CLOVERDALE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Shawn Flarida has been around horses since he was a child.

“I actually started riding horses when I was eight years old in Ohio,” Flarida said. “My family and my mom and dad and everybody’s always been in the horse business.”

Now, Flarida is an accomplished horse trainer, even becoming the first rider to earn $6 million by reining horses and competing in events. When he needs a good place to show horses, one of his most-frequented stops is right off of I-70 in Putnam County, Indiana: Cowpokes Arena at C Bar C Expo Center.

“Being able to show and having the facility be so close to Ohio, it’s been a blessing,” Flarida said. “I mean, just for the all of equine sports to be able to go over and showcase our sport, showcase our horses, I can’t thank these guys enough for having it and they take such great care of it.”

C Bar C’s event space is always busy, with equine and livestock shows and competitions year-round, and is also a huge economic driver for Putnam County, bringing in approximately $60 million dollars over the course of a year for the county.

“You’re bringing people in from all over the United States,” Flarida said. “Obviously I got some clients from Indiana, but there’s some from Kentucky, Florida, and you know, they all come and they eat at your restaurants, stay at your motels. It’s phenomenal.”

Next to the event space is the new Cowpokes Work and Western Store, fulfilling clothing and accessory needs for people visiting from near and far.

“We have everything from men’s, women’s and kids apparel,” General Manager Tricia Smith said. We also have a whole array of cowboy hats. We do offer services of hat cleaning, hat shaping in the store, and we sell shows for men, women and kids, too.”

The store opened in December and is the second location for the Cowpokes company, which is based out of Anderson, Indiana.

“There wasn’t really anything close in this area for customers to be able to shop,” Smith said. “Community people are still finding out that we’re here; they love coming in to shop at the store.”

No matter the age, or the level of knowledge, Flarida encouraged people to visit the facilities and see for themselves the joys of being involved in the equine world.

“There’s so many options out there and the horse is such a good training tool for people, you know, and the kids and the youth is where I see it really, really benefits,” Flarida explained. “But then also to that person after they retire and they still want to be competitive and go do things.”

Overall, the latest economic impact sheet from C Bar C shows an overall revenue of nearly $208 million over the course of a year.