HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 20Issue 20Former MHHA President Hopes to Revive Harness Racing in Jackson

Former Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association (“MHHA”) President Brett Boyd’s plan to bring harness racing back to Jackson County took a step forward on Wednesday, June 17, 2014 when the Jackson County Board of Commissioners (“Board”) voted unanimously to approve leasing the racetrack at Jackson County Fairgrounds to Boyd’s company, Jackson Raceway, LLC.  Boyd had been in discussions with members of the Board during recent months and formally brought the issue before the Board in May.

The lease approval is seen as the first step in reviving the Jackson Harness Raceway, which closed in 2009.  The next step is renewing the county’s racing license with the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”). 

According to recent reports, Mr. Boyd has stated his intention to conduct racing on a limited basis (four or five race dates) in Jackson County this year, but indicated that he will need a legislative exception in order to do so.  The deadline to renew a 2014 racing license with the MGCB occurred in September of 2013.  Boyd has said that he believes there is precedent for a legislative exception and has contacted two state representatives to explore the possibility.  In the meantime, plans to move forward with a full racing schedule (approximately 40 race dates) in 2015 at the fairgrounds are reportedly underway, but subject to MGCB approval.


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