Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico

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Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
Horse racing at Ruidoso Downs
Horse racing at Ruidoso Downs
Location of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
Location of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico is located in USA
Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°19′54″N 105°35′46″W / 33.33167°N 105.59611°W / 33.33167; -105.59611Coordinates: 33°19′54″N 105°35′46″W / 33.33167°N 105.59611°W / 33.33167; -105.59611
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Lincoln
 • Total 2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)
 • Land 2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 6,417 ft (1,956 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 1,824
 • Density 856.7/sq mi (330.8/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 88346
Area code(s) 575
FIPS code 35-65280
GNIS feature ID 0923669

Ruidoso Downs is a city in Lincoln County, New Mexico, United States, located within the Lincoln National Forest. The population was 1,824 at the 2000 census, at which time it was a village; the change was made in May 2002.[1] It is a suburb of Ruidoso and is a part of the Ruidoso Micropolitan Statistical Area. The Ruidoso Downs Race Track, Billy the Kid Casino and the Hubbard Museum of the American West are located in the city.


According to a local Ruidoso Downs historian, early on Hispanos settlers called the area "San Juanito." The settlers began arriving in the early in the late 1840s, and introduced rodeo and horse racing to the area. Originally the area had scattered farms and ranches, with the Dowlin Mill constructed in 1868. A new wave of families arrived after the Lincoln County War.[2]

By around 1907 the road between Roswell and Alamogordo, which passed through the area, was still primitive, though it was improved in the 1920s through The Federal Aid Project.[2] The road that would become US 70 was paved in the area around 1945, and then improved again in 1958. The road became four lanes in 1981.[2]

In 1946 the Ruidoso News was founded and the airport opened, and two years later radio arrived. Electric lights appeared in the area in 1947.[2] The White Mountain Inn opened in the 1940s as a sanatorium and as a lodging establishment.[2] The road that would become US 70 was paved in the area around 1945, and then improved again in 1958. The road became four lanes in 1981.[2]


Ruidoso Downs is located at 33°19′54″N 105°35′46″W / 33.33167°N 105.59611°W / 33.33167; -105.59611 (33.331690, -105.596079).[3] Elevation is 6420 feet. According to the United States Census Bureau, the village had a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 363
1960 407 12.1%
1970 702 72.5%
1980 949 35.2%
1990 920 −3.1%
2000 1,824 98.3%
2010 2,815 54.3%
Est. 2014 2,635 [4] −6.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,824 people, 680 households, and 490 families residing in the village. The population density was 856.7 people per square mile (330.6/km²). There were 921 housing units at an average density of 432.6 per square mile (166.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 67.32% White, 0.77% African American, 3.56% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 24.45% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 43.70% of the population.

There were 680 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the village the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $29,375, and the median income for a family was $30,500. Males had a median income of $22,000 versus $17,623 for females. The per capita income for the village was $12,144. About 17.4% of families and 20.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.7% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.


Pictured is the road out of Ruidoso Downs and heading towards then nearby village of Capitan.


Major highways[edit]

Key facilities[edit]

Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso Downs

Events and culture[edit]

Pictured is the Ruidoso Downs New Mexico Racetrack and Casino, where the All American Futurity is held annually.

The city is the annual location of the All American Futurity, which claims to be the richest race in Quarter Horse racing.[7]

On October 9–11, 2009, the twentieth annual Lincoln Cowboy Symposium was held at Ruidoso Downs. The event celebrated the ranching lifestyle, with demonstrations in horsemanship, shooting, roping, cooking, and blacksmithing. Booths offered western-style arts and crafts. Music and poetry were highlights of the festival, which featured performers Leon Rausch, Tommy Allsup and the Texas Playboys; Mel Tillis and the Statesiders; Larry Gatlin; Billy Mata, and Liz Talley. Gospel artists also performed.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Population Estimates Boundary Changes, United States Census Bureau, 2007-07-01. Accessed 2008-11-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Orozco, Cynthia E. (March 13, 2014). "The History of Ruidoso Downs". Ruidoso News. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Dallas Morning News, September 27, 2009

External links[edit]