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Ambrose On KD Deal, Future

Published: April 1, 2013 1:28 pm ET

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Kawartha Downs owner Harvey 'Skip' Ambrose and Ontario horse racing transition panel member Elmer Buchanan have both gone on the record regarding the deal which was struck this past weekend that will see the Fraserville, Ont. track continue to host live racing.

A report by The Peterborough Examiner has quoted Buchanan as saying that that he wanted to be "very clear" that the impasse between the Province of Ontario and Kawartha regarding a transitional funding agreement had nothing to do with Ambrose looking for more money.

The article has quoted Ambrose as saying that the track's main thrust “has been to race horses as long as we can,” adding that "to know we have an opportunity to continue that tradition means a lot."

It was reported this past weekend, that a deal had been struck which would see racing at Kawartha continued at Kawartha through 2013 with a not-for-profit organization to be constructed to operate the track and operate live racing in 2014.

Ambrose has gone on the record as saying that the overall interest in Kawartha's live product will have a pivotal role in the track's future going forward.

“The number of races is going to be directly proportional, or directly the result of, what we have for business,” Ambrose was quoted as saying. “It's going to be a business-driven model. While it looks bleak for horse racing now it's going to be a new era.”

Peterborough County Federation of Agriculture President Steve Brackenridge, who was key in the process to get Ambrose back to the negotiation table, has also commented on what has to happen to ensure Kawartha Downs makes a smooth transition into 2014.

“Our role (the federation's role) will be to help facilitate a not-for-profit getting organized,” said Brackenridge. “There are some interested parties in the community and we'll be looking for community involvement to first get a mandate and set up a constitution and then get a board of directors to move forward and carry on the business of racing here at Kawartha Downs.

“The horsemen and the new not-for-profit will be doing their work to try to involve the community more and make it a more fun event and a destination.”

In an effort to consolidate comments on ongoing topic, if you wish to comment on the Kawartha Downs situation, please do so by clicking here.

(With files from The Peterborough Examiner)


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