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If you love sports and competition, it is inevitable that sooner or later you find yourself comparing a great athlete or a great team to similar stars from the past. It can be a frustrating exercise often with no clear winner, or depending on how you look at it, sometimes a satisfying way to remember history and appreciate how things change.

Several government and industry studies of horse racing claim that many tens of thousands of people are directly or indirectly involved in the sport.

Since the first years of Barrie Raceway and up to the present at Georgian Downs, probably no local family has been more involved or contributed more to harness racing in this area than the Byron clan.

The old saying that goes “If it is not broke, don’t fix it.”, unfortunately can’t be applied to the current state of standardbred horse racing. The Standardbred Canada website is running a banner ad showing that wagering on harness horses has declined 40% since 2002. With a bleeding problem like that the industry doesn’t need a band aid – it needs a tourniquet.

Harness racing has a long and colourful history. Although it is a sport that can be found around the world, the roots of the game can be traced back to nineteenth century North America.

The latest controversy in the world of sports involves the use of performance enhancing steroids. From baseball and football, to wrestling and the Olympics there has become a public perception that steroid abuse has made a mockery of, or at least brought into question, some of sports’ greatest accomplishments.

There is a certain mystique about the cowboy which appeals to almost everyone. History of the taming of the 'Wild West' has left us with vivid pictures of rugged individuals who lived an outdoor life with their trusty horses surrounded by open spaces and the sometimes constant threat of danger.

Frost Woes - While I was fortunate enough to spend the March break in the Dominican Republic, riding horseback along sandy beaches in plus 30C weather, Georgian Downs experienced some of the worst conditions Mother Nature can produce.

The latest rage in gadgets seems to be the portable GPS units that can be mounted on the dash of a car or taken in a back pack while hiking or camping. These amazing machines can pin point a location within several feet anywhere in the world and even give an altitude measurement.

We owe a lot of expressions in everyday language to our four legged equine friends. One might say 'That’s a horse of a different colour' to compare a totally different type of object or opinion.

Modern veterinarians have a distinct advantage over their predecessors. Not so long ago the tools necessary for on the spot diagnosis were limited to stethoscopes, keen observational skills, and sensitive hands for palpating examinations.

It doesn’t rank up there with the Democratic leadership race of Obama and Clinton, it is hardly as exciting as missiles shooting down errant satellites, and it is not as devastating as the sub prime lending crisis, but this week an announcement from Santa Anita Racetrack has certainly made the news in the world of horse racing.

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