Shenandoah, VA — Fans that attend harness racing at the Shenandoah County Fair this year will have something extra special in store besides four days of pacing and trotting action from Sept. 1-4.
Six attendees over the four days will win a unique chance to “Own a Horse for a Day.” The lucky winners will return on Saturday (Sept. 18) — opening weekend of the Shenandoah Downs pari-mutuel meet — and actually own a horse in a $4,000 race.
Those six, joined by two winners from a local radio station contest, will each draw one of eight horses in the “Own a Horse” race field. Each winner will get to spend time in the paddock with their horse, trainer and driver before the race, enjoy lunch on the VIP trackside viewing deck, and keep the purse money their horse earns in that race.
The “owner” of the horse that finishes first will win $2,000. Owners of horses that finish second through fifth will receive 25 percent, 12 percent, eight percent and five percent of the purse, per the regular owner distribution formula. Finishers of the sixth through eighth place finishers will receive $100, in addition to a memorable time.
Fans can register by coming to the Shenandoah County Fair harness races in Woodstock any day — or all days — between Wednesday (Sept. 1) and Saturday (Sept. 4) and filling out an entry. Post time each day is Noon. One winner will be drawn at random after the sixth race each day and as a weekend bonus, two names will be drawn on both Friday and Saturday.
Two more “Own a Horse” opportunities will be available during the Shenandoah Downs meet. Fans can register during the race cards on Sept. 18 and Oct. 2 for a chance to own a horse the following Saturday — Sept. 25 and Oct. 9 — with respective $4,000 purses. The promotion is sponsored by the Virginia Harness Horse Association.
Fans attending the Fair are encouraged to stop by the track’s promotional booth in the exhibit building to register to win a Shenandoah Downs VIP experience. Two winners will return to the races on Friday (Sept. 24) and enjoy a harness enthusiast’s dream package.
They will each get dinner, a $20 betting voucher, a ride in the starter’s car, a race named in their honor complete with a winner’s circle presentation and souvenir picture, plus they will each announce a harness race that day and compete in a double seater sulky race.
Two additional winners will be selected at the Sept. 18 race card.
Both the County Fair and Shenandoah Downs races take place at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, Va., located at Exit 283 off I-81 halfway between Harrisonburg and Winchester. Complete promotional details are at shenandoahdowns.com.