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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Edited Rockingham Legacy Release — The history and legacy of Rockingham Park, which was an important landmark with a major economic impact in the State of New Hampshire for more than a century, will be preserved and promoted at Tuscan Village in Salem, New Hampshire by a newly-formed group of dedicated individuals and community leaders, it was announced today.

 Tuscan Village, an exciting state-of-the-art, mixed multi-use residential, retail, restaurant, hotel, health care, office, and entertainment project, is located on the 177-acre site of the former Rockingham Park. 

“Rockingham Park has an important and illustrious history and as a historian of the track, I am excited to be working with the group to preserve and promote its legacy and impact to Salem and the state of New Hampshire. We have an extremely passionate and energized group that is ready to get to work.” said Scott Oldeman, president of the board of directors of the Rockingham Park Legacy Group, which is 501© (3) non-profit organization.

Rockingham Park debuted in June 1906 as the first and finest horse racing track in New England and was the eighth oldest Thoroughbred racetrack in the United States when it shuttered its doors in 2016. During the 110 years of its existence many other “firsts” occurred as Rockingham Park was also the site of Grand Circuit harness horse racing, championship auto and motorcycle racing, snowmobile racing, airplane shows, fairs and exhibitions, celebrations, and more. In its later years, the track was among New Hampshire’s initial venues for the state’s burgeoning charitable gaming industry.

The prestigious New Hampshire Sweepstakes was inaugurated 60 years ago as a Thoroughbred race and was instrumental in the formation of the New Hampshire Lottery that same year as the first state-operated lottery in the United States. That race, which was won by Horse of the Year Roman Brother in track record time, was covered on national TV.

1n 1967, Horse of the Year Dr. Fager, one of the sport’s immortals, established a new track record which was never eclipsed. The New Hampshire Sweepstakes was an important stop on the national racing calendar and attracted future Hall of Fame horses, jockeys, trainers, and stables.

In the coming weeks and months, the Rockingham Park Legacy Group and Tuscan Village will unveil many tributes to the track’s storied history and will introduce several exciting legacy projects. Community groups, individuals, businesses, and non-profits including the Salem Historical Society and the Southern New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, will be valued partners in this dynamic venture.

Lynne Snierson

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