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Free Fair Board evicts horses, owner

By BRANDON TOWNSEND - btownsend@newsexaminer.com

A horse owner who has been critical of the Fayette County Free Fair board has received an eviction notice calling for the removal of her horses from two barns south of the Roberts Park race track.

Alice Allen came to Connersville from New York earlier this year with her husband, Ray, and 19 horses. Her horses are kept in a barn owned by the Free Fair and in another barn which the Free Fair leases from the Connersville Parks and Recreation Department. She trains the horses for harness racing on the race track.

According to Alice Allen, the eviction notice was delivered to her by Fair Board secretary Amy Siler on Tuesday. The notice states that she and her horses must be out of the barn before July 31 because she had not paid stall rent for June or July.

Allen says that her stall rent for June was not paid because she had given the Free Fair $1,000 before paying stall rent for her first month. The board had asked that she show them money in advance, she said.

“To me, that meant June was paid,” said Allen, “and they could have even kept it before I realized everything was lies. I’d like to have talked about my payment for June, and then talk about July.”

Prior to receiving her eviction notice, Alice claims that an attempt to talk with the Fair Board about what she owes them had been turned down by Ted McQuinley.

“I’ve never had to beg to pay a bill,” said Allen.

When contacted by the Connersville News-Examiner, Fair Board President Ted McQuinley said that he would make no comment on the situation other than, “We’d like to settle it just between Mrs. Allen and us.”

Allen claims that she had many complaints about the barns before agreeing to keep her horses there. Allen spoke with the Park Board about her complaints on June 25 and those comments were reported in the News-Examiner on July 3. She spoke with Connersville City Council about her complaints on July 2. 

Allen claims that McQuinley had promised her that a new barn would be built before June 1. That barn has not been built.

She says the Park Board and City Council both seemed to have no knowledge of the Fair Board’s actions.

“What’s great for me is the positive response from people in the area,” said Allen. “There have been three cars a day come by. One guy came down to the barns and said, ‘Where’s the TV lady?’”

She says that she had already been looking for other places to take her horses before receiving the notice.

“I would have been out in June,” said Allen, “but my horses got sick.”

Allen feels that a conversation about the circumstances between herself and the Fair Board could have helped resolve the situation differently.

“I believe that everyone has a right to disagree,” said Allen, “but to sit down and have a resolution is something totally different.”