And They’re Off! Horse Races to Return to Fargo

After a one year absence, horse racing will return to Fargo.
They’ll be off once again next summer at the North Dakota Horse Park, after the stables were empty this year.
“It was sitting there idle last year, and it just seemed sad,” says Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn.
Piepkorn is also on the North Dakota Racing Commission.
That commission stopped races in Fargo this year, for a couple reasons.
He says, “There were three different entities out at the track, and it was very confusing, and what we’ve tried to do is just have one entity to deal with.”
One group took over management of the park, Horse Race North Dakota. They also took over payment of nearly $2 million in easements to the city.
Some of the groups previously involved in running the races didn’t make payments on time.
“The play is to implement a new board that’s gonna see through the vision of that and develop operations that they can maintain their payments,” says Mike Schmitz with Horse Race North Dakota.
Now that the money issue is resolved, racing fans have three weekends to look forward to next year, July 16-17, July 23-24, and July 30-31.
Piepkorn says, “The main thing is it’s another entertainment opportunity in the summer for Fargo.”

That’s why he pushed so hard to bring racing back.
He wants to make it a tradition for locals in Fargo.
“We’re gonna have three dates next summer, and you want to keep that going. You want it to grow from there,” Piepkorn adds.
Officials hope the three racing weekends next year is just the start.
If the races are popular enough, horses could run on more weekends in the coming years.

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