The Notos Group LLC on Friday announced a team of experts that will help guide the development of a state-of-the-art thoroughbred racing facility in Wareham, Massachusetts, with the highest in equine safety and welfare measures.
The facility is part of a proposed $300 million economic development project designed to revive the state’s thoroughbred racing industry. In addition to a track, the racing facility will include a Horse Health Facility that will offer world-class horse health services as well as therapeutic and rehabilitation amenities.
“A state-of-the-art racing facility is at the core of our project and it will feature the most advanced equine safety and welfare measures,” said Thomas P. O’Connell, the founder and managing member of the Notos Group. “We are delighted to have attracted a team with a track record of leadership in equine safety and welfare that will help us achieve our goal of exceeding the latest industry and regulatory standards.”
Members of the team include:
• GH2 Equine Architects, which has designed more than 150 equine and equestrian facilities around the world. Led by designers who are active equestrians, GH2 has raised the level of sophistication, functionality, safety and efficiency of equine planning and design worldwide. Project experience ranges from racetracks and training centers to highly technical surgical centers and bio-isolation stables. GH2 strives to keep equine health, safety and welfare in mind for design details on all projects. Racecourse and race training facilities designed by GH2 include the Marabet International Racecourse in Egypt, Dongseo Racecourse in South Korea, Plantation Downs in Tennessee, Muckleshoot Thoroughbred Race Track in Washington State, Diamond G Racing Stables and Training Center in Oklahoma, and Doolin Racing Center in Oklahoma.
• CHA Consulting Inc., an engineering and architecture firm that has worked on equine facilities across the country, which will lead the land master planning of the project. CHA Consulting’s projects include a focus on racing and equine facilities that improve the quality of existing facilities while promoting increased health and wellness for equine users. Projects have included the master planning of the horse barns and coliseum at the Tippecanoe Fairgrounds in Indiana, a horse camp staging area at the Pocahontas State Park in Virginia, expansions and improvements to the Saratoga Casino and Hotel in New York, and the ARK at John F. Kennedy Airport, which provides preand post-travel animal care and veterinary services for horses and other animals.
• Former Churchill Downs general manager Jim Gates Jr., who has held a variety of leadership positions in the thoroughbred racing industry for over 20 years. He was Churchill Downs’ general manager for seven of his 14 years at the facility, and also served as CFO and COO of Dale Romans Racing. Currently, he is a consultant focused on safe racetrack operations for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety & Integrity Alliance, which conducts on-site inspections of racetracks around the country and espouses cutting-edge best practices in equine and human safety.
The Notus Group’s sports-focused project, called Wareham Park, also includes a multi-faceted gaming and entertainment facility, new ballpark for the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod Baseball League, a sports field complex, and a top-quality hotel. It is projected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs and $50 million in annual state and local revenue.
An important goal of the project is to revive the state’s thoroughbred racing and breeding industry, which generated $116 million in annual economic impact and 1,500 jobs, according to a study, “The Economic Impact of the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Equine Industry”, conducted by Christiansen Capital Advisors LLC.