Since first being elected to the Washington County Commission in 2014, Commissioner Victor Iverson has been instrumental in significantly improving the county fair equine facilities at what is now called Washington County Legacy Park.
A Washington County native and life-long resident, Commissioner Iverson grew up on a small farm in La Verkin with horses, mules, and farm animals of every kind. He has brought this background with him throughout his career as a public servant, tirelessly fighting for rural and agricultural issues.
One of Commissioner Iverson’s largest passion projects has been revitalizing Legacy Park. In the past, these county facilities, located on the outskirts of Hurricane City near SR-9, were under-utilized except for a small group of equine professionals and hobbyists. Overtime, the facilities were largely ignored and became dilapidated, but where others merely saw problems Commissioner Iverson saw opportunity. Washington County could and should be a premier destination for agricultural and equine-related events.
When Commissioner Dean Cox and Commissioner Gil Almquist were elected, they joined Commissioner Iverson in his vision. Since then, Washington County designed and built the Grafton Building, which has hosted numerous community events such as rodeo, horse racing, barrel racing, livestock shows, horse shows, dog shows, and much more.
Washington County has also spent substantial dollars improving all existing Legacy Park facilities.
“The goal is to make Legacy Park a better overall facility, to work towards making it a world-class venue that will continue to have a positive economic impact across Washington County and be an enjoyable place for equestrian enthusiast,” Commissioner Iverson said.
“Last summer, when many facilities closed, the Commission stepped up and offered to host the Utah High School Rodeo Association and Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association’s state championship competitions at Legacy Park which I was proud to attend,” Commissioner Gil Almquist said. “The event was an outstanding success and Washington County can look forward to hosting many other similar events in the future.”
Another major success at Legacy Park was the 2021 Washington County Fair, which received rave reviews from residents for being held in April (instead of August when it had occurred in the past) and boasting numerous “firsts” for Washington County’s facilities.
Washington County is committed to continuing to cultivate the opportunities Legacy Park provides and increasing its availability for public use. Although several renovations and improvements have been made, several older buildings remain in extreme need of repair.
A recent evaluation of these older facilities shows many of them are unsafe for public or private use, with some that are beyond repair.
As part of their vision to make Legacy Park a premier destination for equestrians, Washington County plans to make necessary improvements to these facilities including the removal of the most decayed structures.
While this will mean previously existing contracts with a small handful of private business owners will not be renewed in 2022, the equestrian community and public at large will benefit from having safe and expanded horse-facilities. The race-track will remain open and available for public-use, whether by professional horse-trainers or part-time horse recreationists.
“Legacy Park will continue to remain focused on agricultural and equine-related activities. Any rumors that the county is planning to cut-off public access or build a soccer complex in place of horse stables are untrue,” Commissioner Iverson said. “I love the equine community and am passionate about continuing to have them be an integral part of our county. Any improvements made to Legacy Park will be to improve facilities and increase the ability of the public to use them.”
Promoting agriculture and Western traditions, including equestrian events and other activities remain a priority for Washington County. The Commission feels confident their vision and plans for Legacy Park will promote the interests of the broad equine community and increase the public’s appreciation and involvement in equine activities.