First phase of Oklahoma River Horse Park opens to the public

OKLAHOMA CITY - A new attraction is coming to the Oklahoma River for the whole family to enjoy.

From horses to a chuck wagon breakfast, it was a celebration on Thursday.

The Oklahoma River Horse Park is celebrating the state's rich western culture and giving everyone a chance to ride.

The equestrian park is now open just east of the Agnew bridge on the Oklahoma River.

"We'll have trails all along the river heading all the way to the American Indian Cultural Center and west to Crystal Lake," said Rhonda Hooper with the Oklahoma River Horse Park Task Force.

The park will stretch between four and five miles, serving as a pit stop for travelers.

"There's a lot of horses trailers that go through on our highways here. They'll be able to stop here, get their horses out, exercise them," said Douglas Kupper, Dir. of Parks & Recreation.

The first phase of the park is open for horse owners to ride in the open area.

Organizers hope they will receive enough private and corporate donations to continue to expand the project.

They hope to include trails, stables, a covered and outdoor arena and an exercise area when it finished.

That will be when Oklahomans and tourists can rent horses and ride.

However, they said they may need a future parks bond to finish the estimated $15 million project.

"People, when they're around horses, it's such an emotional bond. It's a really great connection, and they're really great for kids," Hooper said.

All phases are expected to be completed by 2018.