Race Track grandstands in the late 1800's shown above
The facility is located 25 miles east of Highway 99 and 45 minutes Southeast of Sacramento, surrounded by 80 acres of beautiful park settings and a historically preserved horse race track once owned by Charles S. Howard the owner of the infamous Seabiscuit.
The covered, lighted arena is built of strong interior railings with multiple gate entrances and is comprised of many features to hold western, ranch, rodeo or english events. The overall size of the covered area is 200 ft x 250 ft. and the arena measures 165 x 250. To the west are holding pens leading to a 12 ft alley way that stretch the entire length of the arena. Several heavy duty iron panels within the alley swing in for holding livestock in sections. The alley way narrows to a cattle lane that runs directly into covered roping boxes. Other amenities include a warm-up arena, trail obstacle course, historical race track, stalls and horse pens, bleachers, an announcer's booth, office and onsite concessions.
Parallel to the arena is a large pen measuring 260 ft in length used for holding livestock. This pen can be sectioned off into multiple holding pens.
The arena has excellent footing consisting of a treated sand, dirt and clay mixture for traction and performance in nearly all western and english disciplines. The footing can be specifically groomed for your discipline requirements.
Parking for horse trailers is ample with graveled roads and areas designated for public and handicapped parking. The facility has maintained restrooms on the premises, while both ends of the arena offer water access for all equine use.
In 1876 Ione’s Annual Picnic moved from Shakeley Hill to this location. The 100 acre park is part of an 1840 land grant and was leased to the city by the Howard Estate May 11, 1967. The park during it’s early years hosted many of the important horse events of the day. Today horse shows and horse racing are still part of the celebration held the first weekend in May for Ione Homecoming.
Howard Park Stables
The Howard Park Stables originally a race track barn located at the California State Fair in Sacramento, was relocated to Howard Park in the mid 1950's brought up on a flatbed trailer. It was rebuilt by the local community of Amador County. The stable was used periodically by locals and trainers until 2015. Afterwards, the barn sat empty with no upkeep or maintenance. In 2019, the property was leased to J-Bouldin West and renovations began in November 2019. The barn currently has capacity for 5 horses inside the barn and 4 more on the opposite side. Since the barn was originally built for race horses, it was not suitable as a barn to board long term. Renovations included lowering the 10 foot stall walls, clearing out one side to create a breezeway and widening the 10x12 foot stall to 12x20 ft with stall doors opening to the inside breezeway. All hardware and lumber were reused to for renovations. Progress continues as time and funding provide.
The barn is currently used to board and for overnight occupancy during events. Instead of a dark, claustrophobic building, it is now light with lots of air circulation and happy horses.