The racehorse community is looking at another summer with no racing at Les Bois Park, and the small county fair tracks are trying to survive without the supporting funds that come from Les Bois. The Idaho Legislature thought the operators of Les Bois Park were bluffing when they said they couldn’t operate the park and would have to close without the revenue from the Instant Racing Machines. Meanwhile, Indian Gaming and the Lottery roll on, business as usual, despite the fact they are also electronic gambling devices. When the Idaho Racing Commission discussed a possible solution with the governor to help the struggling industry, Sen. Brent Hill, Rexburg, immediately started talking of defunding the Racing Commission. Perhaps it would be easier to understand if Hill was waging an equal attack on all gambling venues. What does Hill have against horse racing? Para-mutuel gambling has been present in Idaho since the ’60s. Racing is part of our heritage and if Les Bois Park closes it will probably be lost forever. People in Idaho are upset by this, and when it’s time to vote again we will remember.
Marta Loveland, president, Horseman’s Benevolent and Protective Assn.