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Shelby County Still Lacks Funds For Bradley

The Shelby County Fairgrounds lost its most useful facility last June. Luckily, no horses or people were injured when the 15-year-old Bradley Barn burned to the ground in a fire that was not determined to be arson.

The cost to rebuild the barn was estimated to be more than $500,000.00. The fairgrounds, located in the Saddle Horse capital of the world, received their insurance reimbursement of $190,000.00. They've also received in hand donations and a $60,000 commitment from Citizens Union Bank, The Shelbyville Horse Show and Commonwealth Bank & Trust to be paid over four years.

Overall, excluding the insurance paid, there has been less than $100,000.00 pledged, said R.H. Bennett, manager of the Shelby County Fair and Shelbyville Horse Show. The fairgrounds, a non profit organization, lack the remaining funds to pay for the cost of rebuilding the barn they could not afford to lose.

Despite the lack of funding, construction of the new barn was expected to be complete by the weekend of May 13-15.

The reason the insurance didn’t cover the entire rebuilding expense is primarily due to changes in fire codes and local regulations since 1990 in addition to material and labor costs that have increased over the last 15 years.

The original 33 stall barn measured 55 feet wide by 170 feet long. The new barn was extended 50 feet south toward U.S. 60, making an overall length of 220 feet. This extension provides 2,750 more feet of work space. The new barn will also be a little taller. In addition, Bennett said this barn is insulated, which makes a big difference in both the summer and the winter.

"The old barn was dreadfully hot in the summer at the fair and at the horse show," said Bennett.

The Shelbyville County Fairgrounds have provided 136 plus years of public services to the community. In particular, the fairgrounds play host to the prestigious Shelbyville Horse Show. This year’s edition will be held June 22-25, 2005. The show will be judged by Adam Clauson.

Tax deductible contributions may be paid to any Citizens Union Bank. Questions may be directed to 502-647-0064, or visit the web site at

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