White Pine County Fair & Horse Races
August 19 - August 21
We are starting to get all riled up for one of Ely’s most exciting traditions — the White Pine County Fair and Horse Races. The event returns in August after a year off and we can’t wait! Whether you wear a cowboy hat or a Kentucky derby hat, you’ll feel right at home at this three-day event where even visitors are treated like locals.
The fair is a throwback to simpler times, where the community gathers together for fun and games. The event includes three days of live music, a volunteer firefighter barbecue, arts and crafts market, 4H exhibits, livestock auctions and a rodeo. Many of the livestock available were raised by local Ely students, who use the proceeds to benefit their college funds. Also for the first time this year, in grand Ely fashion, the fair will feature a full fireworks show to close out the weekend. Here is a full breakdown of the schedule:
One of the most unique aspects of the horse races is pari-mutuel betting, which you won’t find in many other places in the state. Unlike most other forms of betting, the odds are not fixed. Rather than placing a bet against the race track, like one would with a bookie, horse racing bettors are wagering against each other. All the bets are put into a pool, which is then split equally between those who make the winning selection. For this reason, the payouts on a single wager could range anywhere from less than the actual amount wagered to astronomical amounts.
There may be several different types of bets, in which case each type of bet has its own pool. The most basic types of bets are as follows:
To succeed the bettor must pick the horse that wins the race.
The bettor must pick a horse that finishes either first or second.
The bettor must pick a horse that finishes first, second or third.
Exacta, perfecta,or exactor
The bettor must pick the two horses that finish first and second, in the exact order.
Trifecta or triactor
The bettor must pick the three horses that finish first, second, and third, in the exact order.
The bettor must pick the four horses that finish first, second, third and fourth, in the exact order.
There are more complicated bets but that should be enough to get you started. We’ll see you at the races!
Horse Race History
Originally organized in 1934, the races were formed by local ranchers and business people in an effort to overcome the depression blues. Some of the people involved in the formation of the races were Bill Goodman, Frank Calloway and Stan Draper. This group ran the races until 1937 when the county helped by forming a Fair Board. The first chairman of the board was Tom Bath, a local business owner. A year later, they would build a new race track and grandstand which is still in use.
Family Fun At The County Fair
The White Pine County Fair returns to the WPC fairground on August 21-23, with all the fun of a county fair. Activities include, 3 days of live music, BBQ, crafts, vendors, 4H exhibits, livestock auctions, and more. Grab the entire family and Visit Ely Nevada for 3 days of fun at the oldest horse racing event in Nevada..
Ranch Rodeo Excitement
Come down to the fairgrounds early on Friday and check out all the excitement of the Ranch Rodeo. Contestents compete in events like bronc riding, barrel racing, roping, and even mutton busting for the kids.
Pari-mutuel betting is the most common form of horse racing betting. The term actually originated in France, and literally translates “to wager amongst ourselves”. Unlike most other forms of betting, the odds are not fixed. Rather than placing a bet against the race track, like one would with a bookie, horse racing bettors are wagering against each other. For this reason, the payouts on a single wager could range anywhere from less than the actual amount wagered, to astronomical amounts.