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A Fresh Start

Published: October 12, 2012 9:02 am ET

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With its inaugural day in early September boasting an overflow attendance of 6,000, the Quebec Jockey Club is well on its way to offering new hope for the rebuilding of the province’s horse racing industry.

Quebec used to be one of harness racing's premier markets, attracting top-level competition and on-track wagering that averaged as much as $1 million per card in Montreal. Then three years ago, there was nothing left. Racetrack operator Attractions Hippiques went bankrupt and all four racetracks closed.

Enter the Quebec Jockey Club, a small group of businessmen/volunteers with an earnest desire to resuscitate the sport and give it a future. Using proceeds from Internet wagering, the non-profit QJC funded fair racing in the province and a limited number of live programs at Hippodrome de Quebec in Quebec City, starting in 2010. That ended abruptly earlier this year with the announcement the Quebec City track was being bulldozed for a new arena.

Suddenly homeless, the QJC set about finding a replacement, and in the spring inked a deal to purchase the vacant Hippodrome Trois-Rivieres for $4 million. In September, the QJC launched its first 10-day live meet at the track now renamed Hippodrome 3R.

To read the full feature on Quebec's racing resurgence from the October issue of Trot, click one of the following links: A Fresh Start -- Un nouveau départ.


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