(8-4-22) The Van Wert County Agricultural Society Board of Directors has decided to indefinitely postpone any Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse racing during the Van Wert County Fair for the foreseeable future.

The decision was made due to circumstances beyond the board’s control. Factors include a new safety requirement that mandates the purchase of safety equipment for everyone working in the Paddock and starting gate area; rising fuel costs, creating an additional challenge to get both horses and jockeys to travel for a one day event; a disparity in purses between the local event and the commercial tracks (commercial tracks are paying out 3-4 times minimum what the fair currently offers), and an overall shortage of horses in the Thoroughbred industry.

The Van Wert County Fair has hosted Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races for 126 years of the Fair’s 166 year history. It has been a staple of the fair and one that the fair board will continually work at to find answers as to how to continue the tradition. The board expressed gratitude to all the owners, trainers, jockeys, sponsors, volunteers, organizations and patrons who helped to bring those 126 years to life.

In its place, the Van Wert County Fair will have harness racing, with a post time of 12 p.m. on Monday, September 5, with pari-mutual wagering.