Kin Race Track options draw public input

About 40 people attended an input session hosted by the Okanagan Equestrian Society Saturday.

There appears to be some public interest in reinvigorating the Kin Race Track.

About 40 people attended an input session hosted by the Okanagan Equestrian Society Saturday.

“The public that was there was very involved,” said Ed Woolley, society spokesperson.

The grandstand was destroyed by a suspicious fire this summer and the insurance proceeds will go to the City of Vernon, which owns the property.

The society has also been pursuing legal action against the city and the Regional District of North Okanagan to use the property since a 2010 eviction.

RDNO has developed a recreational master plan for the site that does not include horse racing.

But while some non-equestrian enthusiasts used Saturday’s meeting to push for other activities, many of those present support horse racing there.

“People are evenly split between rebuilding the grandstand as is or constructing an indoor arena with seating on the side,” said Woolley.

“The other option put forward was moving the track to another site but that received a lot of opposition.”

With public input now received, the society board will consider which concept to put forward to the city.

“We will have some discussions with them,” said Woolley, adding that he’s not sure if the city will abandon non-horse activities at the track. “We will see if they are as co-operative when we present the proposal as they have indicated they are willing to be.”

City of Vernon officials are not speculating on what course of action may occur over the property.

“The public input session announced by the equestrian society could be of value in assisting them in working toward the development of a sound business plan for the future of equestrian racing in the Vernon area,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

“A sound business plan could provide important context for discussions about the grandstand and any expenditure of local taxpayers’ money.”