Peoria Public Radio Staff
Mon June 30, 2014
Horse racing at state fairs again impeded by budget cuts.
The audit found that both the fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin overcharged entrance fees for horses. But the Department of Agriculture says it's a consequence of the state contributing 200-thousand dollars less toward the purse.
The audit also found that the DuQuoin fair only held three out of the five prescribed days of horse racing. The department of ag's Jeff Squibb, says that, too, is a casualty of budget cuts. He says in 2010, DuQuoin cut its biggest horse racing event, known as the World Trotting Derby.
"When that race was no longer held, the number of horses that were entered into DuQuoin races began to decline and quite simply, today there are not enough horses to fill up five full days of racing."
Squibb says the DuQuoin fair, which is scheduled for August 22nd through September First, will again have only three days this year.
The Illinois State Fair takes place August Seventh Through the 17th, in Springfield.