Dedicated on Oct. 15, 2008, project benefactor Nathelle DeHaan’s avid support of SDSU and love for horses grew to make the SDSU Equestrian program and the Equestrian Center a reality.
1937 graduate of SDSU, Nathelle DeHaan provided the initial gift to build the facility. For nearly five decades, she and her late husband, Lawrence played an active role in the local horse community, traveling to judge and show quarter horses. Nathelle DeHaan died on Jan. 24, 2011 at the age of 96, but not before she realized her dream of seeing the day when young women could attend college, compete at the highest level and create experiences and memories that last a lifetime.
Completion of the building in the spring of 2008 more than tripled the team’s previous training facilities. At nearly 26,000 square feet, the $3.6 million climate-controlled facility features an indoor riding arena, 42 stalls with additional areas for grooming, washing and preparing the horses, as well as separate on-site work areas for veterinarians and farriers. In addition, the additional area for the horses, the building houses a team locker room equipped with a study area.
The additional space allows the team’s roster to eventually grow to 60 riders while continuing to offer the NCAA-maximum 15 full scholarships. The proximity of the Nathelle and Lawrence DeHaan Equestrian Center to the main SDSU campus makes it unique in the collegiate equestrian ranks and should allow for the equestrian program to become further ingrained in the SDSU Athletic Department as it continues to mature
Once the SDSU Foundation completes fund-raising for Phase I, planning begins for the second phase of the project. Phase II includes the addition of a stall barn, a large outdoor riding arena, viewing rooms, coaching offices, a meeting room and trophy room.