SWEETWATER COUNTY – Horse racing returns to Sweetwater County and the Sweetwater Events Complex had nothing but praise for the job the horse racing industry has done since its return in 2012.
Live horse racing left the state for a period of time but returned thanks to many people including Sweetwater County and the Events Complex. It was the first country to bring back live horse racing events to the state of Wyoming.
This along with the legislative action to allow historic horse racing gambling machines in the state has the county and the city of Rock Springs seeing financial benefits.
As part of the agreement, money from these machines and horse racing events would come back to Sweetwater County and Rock Springs. Larry Lloyd, Sweetwater Events Complex Director, said approximately $400,000 will be returned to both the county and the city. He did not include Green River because there is not an establishment in Green River that is participating in the historic horse racing machine program.
A lot of this money is also going back to the state. Lloyd said through this a new incentive program has risen. The incentive program, approved by the Wyoming State Legislature, gives incentives to horse breeders of Wyoming.
Board Chairman Kent McCann spoke a little bit more in depth on the program. He said the horses are awarded points. Through this point system, it has allowed racehorse breeders in the state to sell horses at a very competitive level. He said the biggest thing it has done is allow Wyoming horse breeders to actually make money. McCann added buyers from neighboring states are also coming to Wyoming to purchase Wyoming-bread horses and it is because of the system in place.
On a side note a very interesting bit of information came from McCann. He said it looks as if the program might be crossing over in the world of barrel racing as well.
Sweetwater County Commissioner and liaison to the Sweetwater Fair Board John Kolb said the horse racing program passed by the Wyoming Legislature’s is one of the “things they got right.” He said it runs well as is doing exactly what they had hoped it would do. Kolb said it is bringing a lot of attention and financial opportunity to the state.
Check the Sweetwater County Events Complex Website for times and dates of upcoming races http://www.sweetwaterevents.com/events/2015/sweetwater-downs-horse-racing