submitted by Valerie Orm0nd
The city of Bowie may soon be acquiring the 100-acre property known as the Bowie Race Course Training Center. Due to the recent 10-year agreement between the Maryland Racing Commission and the Maryland Jockey Club, the Bowie training facility will most likely close for good in 2014, the same year that marks the race track’s 100-year anniversary as part of the town’s landscape. I hope that Bowie considers its proud horse heritage in future planning for this property.
In August 2012, Gov. Martin O’Malley wrote to Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson encouraging the city “to plan for the future of this historic property.” The time for that planning is here.
The Prince George’s County Council’s Equine Industry Task Force in 2010 and 2011 recommended the Bowie property be kept for equine activities in the future for both economic and open space reasons. The county is home to over 7,000 horses, valuing $2 million. Providing citizens, and visitors, open space to ride horses contributes to the economy also.
State Sen. Douglas Peters proposed legislation in Senate Bill 961 favorable to conveying the race course property to the city of Bowie. The hearing will be March 14 at 1 p.m. Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith has also welcomed input from the community regarding the facility in her district.
Bowie has an opportunity to create an incomparable recreational multiuse trails park which could also celebrate the city’s historical horse legacy. We have something unique here, and we should plan to preserve it.
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