Families in the horse racing community have been calling Channel 8, expressing their disappointment that Fair Meadows is shutting down. One man who has been racing for more than 50 years said it "just ruins everything."
C.V. Harris will not be able to race his horses much in the Tulsa area, because Fair Meadows is closing. The Tulsa County Fair Board reached an agreement with Muscogee (Creek) Nation last week, giving Muscogee (Creek) Nation naming rights and ending live races at Fair Meadows.
"Most of us don't got the type of horses to go to Remington," said Harris. "So, we had to run Fair Meadows over here. Now, they cut that in two, so people like me will get out." Harris said most in the area raced at Fair Meadows and Will Rogers Downs.
Harris said without Fair Meadows, his horses will not race many months out of the year. For many trainers, keeping horses here will be costly. Harris pays between $200 and $250 every two weeks for feed for his horses.
Friday, Ron Shotts, the owner of Fair Meadows, gave a press conference with Muscogee (Creek) Nation and an official with the fairgrounds. He admitted that "the future was the brightest," with this agreement.
The Tulsa County Fair Board told Channel 8 the race track cost Expo Square hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain. Fred Perry, with the board, said there is not yet a definitive plan for Fair Meadows' land, though it is now open to other income-earning possibilities.