Tulsa Fair Board About Face: Live Horse Racing In 2013 Being Reconsidered

Monday, December 10th 2012, 5:16 pm
By: Dee Duren

The Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority - commonly called the Fair Board - is revisiting the idea of live horse racing at the fairgrounds.

Although authority members voted December 6 to end horse racing as part of a new agreement with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, they now say the 2013 race meet will take place.

The reason? Fair Meadows Race Director Ron Shotts signed agreements in October 2012 with the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred Associations to conduct the race meet in 2013. A race meet consists of 400 horses races over a 34-day period.

12/6/2012 Related Story: At Crowded Meeting, Fair Board Votes To End Live Horse Racing At Expo Square

Shotts did so "without the knowledge or consent of the TCPFA Board or legal counsel," a news release states.

"I apologize to all parties for any inconvenience and take full responsibility for my actions," Shotts said in the release.

"The agreements, which I have executed for many years, were commonplace for receiving the annual racing licenses."

Commissioner Fred Perry, who chairs the fair board, requested a special meeting to address the issue. It will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, December 12, 2012. The authority will consider the continuation of live racing for 2013 and a new naming rights agreement with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation) which does not include the end of live horse racing.

The release includes an apology to the Creek Nation from Fair Board Chair Fred Perry.