NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Live horse racing has returned to Colonial Downs and New Kent residents hope it’s here to stay.
The opening weekend brought in more than $1 million in bets from people in the crowds and around the world.
“We had a very satisfying first week for the return of racing in Virginia and Colonial Downs for our fans and horsemen,” Vice President of Racing Operations for Colonial Downs, Jill Byrne said.
New Kent residents said it gives them something to do in the county. They said it’s fun and experiencing the ecstatic atmosphere is unbeatable.
“Very exciting for the community to have it open again and it just seemed to bring a new spring and life to the county,” Aleta Ilch said.
Over the weekend, there were 30 races including four ‘Virginia-bred’ races.
Not only do patrons get to enjoy the races, but also live entertainment on Friday nights and a whiskey bar.
One couple told WAVY sister station WRIC 8News that they hope the live horse racing is here to stay.
“I think it brings the community together and it’s something that is a common bond and we keep saying man it’s right here, in our backyard,” Karen Keena said.
Horse racing will take place from Thursday-Saturday through Sept. 7. General admission is free, reserved seating starts at $5.