Eight race tracks form alliance to streamline horse racing and fill seats.
Published Sunday, May 25, 2014 6:50PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 25, 2014 7:02PM EDT
The horse racing industry in Ontario has hit a rocky patch over the last few years. Cuts to their funding model and a thinned out industry has forced many to abandon the sport or find a new way to re-invent themselves.
Over the last month, eight race tracks including Clinton, Hanover, Mohawk, Woodbine, Flamboro, Georgian, Grand River and Western Fair have formed the alliance of race tracks. Together they will coordinate programs, schedules and joint marketing projects.
“It’s actually the first real cooperative effort amongst race tracks to organize their business,” says Ted Clarke, GM at the Grand River Raceway.
In 2012, the McGuinty Liberals cancelled the deal that was a major source of funding for the race tracks. When the province scrapped the revenue sharing agreement, it prompted many to move or leave the industry all together.
Now the hope is a streamlined industry that works together to attract a new fan base.
The 6th Annual Open House at Grand River Raceway was held Sunday, and is one event to try and attract a new generation of horse enthusiasts.
“I hope to work with horses for the rest of my life because they are just gorgeous they are just beautiful they are my favorite animal ever,” says Brianna Kellum.
She lives in Kitchener and her mom Erica White, and says until now she hasn't had much of chance to get up close.
The horse racing season will start up again in a few weeks. Opening night at Grand River Raceway is June 2nd