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Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Fair Hill turf track government cover-up and delay continue

FAIR HILL, Md..--Once again, the hope that someone in the Maryland government would answer questions about the five year delay in getting horses on the Fair Hill turf track has been dashed.

Fair Hill turf course 1Unfortunately, this example of government at its worst continues.

Maryland taxpayers continue to pay through the nose for the upkeep of the unusable track, trainers at Fair Hill Training Center still have no turf track on which to train, and racing fans have no Fair Hill Races to attend.

Ten days ago, Senator Jason Gillian, Maryland Senator for Cecil County, said he would see what he could find out and would follow up.

Today, Tuesday May 21, Chelsea Sniegowski called from the Senator's office to say that the Senator's chief of staff had "reached out to the Department of Natural Resources," and that the "DNR will organize a meeting over the summer."

More delay - again refusing to say if anyone was in charge of deciding when the track will be opened.

"We have someone, one of the directors of the DNR, that we work with, but we can't give out his name," said Sniegowski.


THE DNR is a large organization - is anyone in the DNR in charge of reopening the track?

The spring edition of the Fair Hill Bugle reported that "Josh Kurz, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), owner and operator of the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area (FHNRMA), will be hosting a large stakeholder meeting this summer to gather input on the next steps for racing and other events .at Fair Hill, Julia Solomon, Assistant Secretary for Enterprise Services, said on May 10.

“I am part of the team at DNR working on developing the strategy for the Fair Hill Special Event Zone,” she noted, adding that others involved include the Paul Peditto, Assistant Secretary for Land Resources, and AJ Metcalf, Director of Communications.

Invitations will be going out within the week, she concluded."

It is now May 21, almost two weeks after Solomon said invitations would be going out and no invitations have been issued so far.

The Horse recently found out one possible reason that the turf track is still unusable is that it has been over watered.

Too much irrigation has meant that the grass has gotten all the water it needs, so the roots haven't reached down into the turf to try to get water.

That means the turf will be torn up if a number of horses gallop over it.

Another hold up is infrastructure problems.

A pipe underground on the far turn might be cracked, and there's soft ground there.

That could be easily fixed by just moving the rail on the track, but for two years nothing has been done.

The sod is torn up annually to allow heavy trucks,horses and people cross into the infield for the Maryland 5* Event.

There are solutions for that, but again there hasn't even been a discussion about those solutions much less anything being actually done to fix the problem.

So now we wait for a "sometime this summer" for a meeting.

That puts the possibility of getting horses onto the track, much less actually having races run over it, farther and farther into the future.



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