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Horse Stall Shavings Rake In Big Bucks For Fort Worth

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - If you were walking around the stalls of the Will Rogers Memorial Center’s where the show horses are kept and someone asked you to point out something worth $500,000, what would you pick?  A horse?  Try the wood shavings the horses are standing on. The City of Fort Worth sells it to coat the floors of the stalls.

“We’ll literally have truckloads delivered to us before one of these horse shows,” said Kirk Slaughter, Fort Worth Director of Public Events. “And during horse show season we’re constantly taking deliveries.”

Fort Worth pays up to $600,000 dollars a year for tens of thousands thousands of bags of these shavings, but sells them for even more.

They’re poured into horse stalls, sometimes up to ten bags worth.

And that’s where the horses stand and, well, do what their business.

But Fort Worth makes the shavings pay off by charging livestock owners for them at a marked up price.

During a big show they’ll cover 1400 stalls in a weekend.

And when a horse or cattle owner spent tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on an animal to show, you’re not just worried about the smells in the stalls you’re worried about the horses comfort.

(credit: Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News)

(credit: Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News)

Afterall, the floors are concrete.

“Its kind of like you when you’re walking on the concrete for a long time it kind of makes your legs sore if you’re having to stand all the time,” said Dawn Frye, a horse trainer from Argyle.  “You think about that compared to when you’re walking on carpet.”

Fort Worth made more than $60,000 selling shavings last year.

The profits paid for delivering the shavings, cleaning the stalls, removing the shavings and then taking all the wood and manure to a composting landfill for recycling.

The shavings more than pay for themselves — since the show lets nothing go to waste.

“We’ll do everything we can to bring in revenue to keep these buildings operating and keep it the consumer paying, rather than the taxpayer paying it,” Slaughter said.

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