Last week an article was released stating that horse racing could return to Great Barrington as soon as next year. You can read the original article here

We reached out to the Facebook community and asked what their thoughts were on the potential return of horse racing at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. Below you'll find the over 80 passionate comments posted from the local community to the WSBS Facebook page.

(1) Sara L. This is going to be great! Jobs, bringing back a missed feature in town, something geared towards locals not just tourists... I'm looking forward to seeing the property come to life again. It's been sad to the property so under utilized for it's potential.

(2) Leigh M. I raced there for years and loved every second of it.....I just don't see how they could do it by 2019. Soo much work to be done to make it a safe race track. None of the buildings are safe anymore, would have to be almost totally leveled. They would have to spend a ton of money for only 3-3 day week-ends so they can have simulcast racing at Suffolk Downs.

(3) Garrett L. Doesn’t it take a few years to get a track safe?

(4) Leigh M. - Garrett L., not if they do it right,which is what I would be afraid of...doing it quickly would equal disaster:(

(5) Karen V. Immediately thought of you when I saw this news clip! Would be great but sure not the same with out Trip, Bobby and the gang! Not sure I could bring myself to go there! 😢

(6) Sara L. It's the folks who run Suffolk Downs not Saratoga, $$$$$$, lease agreement is already signed.

(7) Leigh M. - Karen, It sure would be different, but it would be fun to see some activity finally at the old place!!!

(8) Leigh M. - Sara, the agree might already be signed but the town may not like some of the things they may want to do:(

(9) Sara L. Then we need to make our voices heard too

(10) Barbara C. had so many fun days there, hope it does return

(11) Shea H. Maybe something new for local people seeing how tourists ruined most things here

(12) Lois C. - Be nice to the tourists Shea....They bring money!

(13) Shea H. - Lois ok ok ok

(14) Karen V. - Shea Glad I’m not the only one that feels that way! They ruined GB!!! 😡😡

(15) Lois C. - If it brings money and maybe jobs into South County i'm all in!

(16) Alicia H. This will be amazing for Great Barrington! We need the fairgrounds to be revived properly! Jobs, money, something family friendly to do on the weekends! Maybe the fair will come back too!

Lenox has Tanglewood, Great Barrington should have its ponies again!

The only negatives you’ll hear are the folks swayed by PETA... the same group who steals people’s pets won’t give them back and puts them to sleep.

(17) Petra M. That's absolutely not true. I hate PETA but I don't support horse racing. Why don't you look up the number of horses who die at Saratoga EVERY summer? Plus a number of the horse farms around here own rescued race horses. The horses who were deemed useless after they were done racing; the ones who would have otherwise been put down or sold at an auction for horse meat😡

(18) Terri S. Truth!!!

(19) Alicia H. - Petra M. Horses injure their legs or have other health issues across the United States every day. More are sent to auction , never racing a single race in their entire life. Or ever seeing a racetrack.

Just because animals are put down at the track does not necessarily mean that they were in the middle of a race when a health issue came up and they had to be euthanized. That also does not mean that they were not extremely well taken care of before an accident happened. There’s a million reasons why an athletic animal can have a sudden health issue and require euthanasia. it is far kinder than making them suffer.

WAY more are sent to auction or killed simply because owners can no longer afford them and give them up. Or abandon them or starve them. A tiny percentage of them were racehorses in comparison.

most of them were companion horses, pets. Not racehorses.

As for injuries to the legs, a horse that cannot stand on one leg cannot be a tripod and survive like a dog or a cat. They will die a slow and miserable death, it is FAR kinder to euthanize an animal that depends on its legs to survive if it cannot bear weight AT ALL on the injured leg.

You would have people believe that it is less humane to put an animal down that can no longer stand on one of the most important features of his physical body? You would have people believe that humane euthanasia is less humane than preventing the animal from long periods of suffering slowly going lame supporting too much weight on feet that need that weight evenly distributed?

Horses are working animals, have been for thousands of years. This is what they want to do. You wouldn’t have a working dog that sits inside an apartment going crazy... so these horses should be able to do what they WANT to do. Too. And they DO want to run!

(20) Petra M. Why don’t you do some reading up on the cases at Saratoga. Horses are meant to work and run BUT not pushed to the extreme as they are in racing. Being forced to run in extreme heat because the races will go on no matter what. I find that to be abuse. YOU will not change my mind but thanks for trying!

(21) Shea H. Won’t have to go to OTB anymore

(22) Pat W. Interesting!! Nice to see it back.

(23) Jeanie J. Would love to see that come back

(24) Terri S. NO.

(25) Michael D. I'm there!

(26) Karen B. The only thing I don’t like about it is the traffic will be ten times worse than it is now.

(27) Brenda E. No still think we need something for our children in this area .

(28) PJ H. Kids love horse racing

(29) Kim O. Horrible idea!😡 #animalabuse

(30)Paul C. what about people who run marathons?

(31) Kim O. - Paul C. ?? What kind of correlation is that? Did anyone ask the horses if they want to run in a dangerous race( much different than a marathon, more like a car race). That does not take into count the abuse, and dangerous situations that race horses are put in on a daily basis. To try to quantitate a human marathon with a horse race is not only ignorant, it’s just plain sad.

(32) Paul C. how do you know all the horses are abused? I would say most live in better conditions than a lot of people.

(33) Kim O. - Paul C. You would be wrong.

(34) Jason W. - Paul C. another PETA beauty. These horses were born to run. Same with greyhounds. I’m not gonna even waste my time with this post but I could make several points on how this would help Great Barrington

(35) Laura C. - They should have the fair too oh the good old days.

(36) Mary B. A wonderful opportunity.

(37) Jennie S. Yes

(38) Dorothy H. Did you want me to get them or are you okay for now?

(39) Garrett L. - John T. maybe they could use a track consultant?

(40) Caitlin G. It could be a great boost for the local community!

(41) Paul K. Awesome

(42) David Q. Believe it when I see it

(43) Brian D. Love to see it

(44) Quintin S. Sr. Might give me a reasonto actually visit GB

(45) Christine G. don't even go there.....

(46) Janice G. Not too thrilled

(47) Jim R. https://www.theatlantic.com/.../the-ugly-truth.../284594/

(48) Jim R. https://www.peta.org/.../horseracing-industry-drugs.../

(49) Carlita C. Yes please!!!

(50) Susan R. I’d be so happy to see that property come to life again.

(51) Maureen H. hummmmmmmmmmm

(52) Marsha M. My Dad worked the window every year.

(53) Claudia D.A. I remember those days. And I bought a few horses off of the track here. It LOOKS great from the outside. On the inside, life was NOT so rosy for the horses . . . .

(54) Andrew S. They should do something with that area ! It’s been an eye sore for years 🙄

(55) Jim R. I agree that something should be done, just not at the expense of animals. Have we not evolved somewhat in the last 50 years?

(56) Andrew S. Maybe horse , and dog shows not racing , and other exhibits...turning it back into a fair grounds ect

(57) Jim R. Yes, 4-H demonstrations, maybe music concerts, an equestrian complex, car shows. Horse racing will just bring in the "casino crowd," not the most reputable and civic minded folks, but usually the most easily exploited.

(58) Jan C. - Jim R. excuse me but I enjoy casinos and I am just as reputable as you. That is unfair.

(59) Jim R. - Jan C. I apologize if my comments came off sounding callous or hoity-toity, blind societal acceptance of animal cruelty always gets me a bit heated. I have only been to one casino and it appeared to me to be filled with lonely individuals being exploited by the gambling industry, hoping for low risk-big pay-off. I myself come from down-home "casino-stock," as my father was a small town bookie and loved betting on almost anything, including various animal events. I'm cursed with that ol' "sins of the father" stuff I guess. I think the fairground could be a thriving community showcase, without the advent of the antiquated, archaic, and barbaric spectacle of horse racing and those who do not see anything wrong with it.

(60) Mike W. The old horse racing is not the answer for the new Great Barrington.

(61) Jan C. Not everyone enjoys the"new" Gt. Barrington

(62) Angela R. Bad for the horses. Rather not see it happen.

(63) Tanya B. No thanks

(64) Charles P. I will believe it when I see it.

(65) Jim R. I just had a wonderful awful idea. Maybe we could start racing humans. People could get drugged up and carry a rider piggyback, and said rider could whip... I mean coax the human under him to run faster and we could wager money on who we think is going to end up finishing the race. If someone twists an ankle, we could have someone come out and shoot them in the head, or better yet, have them sent to be cut up for dog food and glue. We could also take the best human racers and force them to mate with... I mean have consensual sex with the best female runners. Then their babies could grow up and be the next generation of superhuman racers. This could be such a multi-million dollar enterprise! But don't worry, we could treat the humans who race really nice, comb their hair, massage their bodies, and feed them good food, because then it wouldn't seem so bad that we do this to them. I know it sounds crazy, but over the years, this spectator sport will become a time-honored tradition as more prominent people accept it, forego their moral compasses, and become faithful, obliviously inhumane, elitist capitalists. :) [Oh, come on, don't be so sensitive, I'm only horsing around...].

(66) Sharon A. Use addicts... pump em’ up and see how fast they can run to the free Narcan

(67) Stephanie A. - Jim, how fast can you run?

(68) Jim R. - Stephanie A. Not very--I'm more Thoreau-bred than thoroughbred. :)

(69) Stephanie A. - Jim Well I won’t let them make glue out of you. I’ll come visit you out in the pasture to graze and maybe every once in a while Ill bring some carrots for you, comb your hair all nice, and if you’re really good and don’t try to bite me you’ll get a massage 😂

(70) Tim A. - Hey Jim it’s called the bar.

(71) Jim R. - Tim A. ??

(72) Jim R. https://dailygazette.com/.../saratoga-race-course-reports...

(73) Claudette L. As if traffic isn't bad enough now. Something should be done for the betterment of the community, i.e. park. Jogging track. Maybe some small shops. Ice cream and sandwich shop?

(74) Jan C. Would love to see it. That land isn't good for anything else. Will bring back some great memories for me.

(75) John B. WHY?????

(76) Claudette L. Go cart track. Ice skating rink. Rollerskating rink. How about something for the youth in the community so that they don't turn to heroin?

(77) Jan C. They will still turn to drugs. Parents don't give their kids a sense of responsibility at a young age.

(78) DavidandDianna L. - Would love to see the old seasonal fair return - with 4H exhibits and all!

(79) Jenni H. Such a great spot, so beautiful in there. Sure would love to see it cleaned up, create jobs and be family oriented. Love the comments about a roller skating rink or go cart track ❤️

(80) Jacob J. I don’t usually do this but just so you know where I stand “ #*&% HORSE RACING “!!!

(81) Ben M. No