Nationally Known Horse Trainer Builds Stable and Arena with Lester Buildings

When Ohio couple Brian Cox and Maggie Kerola Cox got married five years ago, the wedding got some good press in the horse aficionado community.

After all, Brian was already a nationally known rider on the Western Pleasure circuit, with a slew of AQHA titles and trophies to his name. And Maggie was one of his biggest supporters, having been an avid rider herself since age 11.

It’s not surprising, then, that the two soon decided their new life together should include an elaborate new training facility in Hubbard, Ohio, to support their business, Brian Cox Quarter Horses.

In what became a win-win scenario, Lester Building Systems played a significant role in making that dream come true. And the building itself landed first place in the 2017 Masters Division competition hosted annually by the National Frame Building Association.


“We spent the time, did our homework, worked with an architect and got what we wanted for sure,” Maggie summarizes.

To get started, the Cox family worked closely with architect J. Greer Hayden of HHSDR out of Sharon, Pennsylvania. Once they showed him examples of facilities they admired, Greer was able to incorporate their choices of design, layout, colors and materials into a workable plan.

After researching builders, they opted to hire Witmer’s Construction Co. of Salem, Ohio. Because Witmer’s has been a dealer for Lester’s wood-frame buildings since 1969, Lester’s post-frame construction quickly became a major part of the project.

The couple’s plans called for a 10,400-square-foot indoor riding arena, a 4,200-square-foot barn, a covered entrance and an office area that could offer overnight sleeping quarters, a kitchen and a 16-foot arena viewing window for clients and guests. Of course, the entire building needed to be insulated and climate-controlled to protect horses and clients from a wide range of Ohio weather.


The project began in November of 2015 and took 15 months to finish because, “We wanted to do it right,” Maggie notes. The outcome? Absolutely stunning.

The sprawling, highly functional stable is divided into two primary sections. The left side offers 10 stables for client horses and is considered the business end, while the right side (Maggie calls it “my side”) includes six stalls that keep the couple’s own three horses snug and warm.


Details include wraparound porches, stone veneers and rough-sawn architectural details. For the drive-through canopy, pre-engineered trusses were wrapped to look like rough-sawn wood beams.


Throughout the building, the color scheme fits perfectly into the surrounding landscape by featuring complementary hues known as Rawhide and Earth Brown. A nearby pond and lighted fountain highlight the overall effect.


The Coxes were particularly pleased with Lester’s quality construction and level of service, especially when it came to being able to visualize their dream project through Lester’s proprietary software IMPROV®.

“Lester was great to work with,” Maggie confirms. “They worked well with our engineers and architect, and there was a good line of communication.”

“They took our ideas and made them happen. A few pieces arrived with minor shipping damage, and they corrected that right away. Then we had a few change orders along the way, and they adjusted things and were really great about that.”

Since the project’s completion, the Coxes have recommended Lester Buildings to others multiple times.


“It’s just a great product,” she adds. “What you want, they deliver. There was little turnaround time, and Lester’s engineer was phenomenal.”

These days, the couple is pleased to have plenty of facility space in which to house horses and people. The living quarters come in particularly handy, since clients can conveniently view arena activity from a comfortable overhead space, then stay overnight if they’re in need of temporary accommodations.

Happily, Brian’s longtime reputation as a trainer is only growing. Since establishing his business fresh out of college in 2005, he’s now ranked as one of the nation’s top-20 open riders, showing horses across the nation about three weekends per month.


Maggie, who works full-time in HR, handles the bookwork, scheduling and billing for the business. The couple also has a 2-year-old daughter.

“We measure success in accolades, really,” Maggie explains. “We’ve got a really great group of customers, long-term customers, and multiple horses here in the facility with us.”

“We’re where we need to be, and we’ve built what we needed to maintain that.”

At Lester Building Systems, we make our wood-framed buildings with the strongest steel panels on the market. Call our specialists at 1-800-826-4439 to learn more about how we can make your next building dream come true.