History demolished in Vernon

The historic Kin Race Track was demonlished Tuesday morning. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)
The historic Kin Race Track was demonlished Tuesday morning. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)
The historic Kin Race Track was demonlished Tuesday morning. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)
The historic Kin Race Track was demonlished Tuesday morning. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

A piece of history came crumbling down Tuesday.

The Kin Race Track grandstands were demolished by a wrecking crew, forever changing the landscape that has stood for years.

The track was believed to be the oldest active track in Canada. It’s history can be traced back to 1883, when Cornelius O’Keefe purchased an acreage of land just outside of Priest’s Valley (present-day Vernon), according to the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives.

The horse racing facility became a popular destination, filled with excitement, sweat and tears from the thousands who took part and took in the events.

“I was born on a farm just behind the race track,” said Faye Fuhr. “Spent many hours there, sad to see it go.”

The Okanagan Equestrian Society, which operated the track, battled the City of Vernon and Regional District of North Okanagan for eight years.

“The appeal has been abandoned, largely for financial reasons, and we will not be proceeding with it,” said Ed Woolley, spokesperson for the equestrian society in January. “As a result, it signals the end of Kin Race Track, at least in this incarnation.”

READ MORE: Vernon Kin Race Track appeal abandoned

The two jurisdictions have plans for recreational facilities at the site, but nothing is confirmed.

“The end of one chapter and soon to be the beginning of another,” said local resident Frank Anderson.

READ MORE: Structures at Vernon sports facility coming down


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