Despite a Direct Hit from Hurricane Ian, All Systems Go for The Event at TerraNova

As Hurricane Ian made its turn to hit the west coast of Florida further south than originally anticipated — the first storm of its size to hit this side of the state in nearly 20 years — Hannah and Zach Ketelboeter began to batten down their hatches at the recently-constructed TerraNova Equestrian Center in Myakka City, just a few miles inland from the Gulf coast.

Built by B&D Builders, the TerraNova Equestrian barns were built to the highest standards in terms of hurricane and wind resistance. “One thing I really value about working with B&D is how they prioritize quality work with efficiency, which is hard to find both!” Hannah explained. “In Florida, you have to engineer your buildings to certain standards, and we built above and beyond those with our facilities.”

As a result of this planning, and despite a direct hit that brought some flooding and heavy winds to the area, TerraNova remained mostly unscathed when the storm passed. During the bulk of Ian, which brought 140 mph winds to the area for multiple hours, the team at TerraNova moved all residents — 30 horses, 14 dogs, 10 people, and 2 alpacas, to be specific — into the main barn to wait it out. “I honestly don’t think any of the horses heard the winds at all,” Hannah said.

After the storm, Hannah took to Facebook to show the condition of the property:

Thanks for joining us on FB Live to tour the property and see how well it's doing as we get ready for The Event and TerraNova Dressage!

Here are time stamps to help you find different subjects throughout the video. Hannah covered many important things throughout and circled the property twice.

– 00:00 – 00:30: Brand new water complex
– 00:38 – 03:05: TerraNova's charity efforts
– 03:05 – 07:07: Tour of cross-country course
– 07:08 – 09:40: Preview of VIP Pavilion (Win a free VIP table!), arenas and new video boards
– 09:40 – 14:40: See our competitor stabling
– 14:05 – 16:30: Hannah answers some FAQs
– 16:30 – 18:56: Preview of RV campground and area for extra tent stabling if needed
– 19:10 – 19:45: Preview of Estates at TerraNova property
– 20:21 – 25:30: Preview of arenas, including the importance of CDI ring placement, and VIP pavilion
– 25:50 – 28:50: See the cross-country course and information on tailgating
– 28:50 – 29:48: Video boards and partnership with ACCI on incredible technology
– 30:19 – 33:27: See our competitor stabling and wrap-up

Posted by TerraNova Equestrian Center on Thursday, October 6, 2022

While some prep work for the upcoming Event at TerraNova (October 21-23) was delayed slightly, Hannah says all systems are still green for the event, which will also run alongside the TerraNova Dressage II CDI4*/CDI-W competition.

“We look forward to seeing you all for what is sure to be a fantastic event,” TerraNova posted on its website. “To alleviate any concerns, however, rest assured that if future unforeseen circumstances prevent us from running the event as scheduled, there will be prompt notification and full refunds will be sent to all competitors who have entered. Also, we have extended the closing date by one week.”

“We did have some flooding, which is if you’re not from this area can look scary,” Hannah elaborated. “We had a little on the cross country, but nothing around the show facility really. More by our house and main barn, but we’re by the Myakka River and in wetlands, so that can happen but also it drains really fast. Within a few days, it had receded. That was obviously more than normal, but this is what this land is meant to withstand. When building your land site, you have to have it raised to a certain height here, and so we prepared our sites to plan for [weather events like this]. One of the main pillars of TerraNova is ‘harmony with nature’, and thats why the wetlands are so important, to handle all that water and cleanse the environment.”

While prep continues, Hannah also shared some exciting updates to the facility, including all-new permanent competitor stabling:

Other additions/improvements include a new VIP pavilion, a new permanent video board, expansion on the cross country course, a new water complex, and much more. The Event at TerraNova also runs a robust charity competition, benefitting three local charities, throughout the week; this year organizers have added the opportunity for all riders — not just the 4* riders — to participate in a “team” competition, with the winning team sending the largest check to their designated charity. This year’s beneficiaries are Southeastern Guide Dogs, Meals on Wheels of Manatee, and Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART).

For more information and to purchase tickets or enter The Event at TerraNova, click here.