Sturko Clarifies; HRBC Calls Meeting
Following an announcement made this weekend proposing race cuts and an Alberta-British Columbia circuit, Derek Sturko, Chair of BC Horse Racing Industry Management Committee, has issued another letter to the industry offering some clarification on the intentions for the 2011
Sturko states that Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) has temporarily withdrawn all 2011 standardbred race dates, but emphasizes that GCGC has not indicated there will be no replacement race days for the ones that have been withdrawn. Decisions concerning race dates will be made after further discussions are held with representatives of the standardbred sector and investigation of the possibility of an interprovincial season with Alberta.
In response to the most recent announcement by Sturko, an emergency Harness Racing BC (HRBC) meeting was held this morning. After much deliberation, the HRBC board felt it necessary to arrange a meeting with GCGC to resolve the reduction of the number of assigned race days to the standardbred sector. A meeting has been scheduled between the HRBC finance committee and Chuck Keeling along with GCGC Chief Financial Officer Milten Woensdregt on August 17, 2010.
Sturko’s second letter appears in its entirety below. To read his original letter, click here.
Horse Racing Industry Participants:
Further to my August 13, 2010 letter, I am writing to provide clarification concerning intentions for the 2011 standardbred race season.
As noted in my previous letter, the fiscal circumstances concerning the horse racing industry are difficult and the BC Horse Racing Industry Management Committee is considering how to respond to those challenges in the best interests of the industry. These circumstances will require a new approach to the business of horse racing.
My previous letter communicated decisions the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) felt it needed to take concerning the 2010 and 2011 standardbred race seasons, including the temporary withdrawal of all 201 1 standardbred race days. However, as my letter indicated, GCGC has not indicated there will be no replacement race days for the ones that have been withdrawn.
Rather, GCGC has advised the committee it needs to carefully consider what the 2011 season will look like. The reference to the possibility of an inter-provincial standardbred racing season with Alberta is one that merits consideration before final decisions are made about the 2011 season.
Neither BC or Alberta have made any formal commitment to an inter-provincial season. Such a season has not been identified as a condition of 201 1 standardbred race days. However, it has the potential to improve the viability of the BC season.
In conclusion, GCGC has temporarily withdrawn all 2011 standardbred race days while it considers what the 2011 season should look like. This will involve discussions with representatives of the standardbred sector and investigation of the possibility of an interprovincial season with Alberta. If those discussions do not prove such an inter-provincial season is viable, at that time GCGC will make decisions concerning the 2011 standardbred race season.
Chair, BC Horse Racing Industry Management Committee
pc: Honourable Rich Coleman
(With files from HRBC)