UPDATED: Appeal filed in Vernon racetrack case

Okanagan Equestrian Society vs. City of Vernon

The long-running legal battle over Kin Racetrack isn’t over yet.

The Okanagan Equestrian Society filed a notice of appeal with the BC Court of Appeal Thursday. The society is looking to overturn the May 15 judgment which sided with the City of Vernon and Regional District of North Okanagan.

“We’re hoping that the decision will be changed, allowing us to have continued use of the track and allow horse racing to go forward,” said Ed Woolley, OES vice president.

“There’s a strong interest in the community to preserve the track and keep horse racing alive. We appreciate that it’s a bit of a polarized issue in this town but there’s a good portion of the population that would like to see the racetrack continue as it has for the last 100 years — it is the oldest race track in Canada.”

The respondents, the City of Vernon and RDNO have 10 days to indicate whether they are objecting to the appeal.

Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund would not comment on the matter, on advice from the city’s lawyer.

But Woolley presumes they will object.

“If it goes to the full extent to the actual appeal, assuming there isn’t some sort of resolution reached between the parties before then, it would take several months,” said Woolley.

“If we can resolve it in some other fashion then great.”

The society’s main disagreement with the judgment is the finding around the 1965 trust agreement and contracts with the RDNO and city (specifically the 2000 agreement in regards to track management).

See: Equestrian Society loses to Vernon in track battle.

The legal battle has been drawn out since before 2010 when the society was evicted from Kin Race Track and then took the city to court. Final arguments from the City of Vernon and the Okanagan Equestrian Society were presented in a New Westminster court Sept. 28 and 29, 2017.


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