GREAT FALLS — After being without horse racing in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Great Falls Turf Club has brought back one of the most exciting events of the summer starting this weekend at Montana Expo Park.
The non-profit organization has been the catalyst behind the race for the past decade since the club’s formation in 2010. Club President Sparky Kottke and his team have taken pride in handling every aspect of the event. Whether it be the maintenance of the fairgrounds, handling its employees, or putting up banners, the club does all the heavy lifting to make it happen.
“Horse racing has been such a big part of our history in Montana and it’s important to keep it going,” Kottke explained. “I think the hard work that we put in to keep it going is just a reward in itself just to have the races going.”
With the community support from local business sponsorships, county allocation funds and yearly fundraising, the organization works towards covering all the expenses of the race.
“It is quite a big financial responsibility to make sure that we get enough money raised to pay all of our bills and at least break even and hopefully make a bit of money to put back here into the fairgrounds for improvements,” Kottke said.
Chairman of the Montana Board of Horse Racing John Hayes has seen firsthand the success the organization has done each and every year and how the community support has come back around to help the city of Great Falls.
“The impact on our hotels, motels it’s huge, it’s huge what the race track brings,” Hayes said. “So I think they’re doing a heck of a job.”
The race will take place July 24-25, July 29-30 and Aug. 1. For more information about the race details, visit https://greatfallsturfclub.org