The Okanagan Equestrian Society is racing to raise cash for its court battle against the City of Vernon over Kin Race Track.
A ten-day hearing begins in a New Westminster courtroom on Mar. 13.
The society has started a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise $30,000 of the funds needed for the court case.
“We have to raise at least $50,000 to pay our lawyers,” said Mario Besso, an active member of the society which is already selling debentures for $250 each in an effort to raise the cash. “We have quite a bit but we still need to raise quite a lot.”
It was decided at a society meeting on the weekend that a more modern GoFundMe page should also be set up.
Morgan Sengotta, 18, whose family has a history at the racetrack, jumped at the chance to set it up.
“My grandparents had horses. My mom and my aunt were both jockeys (who raced at the track),” Sengotta said. “I still have one of the horses we raced here in Vernon.”
The GoFundMe page states: “Kin park is the oldest race track in Canada, and we do not want to see it taken over by the city….The society has been fighting for the park, and trying our best to raise money to keep the park operating. The land was given to the Equestrian Society to use for horse racing and other equestrian events and we do not want the park to go to the city and be turned into something that the land was not donated for. The park is currently in rough shape but it does still have the race track, arena and baseball diamonds in the centre.”
“We want to protect the covenants and the trust agreement put in place by Cornelius O’Keefe (in 1893),” said Besso. “Trust agreements go from one owner to the next. That is the crux of our litigation.”
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