Iron Horse Arena Cross is set to return to the Co-operators Agrim Centre later this month for two weekends of action packed events.
The construction of the indoor motocross track will begin next week with the first set of races taking place Feb. 9 and 10 then again the following weekend on Feb. 16 and 17. Qualifying events for the riders go from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day with the nightly main event show taking place at 6:30 p.m. All events are open to the public for viewing.
This will be Iron Horse’s second year of operation. Event organizers Les Nemeth and Todd McBride started the event after recognizing a need for an Albertan winter motocross event.
“Events in Alberta prior to ours at this time of year are basically non existent,” said Nemeth. “It’s been about 20 years since we saw a solid indoor event in Alberta. We didn’t want our kids and racers to have to sit all winter or have to head down south riding.
“It was 100 percent fueled by selfish desire for our own kids to make sure they’re progressing and give our riders a place to go. Now of course it’s grown to be much more than that but that’s how it all started.”
The Rimbey locals, who ‘nervously approached’ the Ag Society prior to their first event in 2023 say they were ‘welcomed with open arms’ by the board and facility.
“Within the first two minutes of our meeting we could tell the Ag Society was all about diversifying the building and they saw what an event like this could do for both the facility and Rimbey itself,” said Nemeth. “It’s a beautiful facility and it moves people well. It allows us to build a huge a track while also having the ability to have the vendors upstairs.”
Nemeth said he believes the race will pull in around 350 registered riders over the course of the two weekends making it the largest indoor motocross event in Canada.
“It’s just unheard of for indoor motocross and even outdoor events in Canada,” he added. “We’re now the biggest indoor race going in Canada hence the reason why you can’t get a hotel in town that weekend. We’ve basically sold out the town.”
“After last year we were invited in to meet to meet the mayor and talk with Council. The feedback they heard from residents and business owners was ‘we don’t know who these guys are but make sure they come back’ because the restaurants and hotels were all booked solid along with the gas stations and it was a big deal for the town.”
Last year’s event saw over 1,300 spectators attend the event in addition to the 300 plus riders.
“It was a very proud moment for us - going into our first year there were a lot of unknowns. We were mostly winging it but we were welcomed with open arms by the community,” said Nemeth.
Construction of the track begins on Tuesday morning with organizers wishing to thank equipment sponsors Urban Dirtworks and Velocity Hydrovac who donate the machines with Nemeth and McBride building the track itself.
“When we talk about building the track - the jump faces and the safety factor of the distances and landings really comes into play and the biggest thing is the flow of the track,” said Nemeth. “At the end of the day it’s a show for the public - so the track needs to allow for high flying racing but also at a safe level for our riders so there is a lot that goes into that.”
Tickets for the event are available at the doors of the Agrim Centre on the days of the event.