Maria Besso/Facebook                                The Okanagan Equestrian Society is attempting to maintain access to Kin Race Track through legal action.

Maria Besso/Facebook The Okanagan Equestrian Society is attempting to maintain access to Kin Race Track through legal action.

Kin track case stumbles

Dispute between equestrian society and City of Vernon delayed to another date

The battle over Kin Race Track has come to a screeching halt.

A New Westminster judged decided Tuesday to postpone the trial between the Okanagan Equestrian Society and the City of Vernon.

“I’m just shaking. I’m blown away. All of our witnesses were on their way down here,” said Robyn Dalziel, society president.

It’s not known when the matter will back in the courts.

“They are talking possibly June or October,” said Dalziel.

The trial over access to the track was supposed to start Monday but it was held up by legal wranglings over an amended statement of claim filed by the society that covers damages at the site, including stall doors and the grandstand fire.

“The other side said that the claim had not been presented in time and it would be prejudicial to let it in,” said Dalziel.

Ultimately, the judge would not hear the amended statement of claim and the court case was put off to a later date.

And while the society was willing to separate the issues of damages from the validity of the contracts between the city and the society, the judge did not agree.

The society recently raised funds to cover court costs, and Dalziel insists the delay won’t stop the fight to save Kin track.

“We’re coming back,” she said.

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.

City of Vernon officials were reluctant to respond to media questions.

“This situation is before the courts and administration will not comment on any of the proceedings,” said Will Pearce, chief administrative officer.