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“We won! We won!” screamed an ecstatic Sandy Lynch repeatedly after hearing the phone message that she had just won a Lester Buildings barn valued at more than $30,000. Never in her wildest dreams did she think it could happen. Who would?

Sandy, who lives in Nicholson, Georgia, was chosen as the grand prize winner in an online contest co-sponsored this past winter by Lester Buildings. Her touching two-minute video about her animal-loving husband, Bill, and his menagerie of abandoned horses and unwanted donkeys won voters’ hearts.

“We always talked about building a barn, but we couldn’t do it financially. It was always in the future,” shared Sandy. But, she explained, the three lean-tos that sheltered their four-legged friends were causing health problems, like thrush and white line disease, especially after last summer’s storms. The couple has begun working with their local Lester dealer, Eddie Lanham of Jordan Building Construction, on the solution.

Lester Dealer Delivers Expertise

“We knew we wanted something similar to the barn in the contest photo, but with some changes,” Sandy said. The design had to accommodate Bill’s specific safety concerns. As a child, his family’s barn burned to the ground and animals were lost. He was adamant about having exits at opposite ends of the barn and minimal onsite hay and feed storage.

The couple began by listing everything they wanted and then relied on Eddie’s expertise. They met on site at a Lester horse barn Eddie’s company had recently completed, to see a finished product. Then they met at the Lynch home. Together, they choose the best functional site, size, number and types of stalls, doors and exterior features. After exchanging emailed photos and computer drawings (“with just a click of a button” according to Sandy), the couple settled on their dream barn.

The Final Design

The Lynch’s were willing to pay more than the contest’s allowance and doubled the barn size. When completed in late August, they will have 36-foot by 48-foot by 10-foot structure with a 6-foot-deep overhang porch. Sandy says they’re doing their best to think from the perspective of the horses and donkeys. “They won’t be used to being indoors, and we want them to be comfortable with the transition and not feel isolated.” 

They’ve opted for six 12-foot by 12-foot stalls, center aisle, open stall doors, and lower stall dividers so the horses can see each other. An insulated ceiling will reduce overhead noise. Other features include stylish split dutch doors, a double sliding door on each end, cupola and traditional colors.

“We were in total agreement with the final plans,” Eddie said. “Their Lester barn is going to add tremendous lasting value to their property.” He added that Sandy and Bill have been “extremely delightful” to work with.  He’s looking forward to building them a quality, customized structure that will last through generations.

Future Plans:  The More the Merrier

Since winning the contest, the Lynch’s have added two more foster donkeys (their rescues come from the Georgia Equine Rescue League). Eventually, they hope to be a revolving door, rehabilitating some of the animals and adopting them out. Until then, they’ll stay plenty busy with their existing brood, which includes two kids, two dogs, geese, chickens, a rooster and a cockatiel.

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Watch for Photos!

You can see photos of the Lynch’s completed barn later this summer on Lester’s website, lesterbuildings.com. Until then, visit Lester’s site to see other equestrian buildings, including those in your area.

View Sandy’s winning video:

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