Save Kin Race Track

Resident provides fond memories about the horse track facility

I am definitely saddened by what has happened to my second home, in Vernon, known as Kin Race Track.  My dad, Don Boyko, spent thousands of hours there over the decades.

He got paid for some work, but mostly it was just his heart and sweat that poured out. It poured out with his carpentry and fixing stalls. It poured out in his love for the horses, cleaning stalls and maintaining the track. It was just a big part of him. It was probably one of the best things in life he has ever done.

I am not a horse person. They are big, and kind of scare me, especially those thoroughbreds.

I left Vernon, in the early ’80s for a few decades. I always made my way back to Vernon when the races were on. When my kids were born, we always scheduled visits with Race Days at Kin. We pulled out a big blanket and parked. Oh, how I loved those hot days.

We shared the greasy fries and hot dogs. We had snow cones and Freezies,  and  twirled our parasol (dollar store umbrella).

If grandpa wasn’t on a tractor or a water truck, he had a grandkid on his shoulders, looking at the horses. I always let my kids have the $2 bet to win. Yep, I have put a few hundred into Kin.  Sometimes, grandma would sit with the kids while I had a cold one with my pops. My little girl and I always loved critiquing the elder women and their hats. Oh, how I want to be one of those.

My kids, who live in Alberta, have so many wonderful memories of Kin Race Track. It’s helping grandpa clean stalls or riding on the tractor with him. Their memories of the people they met are special.

One always bet on Ron Bilodeau (RIP),  one  liked the greys and and my youngest never wavered in his support of Jack and Terry Lindsay, who came from the U.S. every year. We had barbecues at their trailer at the track for so many years.   I miss you guys. He always called Paul Dumont, Mr. Donot. How a two-year-old’s mind works. Thanks Paul.

I don’t understand why the City of Vernon does not embrace, assist and co-operate with this beautiful and historic place? It is the oldest race track in Canada. What  better of a thing to get on board with for my hometown.

These lands were given by Cornelius O’Keefe in 1893, in trust. Trust has meaning still.

There is history and memories there, so many more than I have been exposed to. I feel that I have to rally in defiance of the less than stellar view by Mayor Akbal Mund, and council.

Mayor Mund, you want to build something better — more soccer fields or baseball diamonds?

Our family will be buying a debenture for $250 to help to fight this path the City of Vernon is taking.

Kin Race Track is something of value to Vernon. It is something different in the landscape.  It is history. It is a very important part of the Vernon that I know. Please get on board to save Kin Race Track.

I love my hometown. I have a couple years, and hope to be back to spend the rest of my life there. I always thought I would spend my volunteer hours (I do lots) at Kin.

Please Vernon, dig deep with your pockets, with your heart and with your history to save Kin Race Track.

Kelly Edgecombe

Alberta

 

Vernon Morning Star

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