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Legal halt puts horses back on track at Kin

Legal action over Kin Race Track has been put on hold, allowing horse races to resume. - Morning Star File Photo
Legal action over Kin Race Track has been put on hold, allowing horse races to resume.
— image credit: Morning Star File Photo

A fight over horse racing has gone off course and headed back to the stalls.

Legal action over the future of Kin Race Track has been placed on hold indefinitely.

“It can be resurrected at any time by any of the parties,” said Trafford Hall, Regional District of North Okanagan administrator.

The suspension in proceedings was agreed to by RDNO, the City of Vernon and the Okanagan Equestrian Society.

Hall says  the regional district decided to back off the Kin track issue because it’s preoccupied with other matters.

“We are in a rush to resolve Antwerp Springs (alleged contamination case) and recreation restructuring,” he said.

“There is not high pressure to resolve Kin but it’s a huge consumer of (staff) resources.”

RDNO and  the city, which both own the track, have been involved in legal action with the Okanagan Equestrian Society since the society was evicted from the property in 2010.

The society, which organizes Vernon Racing Days, claims equestrian activities were guaranteed when most of the track was turned over to the city in 1964 for free. The society also alleges the regional district ignored an agreement for lease renewals.

Those involved admit the fate of the Kin track will ultimately have to be resolved either through litigation or negotiation.

“We have some tentative solutions to the dispute and the solutions require more fact-finding,” said Ed Woolley, society president.

“We will see if we can resolve this in a non-litigious way.”

Woolley says his group has not set a deadline as to when court action could proceed again.

“Whether it’s another year or a couple of years to exhaust these possibilities, that remains to be seen,” he said.

In the interim, the society can hold races at the track and RDNO can not proceed with redevelopment for other community activities.

RDNO has proposed using the site for sports fields, a farmers market, two arenas, a BMX track and trails.

 

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