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Within three months of opening in 2016, the Springfield Riding Club had met its 18-month forecasts. Founder Elizabeth Brooks says that’s just one of the remarkable parts of her equestrian business venture.
Others? Over 100 students joined the lesson program in less than 12 months. She secured an international level trainer and began hosting a local competition series. More recently, three instructors have grown their lesson clientele to the point of financial independence. And not a single injury from a horse-related incident, she says.
With roughly 50 horses, Brooks has branched out to collaborate with Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association for horse therapy. Her entrepreneurial spirit has led to one more venture: Hay farming.
What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? I am working to help people have positive firsts and further experiences with horses. They can teach all that sports have to offer.
What was your professional aha moment? I have worked alongside horse people from all backgrounds. What they all have in common is their ability to produce a high quality, lasting finished product out of the horses and riders they train. The real reward is not in the trophies.
What’s your most treasured possession? I am lucky enough to still have and care for my favorite childhood horse. It changes your perspective on many things to grow up with an animal.
Urban Studios LLC, a natural light photography studio and pop-up event space, opened; the Missouri State University Foundation became the new owner of event venue The Old Glass Place; and Polk County’s dining scene expanded with the opening of Flat Creek.