County fairs in Arizona used to have horse racing. Over the years, racing has faded from the fair scene. Gila County has not had a horse race at the Globe fairgrounds since 2006 — but it might be returning.

At the Nov. 20 meeting of the Gila County Board of Supervisors a request was made to apply for a $60,000 grant from the Arizona Racing Commission. The funds would be used to begin necessary improvements, repairs and technology upgrades to the fairgrounds racetrack infrastructure to support racing starting in October 2020.

The state grant amount is for $40,000 and requires a $20,000 match from the county.

The supervisors were supportive of the proposal, but Tim Humphrey, District 2 Supervisor and chairman of the BOS, was cautionary. “The amount of things to do will take a lot of money and labor,” he said.

Deputy county manager Jacque Sanders said with enough money — about three times as much — the track could be ready for racing in the fall of 2019. She said to have things ready for the fall of 2020 it would take $50,000 to $100,000 and at least 100 volunteers. Sanders said while the fair board has the funds for it; the difference in county staffing is the reason volunteers are needed.

The BOS approved making the grant application.

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