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Her Majesty the Queen

 Buckingham Palace

Dear, Your Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada,

Please regard this letter from humble Canadians requesting Your Majesty’s honorable recognition and reconciliation of the Vernon Kin Horse Race Track, the first professional horse race track in Canada created in 1893.  Command the entire land to your subordinate governments and upgraded facilities to the Okanagan Indian Band. 

The City of Vernon and The North Okanagan Regional District are keeping the Okanagan Equestrian Society tied up in the government courts as to what they want to do to the land at the present moment.  Instead, it will be the perfect location for the indigenous people of this land to have a healing center complete with equine and canine therapy resources.

Our hope is for the track to be rebuilt complete with all buildings and grounds to have a full time fully functioning equine healing center complete with residences.

 Please Your Majesty, Queen of Canada Elizabeth II, take charge of your government’s subordinates; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Christy Clark, Chief Byron Louis, and Mayor Akbal Mund commanding they meet with Your Majesty, the Okanagan Equine Society to implement immediate action to financially claim ownership of the Kin Horse Track land and surviving buildings so it may be reconstructed into Canada’s first horse racing track again.

Historically, the Vernon Kin Horse Race Track is the first horse racing track operated in Canada. At one time the track was a place for families to come and enjoy watching the horses race, filling the grandstands and surrounding areas with fun and laughter. It was a viable, important part of the city. Competition between the non-indigenous and the indigenous people was good clean fun and people were all treated as equals. For almost a decade the City of Vernon and The Okanagan Equestrian Society have been fighting in the courts as to what should be done with this land. Horse racing at the track always draws large crowds but that alone is not enough to pay the taxes on the land.  

With dedication and hard work the Vernon Kin Horse Track has the potential to become a fully functioning equine center and residence complete with horse racing. There will also be potential to introduce canine events in the areas within the race track boundaries. We hope to include the Okanagan Indian Band members to provide the equine facility with knowledge of First Nation’s culture as guidelines to rebuild and reconstruct sustainable self-sustaining buildings such as a large Kekuli house in the center for community gatherings and meetings for the operations of the facility. The Vernon Kin Horse Race Track needs Your Majesty’s magic to make it be reborn into a viable, fully-functioning, full time equine center.  This centre would be complete with areas for training, stabling, exercising, arenas, round pens, box stalls.  As well, residences for low income citizens, such as the tiny homes being built by the First Nation’s Friendship Center of Vernon. This would create a community within the grounds and give a rebirth to the horse industry in our surrounding areas.

As this is your ninetieth birthday celebration, will you claim it as your present to the Okanagan indigenous people to begin change and reconciliation for our communities. This way we can create a place of healing within a historical site making it a viable educational, healing business opportunity for the city of Vernon. This will also introduce the children of the area into the sports involving horses and dogs thus creating a re-connection to the nature so many people have never had.  It will result in a Horse race track complete with an equestrian center including residents for low income people.

With your assistance and knowledge, we will construct a fully operating center allowing volunteers to feed, clean, walk, ride, exercise, and emotionally connect to animals improving their physical and mental health in the process.

If we leave this any longer, the Regional District and the City of Vernon will destroy Canada’s first horse racing track. Just one week ago it was released to the general public that the city had asked the RCMP to evict homeless persons from the box stalls and in doing so, they destroyed the doors to the stalls, valued at $800 each. The city showed no care to preserve what remains.  It seems as though they hope we lose interest in it so they can eventually pave over it to make parking lots, etc.

We, the undersigned, wish for you to grant guidance from Your Majesty’s professional equestrian teams to work hand in hand with the Okanagan Indian Band to make this a reality.

The Vernon First Nations Friendship Center is looking for land to build a community of small houses for young First Nations people to have affordable safe housing and this community would fit in well at the north end of the track land.


Thank you with warmest regards,

Yours truly,

Gail Pifer


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