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Dan K. Jacobson, Published May 07 2010

‘Good ol’ boys’ kill horse racing

Knowing how much work it takes to create a business, when the greedy “good ol’ boys” – that’s Mike Cichy’s term – took apart Susan Bala and RSI seven years ago, and with it a business and a state industry she spent 15 years to develop, the handwriting was on the wall: North Dakota horse racing was going to fail.

Even though Bala had set the foundation for the state’s horse-racing success, she had started and built the Fargo track and was opening new markets around the world; self-serving government politicians, bureaucrats and wannabe opportunists managed to destroy it.

It takes a true visionary and leader to build a new industry. With all of the boards and committees they have thrown at horse racing in North Dakota, they no longer have one.

It’s come down to this: After all of the debacles he’s been in, Cichy is now in charge of the failed North Dakota Horse Park in Fargo. This is a joke in the real horse-racing world, and a bad one at that.

The people connected to the horse park must be really hard up. Cichy has no credibility and not a clue about running a real business or being a business promoter. He’s here to collect a paycheck – again.

He was the one claiming he was taking over RSI with the “good ol’ boys” even though he had been fired from every job he’d had before that, he was being fired from RSI when all this started, he was finally fired by the receiver at RSI, he was then fired by Lien Games after they got RSI’s license, and he’s been drummed out of the industry. And now he’s setting himself out to be the last-chance savior of the North Dakota Horse Park.

The horsemen of North Dakota, who are the breeders and equine backbone of the industry, are outraged.

The state had better sell out now and cut their losses, or dig very deep and get RSI back.