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Kawartha Horsepeople Welcome Stability

Published: January 11, 2021 11:15 am ET

Last Comment: January 11, 2021 10:10 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The late-December announcement of a five-year funding enhancement for Ontario's racetracks has been welcomed by horsepeople in the Peterborough area for the stability it brings to Kawartha Downs.

On Thursday (Jan. 7), Infrastructure minister and Haliburton Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott confirmed the funding enhancement, which insures all of Ontario's 15 racetracks can continue to race through the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal also insures that Kawartha Downs casino can continue to operate for the next five years.

“We can kind of plan ahead,” said Ontario Harness Horse Association representative Dave Gibson to The Peterborough Examiner. “We purchased horses this past fall we hope to race this year and again next year. We think ahead like that. Having a five-year deal will ease the tensions of what will be next.”

Alongside the deal, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) awarded Kawartha 18 race dates for 2021, down from the usual 21 the track received in years past. Racing, as approved by the AGCO, is slated for Sundays with a 4 p.m. post time. However Jim Huck, Manager of Racing at Kawartha Downs, has filed to change Kawartha's race dates from Sundays to Saturdays, citing a conflict with some of the track's regular horsepeople.

“At the end of last year our general manager Kevin (Goetz), along with the rest of us, thought it would be best to possibly move to Sunday in order to use the facility for concerts or stock car racing etc. (on Saturday),” said Huck. "If we race on Sunday it will drop our entries down significantly."

Kawartha's application to change its race dates to Saturdays in 2021 awaits approval from the AGCO.

January 11, 2021 - 10:10 pmI am a huge fan of keeping KD

Dave Snowden SAID...

I am a huge fan of keeping KD open, it is a great track to develop young horses. Having said that I would like to know the logic in cutting race days by 15%?

Will the Casino be open 15% fewer days?

Did any other Ontario racetrack lose 15% of their days?

January 11, 2021 - 12:01 pmI’d like to ask Jim what

Sheldon Rose SAID...

I’d like to ask Jim what conflict there is with horsemen on Sunday racing.

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