Day At The Track

Open House - Drive a racehorse

02:36 AM 17 May 2018 NZST
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Ben Hollingsworth Young horseman Travis Moore and two guests during last year’s Open House
Ben Hollingsworth with two Open House guests driving Hollywood Ham during last year’s Open House.
Iron Horse Photo
Young horseman Travis Moore and two guests during last year’s Open House
Iron Horse Photo

ELORA - Grand River Raceway will host its 10th annual backstretch Open House on Sunday, May 27. Guests are invited to drop-in any time from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a rare glimpse of harness racing behind-the-scenes.

A full tour of the Open House's six main stations will last approximately one hour. The itinerary includes the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse.

Admission is free, but participants are urged to make a $10 donation (per family) at the door to support local organizations which aid in the retraining and placement of retired racehorses into new riding and driving careers. A BBQ lunch and beverages will be available for purchase between 11:30 - 2:00.

Other interactive stations include a tour of the judges' stand and announcer's booth high atop the grandstand with track announcer Gary Guy.

Back in the barn, visitors will learn about the basics of breeding, owning, training, driving and caring for racehorses. Guests can also view and learn about the equipment and techniques required to maintain the racetrack surface. The starting car will also be on display, and open for photo opportunities.

Members of Standardbred Showcase and Racing Under Saddle Ontario will be onsite to demonstrate the versatility of the Standardbred racehorse in different disciplines.

Representatives from the Youth Literary Derby will also join the Open House to chat with youngsters and parents about their horse-themed writing contest designed to engage Ontario-resident youngsters in Grades 5 through 8.

No registration is required for the Open House. The event is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Open House will run rain or shine. Participants are urged to wear closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing. Helmets and safety vests will be provided.

The Grand River Raceway Open House is presented in cooperation with the Hands On Horses Program and the Ontario Harness Horse Association.

More than 3,000 people have attended Grand River Raceway's Open House events over the past nine years.

For more information, visit or call (519) 846-5455 x238 or email

Kelly Spencer

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