Rockingham Will Not Open in 2010

Legislature elminated funding for state's racing commission.

After conducting racing for more than 100 years, Rockingham Park will not open for live racing in 2010, the track announced March 10.

The New Hampshire track first began racing 104 years ago, but because the state legislature eliminated funding for the New Hampshire Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission, it is impossible to oversee and regulate racing in the state.

“We have waited as long as we can for the legislature to correct this, but we cannot wait any longer,” Edward Callahan, president and general manager of Rockingham Park, told “We must notify the horsemen who come from all over the country so they can make other plans. Attempts have been made to restore the funding to the commission, but those attempts have been unsuccessful. In addition to the taxes that are paid, over the past few years the state has eliminated various funds from racing and has increased fees which would cost Rockingham almost $500,000 per year in order to hold live racing.”

The Web site said an estimated 100 jobs will be lost and more than 850 horsemen were licensed at the track in the past year.

Other operations will continued, including charitable gaming and bingo, Thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound simulcasting.