Heavy snow destroys roof of historic Emmett horse arena

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 19:57:00-05

Heavy snowfall Saturday and Sunday was enough to collapse the roof of a historic horse arena on Union Lane in Emmett.

“I used to have a horse arena,” said Dolores Nielsen, owner of the Rafter Wineglass Ranch. “Now all I have is a pile of twisted wood and nails and screws -– with an open view to the sky.”

Though the collapse is a setback, Nielsen is keeping her sense of humor. "It's a new trend in horse arenas -- it's called a big skylight," she said, tongue-in-cheek.

Nielsen has owned the ranch and arena since 2008. The facility was constructed in the early-70s, she said. The arena is 200 feet long by 60 feet wide, according to the ranch’s website. The arena hosts public horse shows, riding events, and parties.

Crews are expected to be on-scene starting Tuesday morning to begin cleaning up the debris. Nielsen will then be working on how best to replace the roof.

“It broke my heart (when I saw all the damage),” Nielsen said. “The whole roof caved in.”

There were no horses in the arena at the time of the collapse. Several horses were housed in a nearby barn.

"We are going to rebuild," Nielsen said. "And we'll make the arena just as good as it was -- or better."