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Horse Training at the Longhorn


Last updated 11/11/2010 at Noon

As you enter the Texas Longhorn, you will see a large poster entitled “Cotton’s Dream.” This is a sort of mission statement about Ray Cotton and what he hopes to accomplish with his enterprise. He is succeeding.

Cotton’s newest addition to the Texas Longhorn Entertainment Complex is a complete training and boarding facility for horses. It is excellent for thoroughbreds, but would be just as fine for a plow horse.

There are 120 stalls available for boarding. The stalls are under roof and have lights and electric plugs at each stall. Water is available throughout the stalls.

The owner will furnish the feed and shavings of choice and will have use of eight wash racks and three walkers included in the package. If the weather is too bad to exercise outside, the large Longhorn Rodeo Arena may be used.

To ensure the health and safety of each boarded horse, Coggins papers are required and security is provided. The owners may muck out the stalls and take the waste to a central location. There is a sewer facility onsite for disposal.

Near the outside walkers is the “swimming pool,” designed for the aquatic exercise of horses. The pool is currently under construction. When finished there will be a slip proof entrance ramp to the pool with a depth and length to give any horse liberal room for exercise.

The showpiece of the facility is the outdoor track. The three horse starting chute and the quarter horse track lead into a five-eight mile oval, 60 foot wide training track. The track is 60 feet wide and banked on each turn. This is compatible with any thoroughbred track.

“We were lucky enough that the clay on the property was able to be used as the track base without having anything having to be blended into it. The pond in the infield is where all the clay came from. There are nearly a thousand or so loads of sand to make the running surface”, said Cotton. “Within the next two weeks we should have the rails installed on both tracks and then surfaced and ready for use.”

There are plans to have a speed checking system installed on the track. It will give trainers the speed of the horse at several points around the track as well as the total time ran.

The Longhorn track is what is known as a “bullpen,” a track with less than a one mile oval. The track at Delta Downs in a one and one-sixteenth mile track and the Evangeline Downs track is an even one mile oval. “Bullpens” provide a compact training track and are in common use throughout the racing industry.

Cotton put a lot of planning and expense into building a complete training facility. From the stalls, to the track, the best materials have been used. The new starting gate was custom built for the Longhorn and can be pulled for use on either the straight or oval track.

Horse owners only have to pay the rental fee for the stall, furnish the feed and shavings for each horse. The use of all amenities is included in the single fee. Track, walker, and pool use may also be used on a daily fee basis.

There are at present, a limited number of RV hookups available with many more to be added in the future.

For information about the facility and rental rate, please call the Texas Longhorn at 337-589-5647. The Longhorn is located at 2378 Hwy 109 South, the Toomey-Starks Exit on I-10.


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