VA Racing Commission approves harness meet
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The Virginia Racing Commission gave unanimous approval at its Thursday (August 18) meeting to bring pari-mutuel harness racing back to the Commonwealth this fall at Shenandoah Downs. The limited license request was submitted by the Virginia Downs Foundation. The Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) will provide race office personnel and conduct the races, and the Virginia Harness Horsemen's Association (VHHA) will provide $800,000 from its purse account to fund the races.
In the request presentation Thursday, VEA Executive Director Jeb Hannum noted ten days of racing will occur this fall over five consecutive weekends from Sept. 10-Oct. 9, and races will be held every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. An extensive $700,000-plus track renovation project reached the completion stage this past week and everyone is looking forward to getting horses on the track for the upcoming meet.
Mr. Hannum also noted the weather challenges workers faced early in the renovation process when an unusually wet spring caused delays. Despite those issues, work was completed on schedule. He extended special thanks to Dr. Scott Woogen, President of the VHHA, Tom Eshelman, GM of the Shenandoah County Fair, and David Lermond, Executive Secretary of the VRC.