Soccer balls and horses can mix, according to the new owner of an equestrian center about a mile east of Temecula who wants to add 24 athletic fields to his property.
But some neighbors worry Ken Smith’s plans for the Southern California Equestrian Center — soon to be known by its former name, Galway Downs — are a poor fit for a rural, horse-friendly area with two-lane roads.
The 241-acre center hosts equestrian competitions that lure Olympic-caliber riders from across the nation. It is just north of Highway 79 South in Valle De Los Caballos, a region southeast of Temecula Valley Wine Country that’s a haven for horse lovers.
Smith is founder and CEO of Southwest Traders, a Temecula food distribution company catering to ice cream and yogurt shops and juice bars. He bought the center out of foreclosure late last year.
He wants to create fields for soccer, youth football, lacrosse and other sports on 63 acres of the property. The plan calls for two 4,800-square-foot shaded structures for concessions, field lighting and 1,930 parking spaces.