|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 horse
events (shows, competitions, demonstrations, clinics) and disciplines
(including dressage, stadium jumping, eventing, driving, cutting, reining,
vaulting, barrel racing, and polo). 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. Bike
riding is not planned for the trails because
the 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 $200 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
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, vaulting, and polo.
Participants 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 (including race and polo 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
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. Click here to view CEPEC's
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.