Critic Calls Proposed Massachusetts Horse Park ‘Smoke and Mirrors’

by | 03.31.2017 | 12:27pm

The city of Spencer, Massachusetts, has been scouted as a possible location for a proposed 200-acre, multi-use equestrian facility by the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The horse park would include riding trails, boarding stables, a racetrack, and facilities to retrain horses. The proposed park has been generating plenty of interest from the public and those involved in the industry.

However, the project does still have its skeptics. One such person is William Lagorio, president of the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, who has expressed his concerns to the Telegram. Lagorio is skeptical not only about the horse park, but also the group behind the project, the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NEHBPA).

“I don't have anything against the town of Spencer. I don't have anything against the Worcester area. It's just none of this is reality,” Lagorio told the Telegram. “To me, the horse park is smoke and mirrors.”

According to Lagorio, the NEHBPA is using the proposed park as a “ploy to divert attention” from its practices at Suffolk Downs. Currently, the NEHBPA has an agreement with Suffolk that as long as the track runs one day of live racing, the group receives between $225,000 to $250,000 for 'administrative expenses'. That money comes out of the Racehorse Development Fund.

Lagorio believes the group has no intention of actually building the park, and nor does it need to.

“Suffolk Downs only has to run a day of racing, but have agreed to run a few more days because they are all paid for by the Racehorse Development Fund, and the HBPA are content with that because that number allows them to request funding and fully fund their administrative costs,” Lagorio said.

Read more in the Telegram

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