Florida Judge Strikes Down Gretna Barrel Racing

May 6, 2013

A Judge in Tallahassee has ruled that Florida can’t allow a certain type of horse racing. The ruling against what’s called “pari-mutuel barrel racing” came after 16 months of hearings.

Pari-mutuel barrel racing is a type of horse racing in which riders direct their horses around an obstacle course of barrels, racing the clock for the best time.  Because the races are shorter and less intense, fewer horses need to be bred. Dr. Steve Fisch, President of the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, is pleased with the ruling and thinks barrel racing is bad for the state’s economy anyway.

“The breeding industry is very labor intensive and so it creates thousands of jobs to produce those horses that are at the racetrack. For every one horse at a race track, that one horse produces seven jobs,” Fisch said.

Barrel racing became controversial in Florida when the city of Gretna decided to open a race track that featured that type of horse racing. Gretna’s Creek Entertainment, the Indian-owned company that runs the race track says they won’t be closing their doors; they’ll just be making a couple minor changes to comply with the judge’s ruling.