Horse Industry Leaders See Promise in Colonial Downs Revamp

The nonprofit statewide association that represents horse-related businesses throughout the commonwealth is praising the recently signed legislation that will lead to the reopening of Colonial Downs in 2019.

The Virginia Equine Alliance says that the resurrection of the New Kent County track, closed since 2014, will lead to a revival of Virginia’s horse racing, breeding, training and other commercial and agricultural enterprises involving horses.

“The General Assembly and the governor are to be commended for their support for this important legislation, legislation that not only will restore the long history of horse racing in Virginia but also will revitalize horse-related enterprises throughout the state,” stated Jeb Hannum, VEA’s executive director.

The legislation cleared the way for the April 24 purchase of Colonial Downs by Chicago-based Revolutionary Racing. Economic impact studies have estimated that reopening the track will lead to as many as 500 jobs for New Kent County and the region, and by year three, generate as much as $25 million for state and local governments. Proceeds from the track also will fund an incentive program that will bring horses to Virginia to board and train.

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