Day At The Track
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The general manager of the Ontario Harness Horse Association Brian Tropea has described the current harness racing situation in his province as dire.

He's a director of Ontario Harness Horse Association and he's got a degree in political science but Mike Sinclair is reluctant to leave harness racing for politics - despite the mess the industry is in Canada .

He might have only just been awarded his Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal earlier this month but Canadian horseman and racing administrator Jim Whelan isn't pulling in punches when it comes to addressing the state of harness racing in Ontario.

For nearly a year now, the Ontario horse racing industry has been trying to get the attention of the provincial Liberal government. That government, led by premier Dalton McGuinty, moved in February 2012 to pull the plug on the revenue-sharing Slots At Racetracks program which had made Ontario's Sires Stakes program, and racing in general, the envy of most other North American jurisdictions.

Recently, local harness racing trainer Pat Bissett of Goderich suffered a severe heart attack. Pat is now recovering at home, and raffle tickets to help support him during his recovery are available from local merchants and OHHA Members.

Things are looking up in Ontario for the first time in a long time, as a Government-appointed panel announced the continuation of harness racing's sire stakes program at current levels.

Monday's news that Premier Dalton McGuinty is leaving his post as the leader of the province's Liberal Party and proroguing Ontario's legislature came as a surprise - but not a shock - to Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale (ADFW) MPP Ted McMeekin, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Western Fair District would like to take this opportunity to express our support and congratulations to the members of the board of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association for their plan for Ontario's horse racing and breeding's future released earlier this week.

Friday, July 13 marked the exciting conclusion of the week-long Ontario Harness Youth Camp that was held at Grand River Raceway. The campers - eight local children accompanied by professional drivers - drove four retired Standardbred racehorses in two exhibition races as a huge crowd on the tarmac cheered them to the finish.

The horse and harness racing industry is hopeful after several meetings today (Wednesday March 21) at Queen's Park, says a Sarnia horseman and vice president of the Ontario Harness Horse Association.

On Monday, Feb 13th, 2012, the Minister of Finance announced possible changes to the Slots at Racetrack program, during an economic luncheon. When the province decided to look into new revenue streams, they negotiated a revenue sharing agreement with Ontario's horse and harness racing industry.

Ontario Harness Horse Association representatives from District 9 who represent the horsemen of Hanover and Clinton Raceways are planning a bus to Queens Park on Wednesday, February 22nd in support of Ontario's horse and harness racing industry.

Working closely with the Implementation and Monitoring (IM) Group, Georgian Downs is rebounding from a spring filled with the challenges of reduced harness racing horse supply, dropping entries and lower purses.

Off track: Part 2; From horse and buggy contests to a high stakes sport, harness racing has become an economic driving force for Ontario and its agricultural sector.

Back by popular demand, Grand River Raceway will host its third annual backstretch 'Open House' on Sunday, May 29. Guests are invited to drop-in any time from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a rare glimpse of horse racing behind-the-scenes.

Grand River Raceway launches its newest initiative, Project iDrive, this Friday night, October 8. The interactive event will see eight harness racing fans race against one another in two exhibition races during the track's regular broadcast.

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