PEI Island Charities are cheering for "Hurrah"

04:32 AM 13 Jun 2014 NZST
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Mark Bradley, harness racing
Mark Bradley trains and drives Hurrah for the Island Charities
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A number of Island charities will be rooting for Hurrah to cross the finish line first all year long.

The three-year-old pacer will be racing for the Hurrah for Island Charities promotion, a joint venture between Meridian Farms and Red Shores that will see an Island charity selected each month and all purse money earned by the horse will flow directly to them.

Owned by Island native William Andrew, owner of Meridian Farms, and George Rogers, both of Calgary, Hurrah is trained and driven by Mark Bradley in Charlottetown. The partnership will see seven charities receive the horses earnings, with a different recipient each month from June until December.

"It's going to be a nice venture that we want to do," said Brian Andrew of Meridian Farms. "The people that are responsible for the charity, we hope they will come out to the race track and become fans for us as well."

Hurrah was bred by Windemere Farms of North Wiltshire, then purchased by his current owners for $8,100 at the 2012 Atlantic Classic yearling sale in Crapaud. The Shadow Play colt banked $3,977 as a two-year-old, while he has already earned $885 in his first two starts of his three-year-old campaign, all while never missing a cheque.

"He's looking fit and ready so I'm hoping with a little bit of luck we'll have a good season," Brian said.

Hurrah will be teamed up with the Autism Society of P.E.I. for the month of June, while in July his proceeds will switch to the 4-H Council of P.E.I., with a number of other charities lined up afterwards. There will be a cheering section set up for members of the charities to cheer on Hurrah on race day.

William Andrew is more than happy to support local charities, after doing a similar promotion in Alberta the past few years with horses like Starring Role, Polka Dot and Shaker Boy. He says he saw the charities getting excited over the horses racing, bringing upwards of 40 people to see them compete.

"We'll look after the training bills and 100-per cent of the purse earnings, not just the profits, will go to the charity," William said.

The horse owner and former UPEI Chancellor says he selected Hurrah partly because he was a honest racehorse that was always in the money and because he has faith in Bradley and his girlfriend Melissa Rennie to embrace what is trying to be accomplished.

"In tough times the racing community is there," William said. "We are involved in the community and give back to the community. There are a lot of more than capable trainers. I just thought Mark and Melissa would be a good fit. This is a very transparent way to show we are doing some good."

Hurrah is entered to race Saturday night in race 4 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park, leaving from post 2 with a $1,000 purse on the line.

by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

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