Sunday, July 26th will be a historic day in the long tradition of horse racing in Grande Prairie.
For the first time in the history of pari-mutuel racing in the Grande Prairie area, the Alberta Derby is being held in the Peace Country. And the same day the annual Grande Prairie Derby is being held as part of Derby Day at The Horses At Evergreen Park.
The Alberta Derby at Evergreen Park 2015 will be run at Gordon Badger Stadium on its 5/8th mile sand and loam track that is considered one of the most horse-friendly in Canada.
The purse is $40,000 added and the Alberta Derby will be 1 1/6th mile open to three-year-olds. Highest lifetime money earners preferred. Three local horse enthusiasts and Evergreen Park are putting forward the funding for the Derby purse. The GP Derby is a mile race for three-year-old thoroughbreds with a purse of $15,000.
The Alberta Derby has been held in Calgary and in Lacombe and celebrates a long history with the race in Grande Prairie July 26. The Grande Prairie Derby has a long-standing tradition in the area extending back to the pari-mutuel racing days at the old fairgrounds on the east side of Grande Prairie.
Evergreen Park, operated by the Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural & Exhibition Society, has been open since 1982. It is currently in the midst of its 2015 July-August racing program with about 500 horses expected on site over the summer and an economic impact in the area in the millions of dollars.
Pari-mutuel racing stretches back decades further than 1982 at the old fairgrounds on the east side and horse racing in the area has a history that reaches to 1911 when the first “official” horse race was held in downtown Grande Prairie.
Evergreen Park is also hosting the Brekkaas Vacuum & Tank Race For The Cure – Paint The Park Pink on Sunday, Aug. 9; and the Peace Country Stakes on Sunday, Aug. 30 as part of its “triple crown” of Sunday special events over the race season. Evergreen Park is also proud to announce that Vector Communications/Kenwood is sponsoring the Marathon Series at The Horses At Evergreen Park.
There is a special Derby Day VIP ticket being sold that will include a brunch at 11 a.m. Cost is $25 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets are available online at www.evergreenpark.ca; at the Evergreen Park office in the ENTREC Centre; and from select local horse people. As is the case for all races at Evergreen, there is no charge for the general public – only for the VIP area.
The ladies are encouraged to wear their “fancy” hats and dress up for Derby Day. The men can also put on their top hats and bolo ties. There will be prizes for best dressed.
There is only one place in the Peace Country to view live pari-mutuel horse racing and that's at the Gordon Badger Stadium at Evergreen Park every weekend during July and August.
The 2015 season kicks off on Friday, July 10 and continues until Sunday, August 30 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and holiday Monday, Aug. 3). Friday and Saturday post time is 6:30 p.m. while Sundays (and holiday Monday) racing starts at 1 p.m.
The season is highlighted by the Peace Country's Triple Crown - the Grande Prairie Derby (July 19); the Brekkaas Vacuum & Tank Race For the Cure - Paint The Park Pink (August 9) and Peace Country Stakes (Aug. 30).
Live horse racing is exciting and entertaining and a great place to bring customers or clients of you own a company. We have a special VIP tent for groups up to 50 people and will also be offering other ways to entertain. We also have sponsorships available providing your company with a high profile throughout the summer.
For information on the VIP tent or other sponsorship contact Evergreen Park Marketing & Sponsorship Manager Don Moon at 780-532-3279/587-298-0548.
For discounted accommodations at Evergreen Park's Preferred Hotel, the Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre, click here.