|Questions and Answers
| Large Equine Infrastructure
27,000 horses, 140 trainers, 125
of Equine Activities
||Significant Equine Revenue
|Producer of World Champions
& Quality of Park Trails
|| Equestrian Organizations
Academic Equine Programs
What is CEPEC
and what would it be use for?
CEPEC is an acronym for the
California Equestrian Park and Event Center - a non-profit California
corporation formed to create a world class, equestrian sports complex for use
by equestrians and the general public. Having CEPEC privately owned and managed
will allow it remain functional and maintained even in difficult economic
times. CEPEC will be used for recreation, education, entertainment, events,
competitions, and historic artifacts and open space preservation.
Why was CEPEC chosen for
The CEPEC name was chosen to
describe the primary functions of the facility which are for recreation,
equestrian events, as well as a center for other venues such as education,
equine art, and historical preservation and display. The name approved by
participants in a county wide survey
What events and facilities would be there?
The CEPEC complex will provide
facilities for a wide variety of horsel
events (shows, competitions, demonstrations, clinics) and disciplines
(including dressage, stadium jumping, eventing, driving, cutting, reining,
vaulting, and barrel racing) aas well as cultural events (historic, artistic,
and site exhibits). Competitions will not be hosted for major events which
already have facilities in Sonoma County (i.e., rodeos and major hunter-jumper
shows). The complex will also be used for conferences and educational events
such as classes, clinics, certification programs and job training. Historic
artifacts that document and display Sonoma County's rich equine history will be
preserved and on display in the CEPEC museum - which will also contain an
equine library and displays of equine artists. the museum will also have local
wildlife exhibits and information about habitat care. Trail hiking will be
available. Bike riding will be available on designated days/trails to minimze
risk to hikers and equestrians. CEPEC will have an equine quarantine center and
a critical care veterinary center which will provide advanced medical services
such as major surgeries and medical imaging.
How much will CEPEC cost to build and who is
paying for it?
The construction is
currently estimated to cost about $150 million dollars. Plans are to build the
facility in stages as funds are obtained. Funding will be obtained from a
variety of sources such as revenue (e.g., events, corporate sponsorships,
retails sales, membership fees) , private donations, grants, trusts, and fund
raising events. Unlike many major horse parks in the U.S., CEPEC will not rely
on government funding, bonds, or taxes for its operations or management.
How will CEPEC
benefit Sonoma County's general public, equestrians, horse trainers, and
boarding stables, and local show facilities?
CEPEC will provide venues for entertainment, recreation,
education, equine assisted therapies, hiking, museum exhibits, as well as
employment, revenue for the hospitality, tourism, and local business industries
and taxes.CEPEC will offer equestrians a place to
ride year-round in open and covered arenas, a central location for clinics and
viewing equestrian events, a facility to obtain advanced level medical
services, and a place to view historical equine artifacts and art. The public
will also benefit from the professional services CEPEC will offer such as
meeting and convention venues. Trainers will be able to "haul in" to the CEPEC facilities year
around for practice, conditioning, and training as well as to bring their
clients to horse shows. CEPEC's custom arenas will provide optimal footing and
riding conditions for practice, conditioning, and showing in disciplines such
as dressage, jumping, eventing, cutting, reining, barrel racing, driving, and
in horse shows at CEPEC will need local stables for short or long term
boarding. Since CEPEC will not be a general boarding facility, it will rely on
local stables to provide housing for horses that may arrive several days before
an event at CEPEC, or who may be on a circuit requiring a lay over between
shows at different West Coast locations. Owners and riders who bring horses to
Sonoma County will be referred to local stables by CEPEC for accommodations and
to local trainers for their services. Existing show facilities in the county
will be an important resource for CEPEC to host shows unable to be accommodated
by CEPEC. In addition, existing show facilities can be utilized to assist in
qualifying riders for high level events hosted by
will it be and why was the location chosen?
Southern area of Sonoma County was chosen after several months of investigation
and interviews. The original site for CEPEC was in the Roblar Valley but was
eliminated due to excessive cost of threatened species mitigation and land.
CEPEC has submitted a proposal to acquire a site in
Sonoma Valley adjacent to Highway 12 near Glen
To qualify as a potential CEPEC
site, a location must meet over thirty requirements for land, water quantity
and quality, location, climate, zoning, terrain, distance from
earthquake/fire/flood zones, etc. The original sites for CEPEC in South
Petaluma were withdrawn from consideration due to excessive land and species
mitigation costs. A site that meets the CEPEC land requirements became
available in 2015 when the California State Legislature passed a bill to close
the state owned 950 acre Sonoma Developmental Center in Sonoma Valley. A
proposal from CEPEC to acquire 720 acres surrounding the SDC core campus (see
below) was submitted to the State in August 2015. The land on the west side of
Arnold Drive and next to Jack London Park is planned for open space for trail
riding, hiking, and wildlife preservation. The land between Hwy 12 and Arnold
Drive is slated for the equestrian complex (e.g., riding arenas and courses,
barns, vet center, museum, etc.). A wildlife corridor will be maintained along
the north side of the properties.
How will scheduling with other major county events be
(in white borders)
Equestrian Complex Concept
Every effort will
be made to schedule major CEPEC events to not conflict with major regional
events in the vicinity (like NASCAR). Participants will be requested to arrive
and exit the CEPEC facility at times that will minimize traffic. Since most
shows at CEPEC will be hosted on the week-ends, the effect on commuter traffic
should be minimal. However, event participants will be requested to arrive at
and exit the CEPEC facility during non-computer hours.
How will security be provided?
CEPEC plans to have a sufficient
security system to ensure the security of facilities, horses, and equipment.
This will include an on-site security department and camera monitoring system
throughout the complex and riding trails. Security personnel will patrol the
grounds on foot, in vehicles, and on horseback. Horses entering the complex
will be required to provide proof of standard tests and vaccinations (e.g.,
negative coggins, influenza, EVH). Equestrians will be required to sign a
General Agreement and Liability Release.
How big will CEPEC be?
1,000 acre complex would be ideal. The proposed site on the land surrounding
the SDC is 720 acres, of which approximately 10% will be for the facilities,
and the remaining 90% for open space, trails, and pastures. The land designated
for open space will include livestock grazing and trails for horse riding and
hiking. The remaining land will be used for the equestrian complex and its
Why can't Sonoma County's Fairgrounds be used?
Neither County Fairgrounds are
appropriate venues for CEPEC because: they do not offer space for large scale
national or international horse shows or simultaneous, large multi-discipline
events. The Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds does not host equine events. The types of
events that can be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds are limited due to
issues such as arena footing and limited number of arenas. Neither fairgrounds
offers the infrastructure and space for education and conference centers, and
medical/surgical and imaging centers. Additionally, the Sonoma County
Fairgrounds is not interested in utilizing its facilities for training,
conditioning, and housing of horses. The location of the Sonoma County
Fairgrounds requires driving on Hwy 101 through Santa Rosa, which is often
congested. The current site being considered will be more easily accessible
from Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties.
How will CEPEC be maintained?
CEPEC will be maintained by employees and volunteers. The
maintenance staff will be recruited from individual applicants, local labor
agencies, youth organizations (like Hanna boys Center, 4-H, and FFA), and farm
organizations. Volunteers will be recruited from youth, senior, and local
equestrian organizations. All employees will be required to have standard labor
verification (e.g., age, ID card, proof of residency, work permit).
What has been
accomplished so far?
The project was
initiated in March 2009. Several activities have been accomplished including:
market research; a business plan; specifications and cost estimates; letters of
support from community businesses and sale interest from land owners;
presentations to county agencies, service
organizations, and clubs, local press, TV, and radio; web site; formation of an
advisory team and Board
of Directors; incorporation; obtaining seed development funding; studies of
economic and environmental impacts; preliminary permit review by the Sonoma
County Permit and Resource Department; federal 501c3 nonprofit status;
initiation of capital fund raising campaign; a master Plan, initiation of land
acquisition negotiations, and the recent
proposal to acquire a site
in Sonoma Valley.
What are the next immediate steps?
Obtaining permission to utilize the
land, funding for design, permitting, and an environmental impact
How can you
By contacting CEPEC.