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US – New Mexico Racing Commission grants Johnny Trotter permission to own racetrack and casino

By - 31 January 2023

Approval has been granted to Johnny Trotter by the New Mexico Racing Commission for the ownership transfer of All American Ruidoso Downs, LLC; All American Ruidoso Horse Sales, LLC; and Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Billy the Kid Casino. Trotter previously had partners sharing ownership of the property and affiliated businesses.

In 1959, Ruidoso Downs became home to the All-American Futurity, which has evolved into the world’s richest race for American Quarter Horses at $3 million. Since 1962, Ruidoso has been the home of what is arguably the nation’s No. 1 American Quarter Horse Yearling Sale.

“Horses have been an important part of my life,” said Trotter. “Jana and I have enjoyed racing, buying and selling horses here for over 20 years. Ruidoso Downs is important to us. I am excited to be the sole owner, and I look forward to maintaining Ruidoso Downs and the horse sales as the pinnacle of horse racing. Nominations for 2023 futurities and derbies are strong, and we anticipate the yearling sales to continue as strong as ever.”

Johnny Trotter is actively involved in farming, ranching, cattle feeding, banking, automobile dealerships, real estate and other businesses. He is a former president of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and an AQHA Hall of Fame member, as well as the Tri-State Western Heritage Hall of Fame, the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame, the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
“We have a great management team in place, and several improvements to the property and our programs currently are under consideration,” Trotter said. “We are the home of the nation’s best racing and sales, both Ruidoso Select Yearling and New Mexico-Bred Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. We have the nation’s best Racetrack Chaplaincy programs; and the nation’s best locations for racing, casino gaming and family fun. We look forward to providing a great venue for everybody at Ruidoso Downs.”

Trotter ranks among the Quarter Horse breed’s all-time owners and breeders, having raced several Grade 1 qualifiers, five AQHA Champions and 2018 AQHA World Champion Bodacious Eagle. His wife, Jana, was one of the group of women known as “The Girls” who campaigned Devons Signature in the 2004 All American Futurity, and now enjoys racing Thoroughbreds.

The final approval for the transfer is pending the approval of the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.

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