Remainder of Summer QH Meet Canceled in Aftermath of Hurricane Isaac

 By Jim Mulvihill, Communications & Pari-Mutuel Marketing Manager

NEW ORLEANS (Friday, August 31, 2012) – After consulting with the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association and the Louisiana State Racing Commission, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has canceled the remainder of the 2012 Summer Quarter Horse Meet due to complications caused by Hurricane Isaac, pending official LSRC approval.

The last four days of the season, originally scheduled for Wednesday to Saturday of this week, were postponed as the storm that would become Hurricane Isaac moved into the Gulf of Mexico last weekend. A mandatory evacuation of the Fair Grounds barn area sent about 700 horses to safer locations throughout the region.

Storm damage at Fair Grounds included large segments of two barn roofs that blew away, toppled guard shacks and fencing, as well as extensive debris strewn about. The main track was washed out after taking on 20 inches of rain in 48 hours.

Most of New Orleans remains without electricity and surrounding areas continue to deal with catastrophic flooding.

Fair Grounds had hoped to reschedule some of the canceled races next week but the logistics of doing so have proven insurmountable.

“With Southeast Louisiana in a state of emergency we could not expect our horsemen to ship in again for just one more start,” said Fair Grounds Vice President & General Manager for Racing Eric Halstrom. “Instead of forcing the issue under trying circumstances, everyone agreed it made sense to let these days go and run the lost races later under better conditions. We are very appreciative of the cooperation and support we have received from the horsemen and the racing commission in making this decision.”

The entirety of the remaining funds in the purse account will be used for Quarter Horse races at a later date.

Officials are still determining what to do about the $264,480 Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association Sales Futurity final, which was to be run Sept. 1 with a field of 10 already qualified via trial races held Aug. 15.

Fair Grounds expects the barn area to be fixed and ready to receive horses for the 141st Thoroughbred Racing Season as scheduled on Oct. 22, one month before the traditional Thanksgiving Day opening on Nov. 22.