2013-07-02 / Front Page

Calendar Of Events Filling Up For ‘13 At C Bar C Expo Center In Cloverdale

Harlan Family Making I-70 Exit In Cloverdale An Equine Destination
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


In addition to improvements made over the past two years, Carl and Cindy Harlan are continuing to upgrade the C Bar C Expo Center, including excavating ground to make way for more than 100 additional campsites with electricity and water, as well as primitive locations. 
(Staff Photo) In addition to improvements made over the past two years, Carl and Cindy Harlan are continuing to upgrade the C Bar C Expo Center, including excavating ground to make way for more than 100 additional campsites with electricity and water, as well as primitive locations. (Staff Photo) With a little TLC and the right contacts, what originated as the Crossroads Arena is now beginning to come to life every weekend just off of Interstate 70 on West Stardust Road in Cloverdale.

The C Bar C Expo Center is under new ownership in Terre Haute natives Carl and Cindy Harlan, who have been involved with horses for their entire 28- year marriage. The Harlan family enjoys barrel racing and pole bending, leading the farming family to purchase the expo center at auction in 2011.

“We closed in November and had our first show on the first weekend in January,”

Cindy said. “We have come a very long way.”


C Bar C Expo Center owners Carl and Cindy Harlan, along with daughter, Ashley, have enjoyed their first full year owning and operating the venue in Cloverdale. 
(Staff Photo) C Bar C Expo Center owners Carl and Cindy Harlan, along with daughter, Ashley, have enjoyed their first full year owning and operating the venue in Cloverdale. (Staff Photo) The family farms several hundred acres of corn and soybeans in Waynetown, where Cindy operates the household and horse operations, while Carl works as a farm business advisor for Becks Hybrids.

The pair also helped to grow the annual National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) state show into one of the top shows in the country when Cindy served as the Indiana State Director of NBHA for 10 years. She currently serves as the treasurer for the Indiana Girls Barrel Racing Association. The couple’s daughter, 18-year-old Ashley, is also active in riding and showing.

“We’re not profitable yet, but we’re attracting the big shows that are eventually going to make us profitable. We have three-fourths of the weekends booked for this year, which is huge for our second year,” Carl said. “I penciled in a loss last year, and we actually lost less than I thought we would. We’re bringing in shows, taking those away from Louisville, Memphis, Ohio and Illinois.”

Carl explained that with a significant amount of start-up money supplied by the family, the expo center is only beginning to turn the corner towards making a profit.

“We’ve invested a lot of money in this, we’re not taking profits and reinvesting them yet, so we’re taking money we have in other places and putting it into this to try and make it the kind of place that will attract the really big shows,” he said. “We have concrete aisle ways instead of lime, because the lime would get so uneven. We just completed tile work around the sinks in the restrooms and have done a whole lot of painting.”

Upgrades also include adding large ceiling fans (25-feet in diameter) and fans for stalls, as well as additional camping and parking areas.

“This thing is honestly going to be a success because of our people, our manager Steve Jackson and his crew. We are so blessed to have everybody who works here,” Carl noted. “When you first start into something like this, there are a lot of unknowns. Over just a few months we started figuring out that they want this place to succeed. It shows in the way they take care of the building and grounds, it also shows in our food. I hope everybody locally would come by just to have a sandwich, and just see how good our food is. Almost all of our events are free, not all, but most of them. Come by on a Saturday afternoon and enjoy yourself.”

Complete with a commercial kitchen, the expo center offers plate meals during its events, alongside additional concession items.

“We spend the extra money and man hours because we want this to look nice and clean for every show,” Cindy noted. “We want to make a big impression this year and we want those shows to stay here.”

Next weekend, July 4-7, the expo center will host the Mideast Regional competition of the Indiana Pony of the Americas Club, Inc.

The annual speed sale of the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana will occupy the arena on July 19 and 20, while the Indiana Paint Horse Club’s summer show takes place in Cloverdale on July 27 and July 28.

The last show of July will be the 30th through August 3 when C Bar C plays host to the International Buckskin Horse Association World Championship.

The Hoosier Appaloosa Association’s Appaloosa Show will take place on August 9-11, followed by the International Barrel Riding Association’s Championship show set for August 16-18.

A show by the American Quarter Horse Association will take place on August 22-25, followed by the sixth annual Labor Day Weekend Speed Classic hosted by the Girls Barrel Racing Association of Indiana on August 30, August 31 and September 1.

One of the largest shows to come to the Hoosier State will also be housed at C Bar C when the International Barrel Racing Association’s world show takes up residence October 8-12. The weekend prior, October 4-6, the expo center will host the Indiana Mounted Regulators, Cowboy Mounted Shooting.

The couple is also planning events outside of horses, including a motorcycle race and tractor pulls this fall and winter. An outside arena will also be utilized this year for junior rodeo events.

“There are a lot of big numbers being thrown around, but the motorcycle race is going to benefit the Wounded Warrior Foundation, which we’re very proud of,” Carl said. “So we don’t know what the full effect that’s going to have, but the one AQHA show (American Quarter Horse Association), which we will have six this coming year, is a five-day show and the state estimates that one event will have a $3.75 million economic impact on the local economy. So if we have 80 percent of our weekends filled and they have a One million dollar impact every weekend, that’s a $40 million impact to the local economy. We’re getting to where we need a good restaurant here and another hotel.”

Additional information regarding the expo center and upcoming events can be found online at www.cbarcexpo.com or by calling 765-795-4768.

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