GRANTS PASS DOWNS CANCELS 2022 COMMERCIAL RACE MEET
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (April 12, 2022) – Grants Pass Downs announced today it will not hold the
2022 commercial race meet as planned. The race meet was originally announced in February.
“As a result of the Oregon Racing Commission’s vote to deny an operating license to The Flying
Lark, Grants Pass Downs has lost its economic engine,” said Travis Boersma, owner of Grants
Pass Downs. “While we remained hopeful we would be able to host a viable race meet, the
uncertainty here and across the industry has resulted in a drastic reduction of race horses at
Grants Pass Downs. At this point, it’s clear running the meet isn’t feasible.”
Grants Pass Downs became privately funded by Boersma beginning in 2019. The track, race
meet and purses were intended to be funded by profits from The Flying Lark entertainment
venue. Despite going on record outlining its disagreement with the motion, the Oregon Racing
Commission denied a license for The Flying Lark at the urging of Oregon Governor Kate Brown
and Oregon’s attorney general.
“This is the result of the state and its leadership’s lack of understanding of, and appreciation for,
the equine industry. I believe this is just the beginning of a ripple effect that will be felt in rural
communities throughout the state due to the actions of state leadership,” said Boersma.
The cancellation of the race meet will lead to the elimination of approximately 50 jobs during the
racing season. Employees were notified Tuesday, as were the horsemen and horsewomen on
site. Those jobs are in addition to the more than 200 lost with the denial of The Flying Lark.
“Saving horse racing in Oregon has always been one of my top priorities. Moving forward, it’s
my sincere hope the horsemen’s associations, private investors and the state can come
together to find a path to continuing this sport.”