Okemos, MI --- On Thursday (Oct. 11), the Michigan Department of Agriculture along with the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association, the Michigan Standardbred Breeders' Association, the Northern Michigan Fair Association and the Michigan Association of Fairs approved a tentative plan for horse racing at 2013 Michigan County Fairs.
The 2-year-olds in 2013 will have the opportunity to race in the Great Lakes Championship Series. This Championship Series calls for seven legs with an anticipated $8,000 purse and an estimated $20,000 final. The Championship Series will be available to 2013 2-year-olds that are Michigan sired, Michigan bred or Michigan owned. Details on the Series and conditions will be released soon.
A traditional Colt Stake program for Michigan sired 3-year-olds will be offered in 2013. A plan was created with eight weeks of the Silver Circuit with an estimated purse of $8,000 and 10 weeks of the Bronze Circuit for an anticipated purse of $4,000 for horses that nominate and sustain to the program. Complete details on the program will be released shortly.
Estimated purses for the Great Lakes Championship Series and the 3-year-old Colt Stakes program are dependent on participation and necessary state funding; all purses are subject to change.
The groups also approved a strategic plan to return some state supported overnights to select fairs. Details on these events will be made available in May 2013 and these events are dependent on adequate state funding.