Fonner Park CEO Bruce Swihart Retires

June 11, 2019 - 4:29pm

The CEO of Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska is retiring. After 43 years of work at Grand Island’s horse racing park, Bruce Swihart will end his tenure in late July. Swihart spent the last four years as the CEO of Fonner Park.


Swihart grew up at Fonner Park. His father, Al, was hired at the park in 1955 when Swihart wasn’t even old enough for kindergarten. He spent all but a few years at Fonner Park, leaving to go to college and for a job in Denver. He said even though horse racing has shrunk in Nebraska, it’s been important for the Grand Island community.

“The backside of a race track, if you’ve never been on one, is unbelievable. It’s a small city. People aren’t always in this for the money, they’re in for the love of the game. People work very hard at this sport, and there is a lot of dedication to this sport and it’s still a wonderful spectators' sport.”

Swihart said he hopes the Nebraska Racing Commission approves the use of slot-like machines that allow people to bet on historical horse races. Swihart says he hopes he leaves horse racing in Grand Island better than he found it.

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