Van Wert County Agricultural Society Board Cancels Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse Race During Van Wert County Fair

(8-4-22) The Van Wert County Agricultural Society Board of Directors has decided to indefinitely postpone any thoroughbred or quarter horse racing during the Van Wert County Fair for the foreseeable future.

The decision was made due to circumstances beyond the board’s control. Factors include a new safety requirement which makes the purchase of safety equipment mandatory for everyone working in the paddock and starting gate area; increased fuel costs, creating an additional challenge to travel horses and jockeys for a one-day event; a disparity in purses between the local event and trade tracks (trade tracks pay at least 3–4 times what the fair currently offers), and an overall shortage of horses in the thoroughbred industry.

The Van Wert County Fair has hosted Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing for 126 years of the Fair’s 166-year history. It has been a staple of the fair and one that the fair board will continually work on to find answers on how to continue the tradition. The Board of Directors expressed their gratitude to all of the owners, trainers, jockeys, sponsors, volunteers, organizations and patrons who have helped bring these 126 years to life.

In its place, the Van Wert County Fair will hold harness racing, with a noon start time on Monday, September 5, with pari-mutuel betting.

Lana T. Arthur