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Wildfires in Ruidoso force the evacuation of Ruidoso Downs and leave the summer horseracing schedule up in the air
Wildfires in Ruidoso force the evacuation of Ruidoso Downs and leave the summer horseracing schedule up in the air
Wildfires in Ruidoso force the evacuation of Ruidoso Downs and leave the summer horseracing schedule up in the air

Published on: 06/21/2024

Description

SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — As firefighters work to get fires under control this week, racehorse breeders scrambled to get hundreds of horses out of Ruidoso Downs.

The summer racing schedule for some of the biggest events in quarterhorse racing is now in jeopardy.

San Angelo's Brad Bolen is one of the trainers and breeders who's relocating staff and racehorses this week. Bolen says people don't understand the logistics.  He hasn't had much sleep lately, and he's had to completely pick up and move his Ruidoso Downs training operations to his facility in San Angelo.

That's meant trailering some 90 racehorses away from the wildfire danger to San Angelo and other locations.  He says a vet checked the horses as they arrived and they'll start exercising them soon.

Bolen is also finding temporary housing for all the grooms and assistant trainers who normally spend the summers with the horses at Ruidoso Downs.  He says each groom handles about six horses.  He also has assistant trainers and others and he's calling in favors in San Angelo.

They'll be exercising and training racehorses here while they're waiting for Ruidoso Downs to re-open.

Bolen, who also started "Lip Chip," says the microchipping program helps owners and trainers keep up with their horses during emergencies like fire evacuations.

No one is sure when Ruidoso Downs will re-open....or the status of summer racing.  Bolen says it's kind of a moving target.  The Rainbow Futurity and the All American Futurity are some of the biggest events in quarterhorse racing.

As they're getting settled here, Bolen and his crew will work to keep their racehorses in shape while they wait to see what happens in Ruidoso.

News Source : https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/news/local-news/wildfires-in-ruidoso-force-the-evacuation-of-ruidoso-downs-and-leave-the-summer-horseracing-schedule-up-in-the-air/

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