The two sides fighting over a local horse race have settled their beef.
The new owners of the Strawberry Hill Races and New Kent racetrack Colonial Downs announced Wednesday that they have reached a resolution in the federal court battle they have fought since the fall over the name of the 118-year-old event. And their two rival races will live on.
Terms of the settlement are confidential, according to attorneys on both sides. Neither side would comment on whether any financial arrangements were part of the settlement. A press release issued by the parties said only that the case has been “amicably resolved.”
Christie Harrell and Mildred Dotson, the mother/daughter team who last year bought the rights to the Strawberry Hill Races, sued Colonial Downs and various affiliates in November, claiming trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.
Their lawsuit claimed Colonial Downs in June advertised and held what claimed to be the Strawberry Hill Races, just weeks after Harrell and Dotson bought the assets and trademarks of the event at bankruptcy auction from the previous owner of the Virginia State Fair.
Colonial Downs didn’t go down without a fight. It argued for the suit to be thrown out and fired back with a countersuit alleging defamation and conspiracy and asked for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
Wednesday’s announcement also stated that the Strawberry Hill Races would be held this fall and then will move back to its usual date in the spring beginning in 2014. Colonial Downs will continue to hold its Dogwood Classic Races in the spring.
“Everybody is pleased it has been resolved and look forward to having the races,” said Chandra Dore Lantz, an attorney with Hirschler Fleischer representing Colonial Downs.
Mike Leonard, a Northern Virginia attorney who represented Harrell and Dotson, said now that the settlement has been reached, the federal suit should be dismissed shortly.
A venue and date for Strawberry Hill Races will be announced in the coming months.