$10 million to upgrade Alpharetta venue for national equestrian competitions

Wills Park Equestrian Center is undergoing the first phase of a $10 million renovation that the horse community says is needed to bring the timeworn venue up to par. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
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Wills Park Equestrian Center is undergoing the first phase of a $10 million renovation that the horse community says is needed to bring the timeworn venue up to par. PHOTO / JASON GETZ

Credit: Jason Getz

A $10 million retooling of an equestrian center will help Alpharetta corral tourism dollars, officials say.

Wills Park Equestrian Center is undergoing the first phase of a $10 million renovation the horse community says is needed to bring the timeworn venue up to par. The city of Alpharetta will provide $5 million for the remodeling through a $29.5 million parks bond approved by voters on Nov. 2.

The equestrian center will continue operating through the renovations, Wills Park Equestrian Foundation President Cheryl Sims said. The park hosts horse dressage shows, rodeos, western shows, even dog shows.

Wills Park Equestrian Center was built in the 1970s and became a major draw for the horse community and regional competitions in which winners could advance to national competitions. It has had some minor updates over the years, Sims said, but Wills Park has mostly lost its luster as high-level competitions have moved to more modern venues. The renovations will put the equestrian center back in the spotlight for equestrian events, Sims said.

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