Equine enthusiasts are back on track, and saddled with increased support, to head to a new court date.
The new dates are July 24 to Aug. 4 in New Westminster.
“We are not entering anything new to give them (Vernon) anything to argue about,” said society president Robyn Dalziel, after the city claimed it needed more time to review an amended statement of claim last week. The claim involves the 2014 grandstand fire and then damages in 2016 to stall doors, which, “they can no longer argue,” said Dalziel.
The society has also gained the support of the B.C. Horse Council, which represents 24,000 members.
“They are supporting our association and our cause,” said Dalziel, who spoke with the executive director Tuesday. “So this is not just a few people to do with horse racing. What we’re doing will affect the entire equine community in the province.”
“We will continue to fundraise because in the event we are successful we will need to rebuild.”
Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund says the city is ready to head back to court.
“The court process started March 13 and was adjourned by the Judge on March 14. July 24-August 4 was the next available block of time suitable to the parties,” said Mund. “The city is well prepared”
The case has been going on since 2004, when the city refused to renew the operating agreement with the society.
“That was the basis we filed our lawsuit on,” said Dalziel.
Then in 2010 it was issued an eviction notice.
“We maintained the racetrack without compensation up until 2014 when the grandstands burned down and that compensation is part of our claim.”