by Kim Cameron
At the April 10 meeting of the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo meeting, the fair board approved horse races for this year’s fair and the popular event is again slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 12.
Horse races were not originally slated for this year’s fair amongst concerns of liability.
“Our biggest concern is that we couldn’t guarantee the footing of the track,” said fair board member Chris Murphy in the discussion with event organizer Shea Meeks.
Pat Pryor, fair grounds manager, asked if the ground was suitable last year for the races because it would be exactly the same, even after the Mudshuffle event in June.
“We just pull the top off the track, store it, and bring in the material for the Mudshuffle event….” said Pryor. She and Meeks both felt that set-up for the event was fairly easy. Last year, the sandy material for the track was donated by two local gravel pits – Colorado River Gravel owned by Pete and Carol Petersen and Grand Gravel owned by Bud and Skylar Carpenter.
The fairboard also requested that waivers be signed and that the track be extended at the end so horses could have more time to stop. Last year, Meeks had provided outriders to help horses stop at and said he would again provide those.
According to Meeks, the event is selfsupporting from entry fees and the trailer spots that are sold along the track for prime seating. Last year the fairboard had also provided $500 purse for an added incentive.
This year’s line-up will once again offer adult match races, kids races and as an added attraction, corgi races will be added. “I just hope to fill the limited racing spots with a lot of local talent,” said Meeks. Meeks has also been recruited to help with horse races at Routt County’s fair which will be the week after the local fair. For more information about horse races contact Shea Meeks at 970-531- 6876.
Visit middleparkfairandrodeo. com for other events and sponsorship opportunities.