PEISHOA, UPEI Partner On Initiative

The P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association recently partnered with the University of Prince Edward Island’s School of Business Administration on a challenge for its business strategy students: Explore new ways to interest a younger demographic in harness racing on P.E.I.

“To stimulate the growth and success of the industry, we need to attract younger generations to the sport,” said Allison Ramsay, a sessional lecturer at UPEI and a Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association board member. “Tapping into that demographic through the creativity of our future business leaders was a good fit.”

The industry challenge was a core project from January to March 2014. Students were encouraged to challenge the status quo by identifying barriers to success and most importantly, offer solutions.

“Harness racing has deep roots on the Island,” said Dr. Colleen Dickie, president of the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association. “While the industry is healthy, with a large horse population and a significant breeding industry, we recognize that new ideas are vital for continued success.”

The project culminated with the top three proposals presented to representatives from the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association, government and Red Shores.

“We were impressed with the proposals the students presented,” said Adam Walsh, racing experience manager for Red Shores. “The proposals have provided us with a number of fresh new initiatives to explore and we’re excited to get started.”

Next steps for the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association and Red Shores are to prioritize and implement the ideas that most benefit the industry on Prince Edward Island. That process is expected to start soon.

(Red Shores)