Ruidoso Downs has been the home of the World’s Richest Quarter Horse Race® since the All American Futurity was first contested on Labor Day in 1959 with a $129,000 purse. This past summer the Rainbow Futurity and the Rainbow Derby were on track to become $1,000,000 races.
Zia FestivalThe Ruidoso Futurity and the Ruidoso Derby were each expected to have $750,000 purses. The very popular Zia Festival boasts more than $1 million in purses for New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and quarter horses. During this celebration, the grandstand has vendors with arts, crafts, and other wares for sale.
SummerThe summer racing season starts in May (the Friday before Memorial Day) and runs through Labor Day. The weekly racing schedule is Friday through Monday with a 1:00 PM first post time. There will be Thursday cards on the Fourth of July and All American Futurity trials ( in August). Futurity trial days will have an earlier post time.
FallDuring the second full weekend in October, Ruidoso Downs turns into the nation’s premier western festival -- the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium. The festival features the best traditional country music performers, authentic chuckwagons, and too-much-fun western swing dancing.