Ladies were encouraged to bring out derby hats for free admission and a chance to win prizes
FARGO, N.D. — The North Dakota Horse Park is closing its doors as the final races come to an end.
“I mean, it’s bittersweet. It’s been a long couple months getting things ready to come up to four days of racing,” said North Dakota Horse Park president Mike Schmitz.
The final day is all about the ladies and their hats.
“They asked for Derby Day, we’re giving them Derby Day to the best of our ability. Rain or sun. Yeah, we normally like to dress up on Kentucky Derby Day and so we always have hats available,” said Jane Burkajrt and Renee Miller.
The hats aren’t just for show.
“Ladies can come out, jump in our hat contest, win prizes including a spa gift basket, and then we have four designer bags that we’re giving away at the second to last race,” said Schmitz.
The day consists of nine races total, including two that are female–only.
But you don’t have to be a horse racing fanatic to come out and possibly win a few bucks.
“It’s something fun to do in Fargo that you don’t get to do all the time. I don’t know anything about the horses themselves but, she’s a horse girl but I’m not, I just like the good names and I pick them off, and I won last time,” said Burkajrt.
As for next year, the plans are already under way.
“You know, when you walk away from this and then don’t run again for another 49, 50 more weeks, but you know, you start looking at things this year that are fresh in your mind, fresh in your memory, what can be done better and start planning for 2020,” said Schmitz.
Adding more premium seating and bringing in more horses are just a couple of the things next year will be focused around.
And, of course, having more race days.
“I mean, this year we only got to have four, so hopefully we’ll be adding a lot more races,” said Sophie Hollister, who works customer service for the park.
Previous days’ themes included Kids’ Day and Men’s Day.