10/29/2004 12:00AM

New Alberta license given


Horse Racing Alberta, the regulatory body that governs horse racing in the province of Alberta, announced Thursday that it has granted a newly formed company, called the United Horsemen of Alberta, a long-term racetrack license for the Calgary market.

The new company has said it is planning to build a state-of-the art racing and entertainment center that includes a one-mile dirt track with a seven-furlong inner standardbred track. There will also be 500 slot machines onsite.

The license is valid from 2007 until 2017.

The United Horsemen of Alberta is a joint partnership of local horsemen, who will own 50 percent of the company; Gateway Casinos, which has its corporate headquarters in Burnaby, British Columbia; and Calvent, an organization that includes the operators and developers of Emerald Downs

"The partnership has the combined skills and experience needed to operate a world-class comprehensive racetrack and entertainment destination," said Max Gibb, chief executive officer of the new venture.

Horse racing in Calgary is currently conducted at Stampede Park, which is a five-furlong track.