Prairie Meadows Racing Club

Experience Thoroughbred Ownership with Prairie Meadows Hall of Fame Trainer, Kelly Von Hemel

Introducing the all-new Prairie Meadows Racing Club I ("Club") – your low risk pathway to becoming a racehorse owner. 

PLEASE NOTE: The 2017 Thoroughbred racing season is over. Stay tuned for the announcement of when Club membership for the 2018 season will go on-sale. 

The Basics

The Club is a low-cost, social and educational glimpse into the life of Thoroughbred ownership. It offers 200 people a chance to be a part of this thrilling experience with Prairie Meadows Hall of Fame Trainer, Kelly Von Hemel.

Memberships are available for $300 each, with no additional expenses. The one-time membership fee is used to purchase the horse and cover training costs and other expenses associated with the care of the horse. All decisions regarding the horse, including its purchase, will be made by trainer Kelly Von Hemel on behalf of the Club. Members will receive regular updates on the program via email and a Facebook page.

The Club has been organized as a 501(c)(7) not-for-profit social club. Members should not join with any profit motive or expectation of profit, and must acknowledge that they may not receive back any of their $300 membership fee. After payment of all horse-related expenses and other club costs, all purse earnings or proceeds from the sale of the horse will be distributed to the members but will not exceed $300 per member. The remainder will be donated to a local charity, selected at the discretion of the Club’s Board of Directors. All decisions on the purchase, training, and racing of the Club’s horse will be made by the trainer, Kelly Von Hemel, and the Club’s Board of Directors.   

Listen to an interview with Prairie Meadows' Horsemen's Liason, John Hernandez, and KIOA's Morning Show.

The Benefits

The Club provides an exclusive experience with many perks such as:

  • A behind-the-scenes look at Thoroughbred ownership
  • Breakfast on select mornings to watch the Club’s horse prepare for racing
  • Learn from Kelly Von Hemel about his approach to training and strategy for winning
  • Privileged access to the Paddock area before races run by the Club’s horse race, upon approval of the Iowa Racing and  Gaming Commission (a release of confidential information and fingerprinting may be necessary)
  • Exclusive Club events at Prairie Meadows
  • Priority valet service
  • And much more!

Meet the Trainer

Kelly Von Hemel comes from a family of veteran Thoroughbred trainers, highly respected throughout the nation’s racing industry, headed by Kelly’s father, Don Von Hemel. Kelly took out his first trainer’s license in 1985 and worked as his father’s assistant until going out on his own in 1990. Kelly served on the Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) Board of Directors from 2002 – 2011. He was re-elected in 2014, and is currently serving on the board.

“Racing has always been a huge part of my life, and I am very excited to share my knowledge and experience with the Club’s members. I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of Prairie Meadows Racing Club, and cannot wait to give our members a firsthand look at thoroughbred ownership,” said Von Hemel.

Nearly half of Kelly’s 1,390 career wins occurred at Prairie Meadows. He reached his 1,000th career win milestone at Prairie Meadows in 2007. Kelly conditioned Prairie Meadows’ Racing Hall of Famer, Sure Shot Biscuit, a 13-time stakes winner and the first Iowa-bred to reach $1 million in career earnings. His other notable horses include Miss Macy Sue, Semaphore Man, Irish Party, Maya’s Storm, and many more.

Club Structure

  • The Club is organized as a 501(C)(7) not-for-profit-social-club.
  • Members must join with the understanding that they cannot make any profit from their membership.
  • Members must acknowledge that they may not receive back any of their $300 membership fee. Should a profit be made, the proceeds will be distributed to a charity as selected at the discretion of the Club’s Board of Directors.
  • Club perks and benefits apply to members only and are non-transferable. Certain Club events may permit a guest, but all Club benefits belong solely to the individual owner of the fractional share.
  • There will be a total of five (5) persons serving on the Club’s Board of Directors.
  • All members must be 21 years of age or older to participate. All Prairie Meadows employees are excluded from participating in the Club as a member.

To view or print the Club's membership agreement, please click here.

See Prairie Gold Rewards for complete rules and details.