The horses will be back in full stride at Stampede Park next year thanks to construction delays at a massive Balzac development that will eventually lead to the local racetrack’s closure.
Stampede Park announced it was officially closing its doors for good to local horse racing on June 17, but United Horsemen of Alberta CEO Max Gibb said yesterday that unforeseen permit and construction delays have held up the Balzac project and the Calgary Stampede has stepped in to host the 2008 thoroughbred meet.
“Stampede Park allowing horse racing to return next year is very good news for our industry during a crucial time in our history,” said Gibb.
In the agreement, Stampede Park will host next year’s spring thoroughbred meet and simulcast racing broadcasts until the end of 2008.
According to Dr. David Reid, chairman and CEO of Horse Racing Alberta, more than 8,100 Albertans are involved in the horse racing industry, which annually contributes $385 million to our economy.
“We don’t want to lose any of the momentum and growth we have built up over the past few years,” said Reid.