Heavy horse centre opening next week at Assiniboine Park Zoo
McFeetors Heavy Horse Centre is home to 4 Percheron horses
Reporters got a sneak peak of the McFeetors Heavy Horse Centre on Wednesday.
Zoo officials say it will open to the public on Aug. 28 at 9 a.m.
The centre is the result of a $2-million gift from Ray McFeetors, former CEO and chairman of Great-West Life, as well as a $250,000 gift from the insurance company.
The McFeetors family took part in a horse and wagon ride — the exhibit's first ride — at Wednesday's announcement.
The exhibit will be home to four Percheron horses, which were used in farming and in transporting freight during the province's pioneer era.
"Heavy horses were once as common and vital to farming as tractors are today," McFeetors said in a news release issued by the zoo.
"As one who grew up in that era, it's my privilege to support this exhibit celebrating Manitoba's agricultural past and to help today's families experience rural life how it once was."
Meet Bob and Tom - two of the new residents of the McFeetors Heavy Horse Centre opening August 28 at the Zoo! <a href="http://t.co/gbcMvDEf0r">pic.twitter.com/gbcMvDEf0r</a>—@assiniboinezoo
The year-round exhibit, which covers a 4.7-acre area, includes a barn, pastures, paddocks and a carriage shed.
Visitors can tour the barn. As well, the zoo will offer wagon rides in the summer and sleigh rides in the winter at a price of $3 per person.
The outdoor paddock area has three holding areas where visitors can see the horses.