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Modelling After the Maritimes


Published: January 31, 2012 9:14 am ET

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"Minister Sheridan and his people within government identified areas in which they thought going forward the harness racing industry on PEI would look to thrive and flourish and eventually with the goal of in the not so distant future to be self sufficient.”

In an interview with Trot Radio’s Norm Borg, Brett Revington, Racing Experience Manager at Red Shores and Tom Clark, Vice President of the Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association explained what keeps racing in PEI going and growing.

"The model that we presently work within is called the Red Shores model and we are going to be coming up to two years since the current minister, minister Sheridan, who is responsible for harness racing on Prince Edward Island, developed and instituted the current model that we work under," noted Clark.

Revington told Trot Radio how the partnership with HorsePlayer Interactive is helping bolster racing and wagering at Red Shores.

“Previously to my regime, HPI was on board for Old Home Week and took the Gold Cup and Saucer for a couple years. 2011 was the first year that HPI took all 110 race dates and we have seen a nice boost from the HPI handle," said Revington "We are up about $600,000 in wagers in 2011 via the outside sources, We are also into a few sites in the States as well TwinSpires and Xpress bet and eBetonline and a little bit trickles in each week, which helps our overall handle.”

Formerly with Woodbine and Western Fair and a southern Ontario native, Revington, told Borg just what prompted him to take the job on the other side of the country.

“The facilities are top notch, they are world class here.. What really is unique out here the stakeholders, government, our management at Red's all top notch even as far down as the volunteers, horsepeople and the commission. We all strive for one goal: to be self-sufficient and make this thing work out here. It's just a kind of model that really appealed to me. I like the way of life out here and just how committed the people are and the passion that’s involved out here.”

Tom Clark told Borg that as much as they have learned from the Ontario industry model, there are some little differences to how they do things on P.E.I., in that they rely a lot on local volunteers.

“We face many of the same challenges that other racing jurisdictions do. There is nothing too terribly imaginative about what they do, it's just a matter of hard work, a very dedicated community of volunteer workers, particularly on the grassroots side of things, on the racing side of things, and without those folks who volunteer themselves within the industry association, because if we have 14 to 15 people around a table there is only one paid employee the rest are only there on a volunteer basis and without those folks, they are the backbone of what we do.”

When asked what advice they would give to the other factions of the harness racing industry, Clark had a straight forward suggestion to make time to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

“I would say that if all the various stake holders in any of the jurisdictions would slow down for a few minutes and just listen to each other, whether it's a racing commission, or race track operator or horsemen’s association, each and all of them face their own challenges and sometimes we lose sight of the fact that it's not quite as simple as one might think from everybody’s different vantage points. But once you get past that and everybody develops a little bit of a appreciation for what everyone is trying to accomplish and make sure that you can keep an eye on the ball down the road, things have a habit of working out.”

To hear the full interview with Borg, Clark and Revington, click the play button below.

Episode 250 – Tom Clark and Brett Revington on racing in Prince Edward Island
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

Please note that the opinions expressed in the featured interview are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect Rideau Carleton Raceway and/or Standardbred Canada.

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