Calgary Needs A Horse Race Track

[twitter]It’s Calgary, home to the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth, and it doesn’t have horse racing?

That doesn’t make sense.

There’s all kinds of wonderful show jumping at Spruce Meadows. You can see great bull riding, and chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede, but where’s the horse racing? Sure, you can bet on the ponies at some local off-track betting parlours, but I’m talking real, live horse racing.

We went and saw some ponies race out at the 109th running of the Millarville Races on Canada Day. It’s a small little track southwest of the city.

They run only a few races a year, and if you go to bet in between races, you’re likely to miss a few more. The longs were line, but the day was fun. Especially since you get to wander the infield and lean right on the rail as the horses round the final turn and bound down the homestretch.

Millarville Race Track

Horse racing is awesome. Calgary should have it. And Calgary used to have it.

Until 2008 there was horse racing at Stampede Park. That final race in June ended a 120 year run of horse racing in the city, and for the 6 years since there has been none (save for those making the jaunt out to Millarville).

The plan was to move the horse racing track out to Balzac for the 2010 season, but it didn’t happen. Red tape stalled development until recently when it was announced Century Downs will finally open north of Calgary in the spring of 2015.

It couldn’t come soon enough.


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