Marquis Downs is getting out of the horse racing business and Moosomin First Nation is planning to fill the gap using its Treaty Land Entitlement property in the RM of Corman Park.
A joint release by Moosomin First Nation Economic Development Corporation and the Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations said the development of a new venue, Moosomin Downs, will be the answer to a renewed and diversified equine sporting industry.
The plan is to host thoroughbred and standardbred racing, chariot and chuckwagon racing, 4-H and rodeo events, equine therapy, industry training with youth and equine professionals and the original extreme sport of Indian Relay.
Moosomin Chief Brad Swiftwolfe said, “Over the last 25 years, our First Nation had a dream of developing our Treaty Land Entitlement lands in the RM of Corman Park. We will now be breaking ground and participating in the economy by utilizing the lands our Treaty promise ensured us. We’re going to be inclusive and will be reaching out to all stakeholders and interests when our implementation plan is more substantive.”
“It has been months since first discussions and with anticipation, we have been eagerly waiting to announce together that the RM of Corman Park can look forward to Moosomin First Nation’s development” says Corman Park Reeve Judy Harwood. “In the spirit of reconciliation, we support our
Treaty partners and neighbours.”
Many First Nations and non-First Nations people in the horse racing industry have been impacted by the closing of Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, said the release.
“The FSIN Chiefs-in-Assembly voted unanimously in favor of supporting Moosomin First Nation to be the host of an all-inclusive equine sporting development that will provide the foundation for revitalization of a part of our identity as First Nations people that was on the brink of being lost” says FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “We honour the cultural and spiritual impact of our sacred relationship with the horse spirit, and we are proud to see its’ sacred teachings once again throughout our Treaty lands.”
The news came Friday from the Moosomin First Nation Economic Development Corporation about the plan, and Saturday, Prairieland Park announced a partnership in principle to assist in the new horse racetrack .
“The Moosomin First Nation Economic Development Corporation and the FSIN will be getting an in-kind donation of track related assets from Marquis Downs. Prairieland will be donating every possible asset – from the jockey jerseys, to the starting gate, track water truck, track conditioner, weigh scale, the paddock, and even the dirt of the track (special soil) will be donated, completely in kind, to support this venture. Prairieland is also proudly offering consultation services of former racetrack management to get things operational. This is an in-kind donation totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We are happy to see the sport getting a new lease on life and we want to do everything we can to help it succeed into the future” said Prairieland CEO, Mark Regier.
Prairieland Park announced in March it was in discussions with the Canadian Premier Soccer League and Living Sky Sports and Entertainment to bring Saskatchewan’s first, and only, professional soccer league to Saskatoon.