Morning Star file photo                                The legal fight over Kin Race Track is moving ahead, with equestrian enthusiasts raising funds for court costs.

Morning Star file photo The legal fight over Kin Race Track is moving ahead, with equestrian enthusiasts raising funds for court costs.

Fundraising starts for legal battle

Okanagan Equestrian Society selling debentures to fund its legal action against the City of Vernon over access to the 43rd Avenue track

The dispute over Kin Race Track is heating up.

The Okanagan Equestrian Society is now selling debentures to fund its legal action against the City of Vernon over access to the 43rd Avenue track.

“We are happy to have so many people standing with us and that think the race track lands are worth protecting,” said Robyn Dalziel, society president.

The dispute began in 2010 when the society was evicted from Kin Race Track.

The society immediately took the city and the Regional District of North Okanagan to court, claiming equestrian activities were guaranteed when most of the track was turned over for free to the city. The society has also claimed RDNO ignored an agreement for lease renewals.

The jurisdictions, though, have claimed the society hasn’t lived up to its terms of the agreement, including maintenance of the property and holding events.

The last races were in 2013 and a fire destroyed the grandstand in 2014.

“We steadfastly believe the city and RDNO have an obligation to its citizens to honour the contracts that allowed them to take control of these lands,” said Dalziel.

Debentures can be purchased at the society’s annual general meeting Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Army, Navy and Airforce hall. Debentures are $250 and society membership is $2. E-mail transfers can also be accepted at jenpace1@gmail.com

“Kin Park is the oldest race track in Canada. In this year of celebrating the history of Canada, we hope the courts agree and rule for the protection of the lands,” said Dalziel.

“Now is the time to stand up and have your concerns addressed. Show your support by investing in the society, buy a debenture and donate. The court case is six weeks away.”

Mayor Akbal Mund says the city is ready to go to court over Kin Race Track.

“We stand by what we’ve said in the past. For the best interest of the community, we want to move this forward. We have a good case,” he said.