It’s two in the morning and you are still on the road. You have a horse show to compete in later this afternoon. You can hear your horse shifting impatiently in the trailer behind your truck. He is ready to get out of the rig and into his stall for a little bit of shut eye.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pull up to your hotel, have someone check you into the hotel and check your horse into the barn at the same time? Your luggage would be delivered to your hotel room while you unload and settle your horse into a climate controlled box stall. And if you are someone like Joe Montana your horse can stay in one of the VIP stalls. Welcome to South Point in Las Vegas, Nevada, a hotel for horse and rider.
South Point Arena and Equestrian Center
If you compete in equestrian events, you’ve probably heard of South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you are a gambler, or a Las Vegas VIP, you might be familiar with the term “RFB” room, food and beverage. South Point Hotel Casino and Spa takes RFBs to the next level. With the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center, the hotel offers room, food and beverage for hotel guests and their horses. Such a simple idea, but a concept that was sorely lacking 25 years ago for South Point Hotel and Equestrian Center co-owner Paula Gaughan.
The South Point Arena and Equestrian Center offers 1,200 climate-controlled box stalls, 400 stalls in Barn A and 800 stalls in Barn B. They provide 24 hour survellance, hot and cold running water, 30 wash racks, barn concierge service, a competition arena, vet clinic, farrier service and The Trading Post. The Trading Post sells everything from beer to hay to truck tires.
Interview with South Point Equestrian Center Owner Paula Gaughan
During my trip to Las Vegas, I had the chance to sit down with Paula Gaughan to talk horses.
Writing Horseback: How did the concept of a hotel with an equestrian center come to life?
PG: When my friend Gail and my daughter Katie would be on the road with me, we’d be pulling a trailer and horses. You pull into an arena, unload the horses, bed the stall and find the closest Motel 6.
When we decided to build the arena and equestrian center, we made it very user-friendly. We have barn boys, bellman to help with the luggage. We have the movie theater, the spa, the restaurants. We also offer closed circuit tv of all the South Point arena activities broadcast into your hotel room so you won’t miss a beat.
Writing Horseback: Were you horse crazy as a young girl?
PG: I’m originally from Southern California. I rode horses when I was a child. I didn’t play with the dolls so much as horses.
I came to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1966. I was busy raising three boys and a girl. When Katie was six years old I got back into horses.
Writing Horseback: What type of riding do you do?
PG: I’ve always done Western riding. I got into cutting when Katie was in second grade. The boys preferred the smell of gasoline and oil over horses. Kate stuck with me and the horses.
Someone suggested that I try cutting horses. I tried it and it was addictive. No two runs are ever alike. It’s really an athletic event.
I love cutting. Reining, well, I’m a chicken when it comes to reining. With cutting you are always striving for that perfect run. There are so many variables with the cow, the horse and your help.
Writing Horseback: How do you measure success after a horse show?
PG: Success is determined if my contestants go away happy, even if they didn’t win. Give them good food and friendly service. At the end of the day, it’s all about them.
Writing Horseback: Las Vegas is a great place for celebrity spotting. Have you hosted any celebrities at South Point?
PG: We get the Budweiser Clydesdales a couple of times a year. When the breed shows come to town they really dress up the stall areas, especially the Arabian horse shows, the stall areas are absolutely amazing!
If You Go:
South Point Arena and Equestrian Center (702) 796-7111
9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89183
Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Budweiser photo courtesy of South Point Hotel.