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Local horsemen, track operator to assume greater superintendance of Sun Downs


May 6, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

The NRQHA met with concerned horsemen and potential investors on May 5 to discuss the lease and operation of the Sun Downs backside and training facility for nine months out of the year, to begin the first of October, 2010, through the end of June, 2011, with Tri-City Horse Racing leasing the property during the 2011 meet.

NRQHA spokesman and horseman Bob Lawrence presented the proposal to Benton County officials on May 6. The County is in favor of the horsemen taking over the responsibility for maintenance over that period of time, and agreed to hear a more detailed plan and proposal next week.

The grounds, stalls, and track will be maintained by horsemen for horsemen for the first time in decades, giving all Northwest horsemen a place to break and condition their colts through the Fall and Winter months, and a home base for running throughout the Northwestern states most of the year. Stall rent at the Sun Downs training center will return to a more horsemen-friendly rate. In exchange for stall rent, horsemen will be provided a first-class training facility where the athletes’ welfare is always the first priority.

There are approximately 100 trailer hookups on the grounds to provide on-site quarters for horsemen, and the Tri-Cities is known for a milder winter climate in comparison to most other northern states, which means more days for training.

Tri-City Horseracing will run its traditional Spring meet at Sun Downs in 2011, and plan to add more major races and attract more horsemen from surrounding states to come in early and train.

The NRQHA and Tri-City Horseracing’s new battle cry: “We will build it—and we’re sure the horsemen will come!!!”