Parker County Today July 2016 - Page 32

our horses: THERAPY FOR EQUINE ATHLETES Hydrotherapy is a highly valued tool for getting equine competitors up and running again JULY 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY BY MEL W RHODES Parker County is horse country. No great revelation there, since Weatherford bills itself as the Cutting Horse Capital of the World. Not just Texas, mind you. The world. According to the 2012 United States Department of Agriculture Census, there were 12,939 horses and ponies in Parker County, enough to rank it number one in Texas and seventh in the country for equine inventory. “There are [easily] three times more horse people doing something on horseback down here than up in Montana,” said Tom Campbell, manager of Parker County Equine Aquatred, one of many businesses that have sprouted up around the local horse industry. “It’s huge here.” The Montana native said population density is part of the reason for the high concentration of horseflesh. “But it’s tradition down here as well,” he added. “It’s cow country.” Texans enjoy a long-running, almost symbiotic, love affair with the horse. The PCEA facility on Southerland Lane up in the Whitt area has been around a while, Campbell explained. “Some racehorse people, the Williams, owned it before. They had an Aquatred. And then when Gary [Reynolds] bought it [mid 2000s], kind of a tornado came through and blew the main barn over, and he just went in and put up a whole brandnew steel building.” Campbell was hired in September 2015. He owned property at the end of Southerland Lane which he sold to Reynolds some 12 years ago when he moved back to Montana after living in the area about eight years — 19992006. A daughter and grandchild in 30 PHOTO BY STEVEN SCHILLIO