community, it seems any time progress is made on a cohesive equestrian vision, old plans are abandoned with the new guard. From the Florida Atlantic University studies to countless hours of workshops and meetings, the village has already expended great effort — and taxpayer dollars — on the topic, yet seen few results.

Though Wellington has long been known as the winter equestrian capital of the world, little has been done to draft rules and policies for its future. With a growing industry and thriving competition in our winter months, the equestrian community is continuing to boom.

Despite this, there is very little room left to grow. It is the decisions made now by village leaders that will affect what the equestrian community looks like in years to come, and they are not decisions to be taken lightly. There is a delicate balance between fostering a competitive commercial equestrian atmosphere, while preserving open space for the leisure riders drawn to our area.

We would encourage everyone with a stake in the village’s equestrian industry — business owners and both equestrian and non-equestrian residents alike — to take part in this discussion from the beginning. Raise issues, try and build consensus, and help Wellington craft out a vision that represents the entire community. Maybe by including more people earlier in the process, we’ll finally see some guidelines for future councils to follow instead of continuing to hit reset on the process.