The recent announcement by the Kentucky Racing Commission granting Revolutionary Racing the ninth and final license for a world-class equestrian center in Boyd County will have numerous impacts for the Eastern Kentucky region.
The proposed $55 million investment on a 177-acre site will produce much-needed economic development, jobs, and tax revenue for the area. Surrounding counties may also benefit from the estimated 200 new permanent jobs produced by the facility, and Eastern Kentuckians will have a first-class quarter horse venue to celebrate and enjoy right in their backyard.
While many have talked about the new site, no one is more excited than Dr. Richard Connelley, DMD, of Salyersville. Connelley, a local dentist with offices in Johnson and Magoffin counties, is also the current president of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing Association. As president of the organization for the last 30 years, Connelley has devoted a great portion of his life to the racing, breeding, boarding and promotion of all things related to the horse business.
For those who may not know, Connelley has basically traveled across the United States racing horses for years and clearly has a great love for horses and the sport. His love started at a very young age as his father, Marcus Connelley, was also involved in the sport of horse racing. It is simply a lifestyle and a second career to Connelley.
As this project was being planned and talked about over the last few months, Connelley was one of the people out front on the issue, offering his experienced advice and working many hours to see the deal through. He attended numerous meetings over the last few months with officials of Revolutionary Racing, state and local leaders, and others to try and get the proposed project to the finish line. He further advocated the use of union labor for the construction of the new track to ensure that everything was done with top quality workmanship.
After it was announced that the racing license would be granted, Connelley was thrilled that it all came together. He said that a lot of people worked hard to get the necessary approvals, and he is proud of the part that he played in the process. Connelley further said that Revolutionary Racing went above and beyond in working with everyone, and he was confident that they will make a great community partner in Eastern Kentucky.
When the facility opens, it is expected to bring in people from all over the United States and the world. Quarter-horse racers will have the opportunity to vie for the estimated $500,000 daily purses, and that type of prize money will quickly get people interested.
“I absolutely cannot wait,” Connelley said. “It will be great to race horses in Eastern Kentucky right here at home, and I know its going to be a beautiful place.”