Wyoming Downs Looks to Reopen in 2014

Following Wyoming legislation, Wyoming Downs looks to reopen.

Edited Press Release
March 1, 2013

wyoming downs

Wyoming Downs in Evanston, Wyoming, which has not conducted live racing since 2009, is looking to run 16 days in 2014.

The change comes with the new legislation passed February 27, which allowes pari-mutuel wagering on historic races. Wyoming is the second state in the country to statutorily allow this type of wagering. Arkansas passed legislation in 2001.

“The law will have profound effects on the horse racing industry throughout Wyoming, Utah and surrounding states," said Wyoming Downs owner Eric Nelson. "We are very excited to re-open the 200 acre Wyoming Downs Thoroughbred and Quarter horse track in Evanston, Wyoming.”

According to Nelson, current plans include 16 racing dates in summer 2014 and the reopening of off-track betting throughout Wyoming. Nelson says these actions will bring jobs, higher purses and a more robust bottom line.  House Bill 25 permits equipment that allows wagering on past horse racing performances.

“Greater volume in wagering on both live and historic races will result in more and better racing, and make it more profitable for horse trainers and owners," Nelson said. "Exciting times are ahead at Wyoming Downs, and will benefit the entire equine industry."

Wyoming Downs is the only private race track in Wyoming with over 815 stalls and a 5,000 person grandstand.  Evanston sits in the southwest corner of the state, near the Utah border. Sweetwater Downs in Rock Springs, about 100 miles to the northeast, resumed live racing in 2011 after an 18-year absence and conducted four-day meets in 2011-12.

“The race is on to provide full racing and to fulfill the 16 day racing minimum required by the State of Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission Rules and Regulations,” Nelson said.

“I want to extend a special thank you to Governor Matt Meade;  HB25 sponsors Senator John Schiffer and House Representative Sue Wallis," he concluded. "And, thank you to all of those who joined  as a united group to support  the revitalization of the Wyoming horse industry: legislators, Charlie Moore, Executive Director and the Wyoming Pari-mutuel Commission; former Executive Director of the Wyoming Pari-mutuel Commission Frank Lamb; Judy Horton, AQHA Regional  Director; American Horse Council; Wyoming All Breeds Racing Association, Ron Cook and Whitey Kaul; Joan Ramos, Wyoming Downs Director of Corporate Operations; Wyoming Horseracing LLC, Eugene Joyce, fair meet operator; and Government Affairs Consulting.”