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Community rallies together to help following Flathead horse arena collapse

New horse arena
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Posted at 4:00 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 18:15:20-04

OLNEY - Six months ago, we brought you the devastating story of a horse arena that collapsed due to heavy snow at Stillwater Horse Whispers Ranch just outside of Whitefish.

Owner Bobbi Hall has been a staple in the northwest Montana horse community for 50 years using the arena to teach horse language classes as well as specialized therapy sessions.

Bobbi takes in horses of all needs including 25 rescues, she worried about the future of the ranch after the arena collapse.

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Now comes the good news. Thanks to an outpouring of community support construction of a new arena is underway and should be finished in the coming week.

“It’s through the grace of…the miracle of people helping people, that’s what that is,” said Hall.

A brand new 74 foot wide and 80 feet in length horse arena is nearing completion in the small community of Olney after a heavy snowstorm in late January almost took everything away.

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“Fifty years, 60 years, 70 to 100 years, this will last if it’s maintained properly and so forth, it’s a good construction pole barn it should never come down,” said Bobbi's longtime friend Andrew Bing.

Bobbi needs a working horse arena to teach specialized horse therapy sessions, horse language classes and take good care of her 25 rescue horses.

“Bobbi has been on this property since 1972, working with people and rescuing horses,” added Bing.

WEB EXTRA: Community support helping rebuilding

With no insurance on the arena, Bing started a GoFundMe page for Bobbi trying do anything they could to save Bobbi’s livelihood. And what happened next left Bobbi and Andrew speechless.

“So, on the GoFundMe page that’s up there, there were more than 200 people making donations, and so the community came together and as Bobbi said yesterday to me, some people came up and drove up onto the property that she didn’t even know and gave her checks, so it’s really how the good people have come together to do it,” said Bing.

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Bobbi said donations came in all shapes and sizes from friends, neighbors and even complete strangers.

“And people showed up that I didn’t even know, came to my place, handed me checks, and I just can’t be more grateful to everyone, even from the $5 on up, it all made a difference,” added Bobbi.

Bobbi said this act of compassion highlights what she’s always believed that love overpowers hate in Northwest Montana.

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“I always have said to people, there’s more good people then there is the bad people, this just proved it to all the people that were around me, I say see, I told ya,” said Bobbi.

Bobbi spent countless therapy hours in the old arena with her daughter Cedar, who has Down Syndrome.

Cedar is beyond excited to start her own training sessions in the new arena.

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“She’s training her own little pony, so yeah, she’s looking forward to that," said Bobbi.

Funds are still needed to for the finishing touches on the new arena. Those who would like to contribute can do so on the GoFundMe page.

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