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NDHP horse population at an all-time high

July 8, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

2008 was a season of record crowds and, if horse stall applications are any indication, 2009 will be a record year for the number of horses racing at the North Dakota Horse Park. As of July 8, the Horse Park had received over 415 stall applications, actually surpassing the amount of space available at the Fargo track.

"Last year, we were only looking at a little over 300 horses, so this is a great!" said General Manager Heather Benson. "More horses means more choices for people who are wagering and more exciting competitions . . . there is nothing like a full field of 10 horses charging down to the wire!"

The Horse Park averaged 6.9 starters per race in 2008, but can have as many as 10 horses start in each race.

“Fitting everyone on site has been the biggest challenge. We never want to turn people away who are here to support us.” said Track Management Assistant Jessie Monson. “It’s like a big puzzle, but we’re going to find a way to make it work.”

Local horses from the state of North Dakota make up about 60% of the horses at the track, with the remaining horses coming from neighboring states such as Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana and as far as away as Utah, Arizona and Iowa.

“The word has gotten out about how much fun it is to race here, how safe the track is for horses and how great the city of Fargo is to stay in,” said Benson, “and the proof is in the numbers.”

Live horse racing begins July 24th.