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Jumps by Fuzzy moving to county

Friday, October 10, 2008

CHAPEL HILL -- A Franklin business will be moving to Chapel Hill if the town annexes nearly 22 acres and a property sale is consummated as anticipated.

William L. "Fuzzy" Mayo, 59, of Thompson's Station, proprietor of Jumps By Fuzzy Inc., has been building portable horse jumps and stalls for 39 years. Mayo builds, rents, sets up and stores such equipment used at major hose shows across the country.

Mayo has a purchase option on 21.86 acres fronting Nashville Highway just north of the Chapel Hill town line. The purchase depends on whether the land is annexed and placed in a land use zone suitable for his business.

The Chapel Hill Planning Commission on Monday night unanimously voted to recommend Mayo's request to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. That Board is scheduled to meet on Monday evening when approval on the first of two votes is anticipated.

"I've outgrown my building in Franklin ," Mayo said of his property that is short on space for trailers used to haul jumps and fences.

If plans continue as anticipated, Mayo would build storage sheds this winter and then establish a workshop for the business, he said.

The Chapel Hill location is "just as close to where I live as Franklin," Mayo said of his home at Thompson's Station, about a mile from Bethesda Elementary School.

Another reason for selecting Chapel Hill, he said, is that "the topography is good there." It doesn't require excavation.

He also sees it as a prospective location for horse shows.

His wife, Suzanne Mayo, "produces shows and is also involved in quarter horse shows," Fuzzy Mayo said. "We want land where we could have some shows, too."

The property he plans to buy "has got a petty good layout for shows, plus it's next to some commercial property so I could ask for hat kind of zoning."

Jumps By Fuzzy employs six people now, he said, including himself.

"There's a possibility" of creating jobs with his move, Mayo said. "I've never really gone out looking for business, but my business has increased 10 percent or better every year except for two years.

"I've never approached the mass market of selling a lot of jumps," he said. "There's a lot of potential for my business that I haven't pursued, so with more space I could grow.

"I've been working at capacity for a long time... but the economy going down makes a difference," he said.

"I'm basically in the rental business and sell the used equipment," Mayo continued. "Most horseshow officials prefer to rent and have well-maintained jumps without all the headache.

"Major horse show jumps are very artistic and safety is a significant factor. Some of them have to be spring loaded so if a horse hits it, it will fall apart, so there's a lot more to it than what you might expect.

"We're serving folks in major horse shows and Olympic events. Our everyday customers come in and practice for local shows, but our main line is for people competing at the highest level."

Beyond the collapsing wooden jumps, Jumps By Fuzzy makes fencing that provide portable stalls and decorate corporate sponsor tents. The business also provides fencing for the tailgate parking areas.

The biggest shows served by the business include the Washington International located in downtown Washington, D.C. where the Washington Wizards play and the Quarterhorse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. Other events served by Mayo include: The Kentucky Rolex, and; the 2010 World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park.

In other developments considered by the Chapel Hill Planning Commission on Monday night, the panel voted to permit continued efforts toward development of Bella Fields, a development planed at Crutcher Road and Nashville Highway. preliminary plat in the planning commissioners agenda indicates that 128 home sites are planned by D&R Development Co.