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Atlantic Sires Stakes racing action heats up again this week as the harness racing trotters and pacers head to Truro Raceway as part of Atlantic Grand Circuit Week. The Atlantic Sires Stakes - Meridian Farms and Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Association two and three-year-old trotters will convene at the Truro oval on Tuesday evening. One division of eight 2 year old trotters will line up behind the gate for a purse of $15,580. The lone division of nine 3 year old trotters will battle for a purse of $15,600. Joining the trotters will be the two year-old pacing fillies which will meet in three 'A' division events and one 'B' event. Atlantic Sires Stakes events will continue on Friday evening when the two year-old pacing colts gather for some friendly competition and the Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-old pacing colts will meet on Saturday. First race post time on Tuesday at Truro Raceway is 7pm. Entries can be found at by Debbie Francis, for the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association  

Introduced to harness racing as a 12-year-old, the year would have been 1956. Saturday night racing at Truro Raceway included watching double-gaited Josedale Clansman race; George Turner was in the bike. Watching Kirk Pinkney win with Scotland Mist is still clear in my mind, as is the horsemanship ability of Kirk’s sons, drivers Phil and Dave Pinkney. Westville’s Clayton MacLeod was too becoming one of my driving favourites.   Fast forward 63 years, what a race card, what tremendous harness racing last Saturday night at Truro Raceway. Part of Truro’s big week, Atlantic Grand Circuit Week, it just doesn’t get much better. In sharing parts of the evening, I’ll pinpoint what I’d describe as a few personal highlights. The quality of racing caught many people’s attention – fast miles were the order of the day. Catch Twenty Two, with Darren Crowe handling the reins, won Race 3, the Vincent “Butch” Horne Memorial,” pacing in 1:56 flat. The next race, the Bud & Lorne Whidden Memorial, went in 155.1 with Jason Hughes and Rocknrols Image getting the job done. Besides the outstanding action on the track, most of us railbirds enjoy comparing notes, even reminiscing about something that might have happened a way, way back. Running into Doug Saunders and his wife Kim, the couple had driven down from Glace Bay for Saturday night’s race card. “You and I met on the Canada Games Diamond in Halifax in 1973,” Saunders, 66, recalled. “It was after a Brookfield Elks-Dartmouth Dairy Queen fastball game. I interviewed you.” Saunders arrived in Halifax in the fall of 1972 from his native Kenora, Ont. With experience in radio, he joined first CJCH Radio, followed by a stint with CHNS Radio. Quite a career in television followed as Saunders became a colourful and knowledgeable voice with CBC from 1973 up until his retirement in 1995.   “I had two or three opportunities to go on to bigger things, such as an offer from Hockey Night In Canada. What kept me here? I loved Nova Scotia, I didn’t want to leave. When I first came to Nova Scotia, I just felt that I was home.” In 1975 Saunders became involved in harness racing, purchasing a  horse by the name of Royal Banner. Enjoying the sport, he operated a standardbred farm in Middle Musquodoboit during the 1990s. In 2004, he became general manager of Tartan Downs in Sydney. “Kim and I have lived in Glace Bay the past 15 years. I own a two-year-old filly, Ubettimagoodone, with Jeff Lilly. She’s had one lifetime start. She’s a half-sister to Bettim Jackie, who made a $100,000 last year as a three-year-old.” Noticeably knowledgeable regarding harness racing – Saunders commented. “The track crew have this racetrack in excellent shape tonight. To compliment the condition of the track – the quality of Maritime horses just continues to get better each year. My wife Kim and I will remember this night in Truro for a long time. I love Truro, I have some good friends who live here and with this calibre of harness racing, you can bet your life, we’ll be back again.” A personal synopsis: the most outstanding race of the night was Race 9, producing an exciting ‘three horses across the track finish.’ Red Dirt Boomer won the $10,020 division of Atlantic Sires Stake for three-year-old pacing colts in 155.4      It was good to talk to a number of interesting harness racing followers during the night, including the Zann family who were seated at a table in the trackside restaurant. Truro-Bible Hill-Salmon River-Millbrook MLA Lenore Zann, her parents Paul and Jan Zann and Wayne Burley were all enjoying the exciting racing. “It feels like coming home being here at Truro Raceway,” Lenore said. “I’ve met a lot of nice people through harness racing.” Jan said her grandmother owned thoroughbreds in Australia and both Jan and Paul shared interesting stories of successful family-owned race horses. “We arrived in Truro in 1969,” said Jan. “We’ve always enjoyed coming to the races, when relatives visit we always bring them to the Truro Raceway.” An overall exceptional night, it seemed fitting that the final race saw Rose Run Quest, with driver Marc Campbell, stop the clock in 152.1 – a new Truro Raceway track record. By Lyle Carter Reprinted with permission of The Truro Daily News

The 2019 Atlantic Sires Stakes race season got underway on Friday evening at Truro Raceway, as the harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies had their season debut. Trainer / Driver Marc Campbell dominated the opening round of Atlantic Sires Stakes action at Truro Raceway on Friday (May 31). The hot-handed reinsman swept the two $10,220 'A' divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies with his own trainees Arc Light and Ma Rebelle. Last of seven at the half, Arc Light circled her filly foes to take a new lifetime mark of 1:57.3 for Grayland Farm. The Camystic-Red Star Ashlee miss beat out Cheeky Cherry and Howmac Sabrina by three-quarters of a length. Owned by Larry and Kathy Chappell, Ma Rebelle led all the way in her division and held off the pocket-pulling Im A Miracle by a head in career-best 1:56.4, with Woodmere Tango following less than a length behind in third. The Ameripan Gigolo-Briannas Attitude filly, who went winless last year but had eight top-three finishes from 11 starts, is now three-for-four to kick off her sophomore season. In the $2,500 Atlantic Sires Stakes 'B' division, David Carey trainee Lady N Paradise upset American Bamstand in a close 1:59.4 mile under Dale Spence's guidance. Lady N Paradise is owned by David Carey, Craig Carey, and Ronald Garland. Points earned in each Atlantic Sires Stakes 'A' division and trot event go towards securing a coveted spot in the season-ending Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships. Breeding excellence The Atlantic Sires Stakes program is sponsored by the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association (ASBA), which has been promoting the breeding of Standardbred horses in the Atlantic Provinces for over 50 years while providing incentives for people to buy and race horses in this region. In the early 1960’s, a group of horsemen and track operators, spearheaded by the late Glen Kennedy of Prince Edward Island, saw the need for a program to enhance the Standardbred breeding industry in the Maritimes. A sires stakes program had been developed in New York State and the group felt a similar program would prove beneficial to this region. History was made in February 1966 when the Maritime Provinces Colt Stakes Association Ltd. was formed with the sole purpose of setting up and promoting a series of stake events for Maritime-bred colts and fillies.  The association drew its officers, directors and members from the ranks of those keenly interested in harness racing and the future development of the Maritime breeding industry. In 1967 the first Atlantic Sires Stakes events were staged and purse monies for the year were worth an estimated $10,000—Canada’s first sires stakes program had begun! Debbie Francis Executive Director Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association

The 2019 Atlantic Sires Stakes season is set to kick off Friday night. Truro Raceway will host the Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-old pacing fillies Friday evening. Two 'A' divisions will each go for a purse pool of $10,220 and one 'B' division will go for $2500. The Atlantic Sires Stakes program, the first of its kind in Canada, was formed over fifty years ago to promote the Standardbred horse industry in Atlantic Canada.  Today the program showcases the best young horses in the region and offers participants and spectators the finest in harness racing action. Atlantic Sires Stakes events will take place at racetracks throughout Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island this year. Points earned in each 'A' division event will go towards securing a coveted position in the season-ending Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships.  First race post time at Truro Raceway on Friday is 6:30 pm.   Debbie Francis Executive Director Atlantic Standardbred  Breeders Association

Standardbred Canada is a non-profit association incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act and is the National Registry for Canada. We are seeking an individual to fill an important part time role of SC Field Representative at Truro Raceway. Core Functions: To represent Standardbred Canada at Truro Raceway and ensure that all racelines and pertinent data are accurately and timely recorded on the SC database To assist members, Judges and Racetrack Personnel Various duties will include, but are not limited to, entering all race results, collection of memberships (SC and APHRC), eligibility fees, invoices, transfers, leases and claims, and recording on the SC database and remitting to Standardbred Canada on a regular basis. Successful candidate must: Have a good knowledge of the Standardbred industry Have strong customer focus Have good analytical and organizational skills Be able to work in a co-operative environment with others Be able to type accurately Be willing to travel to train at a track designated for training Be able to meet deadlines for all responsibilities Correspond with head office in a timely manner Be able to work well under little or no supervision Interested applicants are asked to email your resume and cover letter to and put ‘TRURO’ in the subject line, or fax it to Valerie Boom at 905-858-8047 by Friday, March 8, 2019. No phone calls, please.

Many of the best young harness racing trotters and pacers in the Maritimes will be featured at Truro Raceway this week as part of Atlantic Grand Circuit Week harness racing action. The trotters will kick off the action on Thursday evening when both the two and three-year-olds take to the Truro oval in the Atlantic Sires - Meridian Farms trotting events. The freshmen trotters will go in two $8540 divisions, while the sophomore trotters will go in three divisions, each for a purse pool of $6220. First race post time on Thursday evening is 6:30 pm. Atlantic Sires Stakes racing action will continue on Friday evening when the two-year-old pacers will aim to climb the leader board. The two-year-old pacing fillies will go in three $7240 'A' division events and one $2500 'B' event. Meanwhile, the two-year-old colts will go in two $10,160 'A' divisions and one $2500 'B' event. First race post time on Friday will be 6:30 pm. The Saturday evening card will feature the three-year-old pacing colts in a total of three divisions. This will the second meeting of the season for the three-year-old colt contenders in what is sure feature competitive fields. Points earned in each Atlantic Sires Stakes 'A' pacing event and all trotting events go towards securing a spot in the season-ending Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships. To view the current Atlantic Sires Stakes point standings, visit by Lynne MacLennan, for the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association  

TRURO, N.S. - A member of team P.E.I. outmatched his competition Friday evening at Truro Raceway and captured the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship. Gilles Barrieau recorded a driving triple in the eight race event at the Nova Scotia oval to earn him a spot in the National Driving Championship set for September at Grand River Raceway in Ontario alongside second place finisher Redmond Doucet of Nova Scotia. All of the action was broadcast world wide on, as part of a special presentation. A native of Saint John, N.B., Barrieau has become a regular at both Red Shores tracks on Prince Edward Island in recent year giving him the necessary win totals to gain him a spot as a P.E.I. representative. "I had a great night," Barrieau said after being crowned victor in the Atlantic Regional. "All of the drivers are competitive. It was a great evening and everything just worked out for me." Barrieau finished the competition with 72 total points to punch his ticket to Ontario for the National Driving Championship. Redmond Doucet finished second with 61 points, Jason Hughes was third with 60 points while fellow Island representative Marc Campbell was fourth on the evening with 57 points. Fifth on the evening was Darren Crowe at 42 points, followed by Todd Trites at 40 points, John Gerard Kennedy at 23 points and Island representative Ken Murphy was eighth with 21 points. Friday night in Truro, Barrieau scored wins in race 2 with Sock It To Em in 1:58.1 for owner-trainer Kenneth Parker Jr., of Gays River, N.S., race 5 with Miss Sangria in 1:58.2 for trainer George Rennison of Truro and the race 9 finale with Four Brass Starz in 1:59.4 for trainer Nick MacGillivray of Stratford, P.E.I., who shipped over for the regional contest. Barrieau won the inaugural National Driving Championship in 2007 to represent Canada in New Zealand and Australia. In other Atlantic Regional Driving Championship action, Redmond Doucet opened up the night at the Nova Scotia half-miler with a victory aboard CJ Bluefin in 2:00 for trainer Neil Bambrick of Charlottetown, P.E.I. Doucet continued his early dominance in the third race of the night in 2:01 for trainer Parker. P.E.I. representative Jason Hughes then had a strong surge in the middle of the competition as the Stratford horseman won two races from his own stable scoring with Silverinyourpocket in 1:58.1 in race 4 and Jeb in 1:57 in race 6. Race 7 saw Truro's own representative, Darren Crowe, visit the winner's circle with Montreal Phil in 1:57.2 from his own stable. The card also featured a $2,500 preferred pace with Hughes cutting all the fractions to romp by four lengths with Mr Irresistible in 1:54.2 for a training triple from his own stable. Danny Birt of Stratford, P.E.I, owns the pacer. At the National Driving Championship in September, Barrieau and Doucet will join Western Regional finalists Jamie Gray and Kelly Hoerdt, along with Ontario finalists Trevor Henry and Louis-Philippe Roy. The eight driver competition will be rounded out by the top two in the Eastern Ontario/Quebec Regional Driving Championship being held Saturday (June 30) at Kawartha Downs in Peterborough, Ont. The winner of the National Driving Championship will represent Canada at the World Driving Championship in Sweden in 2019 alongside defending World Driving Champion James MacDonald, a native of Kingston, P.E.I. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

TRURO, N.S. – The Red Shores broadcast team is on the road for a special presentation as the top drivers in Atlantic Canadian harness racing converge on Truro Raceway Friday evening. The Bible Hill, N.S., oval will play host to the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship with P.E.I. sending a team of four drivers for the eight-person competition. All the action will be broadcast live on, while hosted by Red Shores’ Lee Drake and Peter MacPhee along with Truro Raceway’s Joe Kelly and Brad McCallum.  The competition kicks off in race 1 Friday night at the Nova Scotia half-miler with a 6:30 P.M. opening post time. Each driver will compete in races 1-7 and race 9 while starting from each post position once on the eight-wide starting gate. The top two point earning drivers will advance to the National Driving Championship in September at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont., where the winner of that event will represent Canada at Sweden in the 2019 World Driving Championship. Defending World Driving Champion James MacDonald, a native of Kingston, P.E.I., will also be at the world event in 2019 after winning the championship in 2017 and earning Canada the right to send a second representative. Drake, manager of Marketing, Brands and Playwise with Red Shores, is excited to be part of the action at the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship Friday night. “The team at Truro Raceway has put together an outstanding card for the regional qualifier with Red Shores more than happy to help out and host the worldwide broadcast,” Drake said. “The action is sure to be nonstop all evening and hopefully one of the Atlantic representatives will go all the way to the World Driving Championship joining P.E.I.’s own James MacDonald in the top echelon of the sport.” Drivers in the Atlantic Regional qualified off of 2017 statistics with the two leading reinsmen on red soil garnering the first invitations. The ‘King’ of Island harness racing, Marc Campbell of Winsloe, will headline the Island team fresh off an O’Brien award winning season where he smashed nearly every record available to him in Atlantic Canadian harness racing. Stratford resident Jason Hughes also gets a call to attend as the popular trainer-driver is back in second place at the Red Shores Summerside driving standings so far in 2018. Gilles Barrieau is also part of team P.E.I., as the New Brunswick driver moves his stable to the Island province during the summer racing season and finds himself continually near the top of the driving standings at Red Shores Charlottetown. The final P.E.I. driver at the event is Harrington resident Ken Murphy, who finished a solid third in the 2017 Summerside driving standings and just recently went over $1 million in career earnings in the race bike. Other drivers in the event are John Gerard Kennedy, Redmond Doucet and Darren Crowe from Nova Scotia and Todd Trites representing New Brunswick. The card also features a $2,500 preferred pace in race 8 headlined by top P.E.I. pacer Mr Irresistible with Hughes training and driving for owner Danny Birt of Stratford. by Nicolas Oakes, for Red Shores

Red Shores has announced a shuttle bus for the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship at Truro Raceway on Friday June 29th The shuttle will depart Red Shores Charlottetown at 3:00pm and Red Shores Summerside at 4pm. Please arrive 15 minutes before departure. Cost $40 per person. A credit card required for reservation. A great way to travel to and from the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship in Truro for only 40 dollars per person. Contact Tara in the race office Monday to Friday from 8am-4pm. Booking Deadline is Wednesday June 27th at 4pm. Red Shores needs a minimum of 45 people to proceed with the shuttle. by Lee Drake, for Red Shores  

The 2018 Atlantic Sires Stakes race season got underway on Friday evening at Truro Raceway, as the three-year-old pacing fillies had their season debut. Last season's Atlantic Breeders Crown Champion, Woodmere Ceilidh, showed she is still in top form as she captured her $8020 'A' division event in a time of 1:57.3. The three-year-old bay filly is trained and driven by Clare MacDonald for owner Chris Neville of Sydney, NS. Meanwhile, Royaltywestho and driver Walter Cheverie crossed the finish line first in their division clocking a time of 1:58 for owners Joseph Baxter and Gregory Francis of Windsor, NS. The third 'A' division event on the evening race card went to Tobins Terror and trainer-driver Gary Chappell in 2:01.1. The three-year-old filly is owned by Boyd MacDonald Produce, Crapaud, PE and Daniel Ross, Belfast, PE. The lone $2500 'B' division event was captured by This Old Millie and driver Marc Campbell for owner-trainer Charles Fraser of Inverness, NS. Points earned in each Atlantic Sires Stakes 'A' division and trot event go towards securing a coveted spot in the season-ending Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships. by Lynne MacLennan, for the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders

The wait is over. The much anticipated 2018 Atlantic Sires Stakes season is about to begin. Truro Raceway will host the Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-old pacing fillies under the lights on Friday evening. Three 'A' divisions will each go for a purse pool of just over $8000 and one 'B' division will go for $2500. The Atlantic Sires Stakes program, the first of its kind in Canada, was formed over fifty years ago to promote the Standardbred horse industry in Atlantic Canada. Today the program showcases the best young horses in the region and offers participants and spectators the finest in harness racing action. Atlantic Sires Stakes events will take place at racetracks throughout Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island this year. Points earned in each 'A' division event will go towards securing a coveted position in the season-ending Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships. First r ace post time at Truro Raceway on Friday is 6:30 pm. by Lynne MacLennan, for the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association      

Charlottetown, PE - Race Day Live at Truro Raceway, a special presentation powered by Red Shores and produced by Universum Media, will take place on Friday June 29th for the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship presented in part by Standardbred Canada and Truro Raceway. Post Time is 6:30pm for the championship event. The race program will be hosted by Red Shores' own Lee Drake and Peter MacPhee along with Nova Scotia's Brad McCallum and Joe Kelly, as the show is broadcasted live from the tarmac of the Nova Scotia oval. The show will be available live at as the very best driving talent in the region clashes for the top two spots. The eight drivers competing in the event include Prince Edward Island representatives Marc Campbell, Jason Hughes, Ken Murphy and Gilles Barrieau. Nova Scotia will be represented at the regional event by Darren Crowe, Redmond Doucet and John Gerard Kennedy while Todd Trites represents New Brunswick. The top two drivers from the competition move on to the National Driving Championship at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont., on September 26th. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – The field of harness racing drivers for the Atlantic Regional Driving Championships at Truro Raceway has been set. The June 29 event will feature drivers Gilles Barrieau, Marc Campbell, Darren Crowe, Redmond Doucet, Jason Hughes, Gerard Kennedy, Ken Murphy and Todd Trites. “The team at Truro is excited and looking forward to hosting this competition,” said Kelly MacEachen, general manager of Truro Raceway. “It is one of our signature events for the season and this group of Atlantic Canada’s premiere drivers will attract a great crowd of racing fans.” Truro Raceway track announcer, Joe Kelly, made the announcement during Friday night’s race card, which kicked off the 2018 season at the Bible Hill oval. “We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our season opener,” said Truro Raceway employee, Daphne Cooper. “The crowd here was really feeling the excitement. Our regulars were eager to be back and there were actually quite a few new fans too.” The wager was $8,469 and about 300 fans attended the race card. A total of 53 horses entered the races for the spring opener and an additional 14 entered to qualify for future events. Truro Raceway president Anthony Stymest was happy with the turnout. “It was encouraging to have over 50 horses race Friday, with more qualified we will soon have 10-dash race cards with full fields and welcome any additional entries from other Maritime locations.” Live racing continues at Truro Raceway on Friday. Post-time is 6:30 p.m. Reprinted with permission of The Truro Daily News

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – Separating the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition (NSPE) from the Truro Raceway is a necessary move to pull both operations out of their long-standing financial spiral, Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell says. “There has been not really solid financial management over a long period of time,” Colwell told the Truro Daily News on Friday, with respect to the raceway and NSPE. “So, we’ve made a clear separation with the two now.” Seventeen staff members at both the raceway and the NSPE Commission were informed at a special meeting Friday morning that their jobs had been terminated. The employees were provided with severance pay, told to collect their personal belongings, to turn in their keys and to leave the premises. “I think it is sort of a hard day for some people but in the long run this is going to be a regeneration and a rejuvenation of the whole race track and, more importantly, the exhibition, to make sure this is a longstanding real asset for agriculture in the province and the communities in Truro and surrounding area,” Colwell said. The advisory board that Colwell had put in place in recent years has also been relieved of responsibilities. NSPE general manager Joe Nicholson has been replaced by Darrelyn Hubley, a business manager with more than 30 years experience in event management and promotion, who has been hired to oversee the transition period. She is responsible solely for the NSPE operations and will report directly to Colwell’s office. Everything to do with Truro Raceway will be managed by the Truro Harness Horse Owners Association, which is renting the track, stables and related facilities from the NSPE for $200 per month. Although Colwell credited the advisory board members with doing “a great job,” he said they were faced with an “impossible task” of trying to turn things around, given the dire financial position the facility is in combined with the current state of the harness racing industry. “We really need a fresh start there,” he said. “Somebody from outside the area to give a fresh approach that’s got a lot of experience in running these kinds of operations, exhibitions and those sorts of things.” The NSPE Commission has been sitting on a debt of $1 million for the past recent years, of which approximately $500,000 is owed to the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board. “I don’t know what we are going to do long term with that but at the present time, it will just stay there as an outstanding balance owed to the farm loan board,” Colwell said. “So, all those issues have to be addressed over time. We need time to do that and the first step is today. It was costing us about $20,000 a week when you look at the overhead for the wages and everything, and the exhibition was broke.” While the horse owners’ association will be responsible for raceway expenses, Colwell said his department will be funding the NSPE operations for the foreseeable future. “We want the harness racing to prosper in the province over time and it’s been faltering for a number of years, because of a lack of interest in the sport,” he said. “And they’ve got some pretty good ideas how they can move it forward and I’m confident they’ll be able to do that.” Now that the province is going to be picking up the tab for the NSPE expenses, Colwell said all local suppliers who have extended credit to the facility “will be paid.” The minister said he’s now looking forward to being able to meet with local municipal officials to set out a plan for the NSPE’s long-term future. “Now we can move ahead,” he said. “We couldn’t do very much until we got all this stuff straightened out.” Reprinted with permission of the Truro Daily News

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – Chantel Gillis never expected to receive an award for doing something she’s enjoyed her entire life. But she recently received national recognition for being an outstanding harness racing groom. The 22-year-old Bible Hill resident was presented with the award during a ceremony in Toronto earlier this month. “I feel a lot of grooms deserve this award, so it was amazing to win,” she said. “It was a great experience, with a red carpet and everything beautifully done.” Gillis was unaware her sister, Christina, had nominated her. In January, she was informed she was one of the finalists, but she didn’t know she was the winner until it was announced at the event. “I felt fine until about 10 minutes before the award and then I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, it’s happening!’” she recalled. It was her first time at the O’Brien awards and she was thrilled to both receive an award and have the chance to meet so many people from other parts of the country involved in harness racing. The trip also gave her a chance to visit her sister, who lives in Toronto. Chantel grew up helping her parents, Arleen and Joe, in the barn and has always found it a comfortable place. “It’s a relaxing, fun and challenging environment,” she said. “I like doing everything around the barn and, somehow, some way, I’ll definitely always have a horse. Helping with the horses is what I enjoy.” Gillis is in her final year at Dal AC, studying toward a BSc in agricultural business, and enjoys stopping by the barn after class. On her days off she’s at the barn early, helping her boyfriend, Paul Langille, with the horses he trains. She is a part owner of two geldings, Rusty Riley and Neigh Monster, and has complete ownership of a mare called Maiden Heaven. She should soon have another horse of her own, as the mare is now in foal. Kyle Burton, the track photographer at Truro Raceway, was also recognized. He received an Outstanding Photography award. By Lynn Curwin Reprinted with permission of the Truro Daily News  

Separating the Truro Raceway operations from the management of Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission (NSPEC) would not be a recommended move from the perspective of a longtime harness racing proponent. “How do you divide it up when there’s events going on, on either side,” said Bruce Kennedy, who has had “my finger on the pulse over there for the last 50 years almost.” “That should be under one management to get the full benefit out of it,” he said, of the various activities that are held at both the raceway and the NSPE complex. Kennedy’s comments came in response to a recent article published in the Truro Daily News regarding what is believed to be a planned restructuring by the provincial government the will see the operations of the Truro Raceway separated from the NSPEC. Agriculture minister Keith Colwell met with a number of local officials in a closed meeting in mid December during which he said an announcement regarding the NSPEC will be forthcoming. News of that meeting prompted a response from Lenore Zann, MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, who said the minister had informed her last fall of his intentions to separate the two entities. Although Zann said Colwell did not indicate his reasons for wanting to separate the two operations, she said she was left with the impression the decision is being made for financial reasons. In early 2014 Colwell called in the NSPEC’s $422,000 debt to the Nova Scotia Farm Loan board, relieved the board members at that time of their responsibilities and ultimately established a new operating board. At that point, the NSPEC carried a total outstanding debt load of $1 million. Colwell’s department is currently refusing to release any financial information pertaining to the NSPEC and the only statement it will offer on the issue is to say “the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition is an important organization for the agriculture sector and for the economy in the region and province. We are working with the exhibition.” “So I would say this latest decision is both a ‘calling in of the markers’ (by writing off the Farm Loan debt) but it is also political - a way for this Liberal minister to take control of the NSPE … while cutting the raceway loose and letting them fend for themselves - sink or swim,” Zann said. Kennedy who has been involved in the harness racing industry, including as an owner for the past 50 years, including as both a member and chairman of the former commission board and president of the Harness Racing Association, among other roles, said he believes separating the two organization is not the best way to make the raceway financially viable. “The thing, I guess, that might concern me is the harness racing side of it,” he said. Kennedy said he doesn’t know what Colwell plans to do with the facility but separating the two operations and expecting the raceway to survive on its on simply will not work. “There’s just too much cost and overhead to it,” he said. Currently, the provincial government allocates $1 million a year to the Harness Racing Industry Council, which is split between the Truro Raceway and the tracks in North Sydney and Inverness. The money, the bulk of which goes to the Truro Raceway, is used both to supplement race purses and for infrastructure at the tracks. But Kennedy said the amount is too little to split among three tracks. Additionally there are just not enough racehorses in Atlantic Canada anymore to justify having three tracks in Nova Scotia, Kennedy said. “In my book we don’t have enough for two racetracks,” he said. “They’re racing for such a small amount of money, that the guys go out there and they’re really subsidizing themselves. There’s not enough money to race for to pay your bills.” Kennedy said he and other harness racers are travelling to the United States where they can still enjoy the sport while earning enough from larger purses there to make it financially worthwhile.  “But we can’t do it at home,” he said. “Pretty sad.” By Harry Sullivan Reprinted with permission of The Truro Daily News

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