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The Surge Of Under Saddle

Published: October 5, 2013 10:58 am ET

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With two high-profile races making headlines over the past two weeks and two more races coming up on Sunday, Racing Under Saddle is becoming increasingly popular in the North American Standardbred industry.

What's the future for Racing Under Saddle? On today's edition of Trot Radio, Norm Borg speaks to RUS Ontario President Julie Walker. Walker commented on the plan to graduate from exhibition events to offer under saddle racing as a pari-mutuel product with purse money available.

"We need [racing under saddle] to benefit the horsemen of this industry, that's the big thing. If we get people out to see the races, that great but it doesn't really benefit us," said Walker. "This year, we needed to sit down with OHHA and COSA and run a full year of exhibition races and get the support from the horsemen and that's what we did."

Walker stated that the group has already been in discussions with the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, who have expressed interest in this venture.

"I hope it is [a pari-mutuel product] next year."

Walker also offered her opinion on the Chantal Sutherland-Kruse time trial as well as the recent RUS race on Super Final night at Mohawk Racetrack, won by thoroughbred jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson.

"Emma was lucky because she got to learn from Chantal, they're good friends and I know she watched the race over and over," said Walker. "She came out to train with us on the Tuesday before the race and she did a phenomenal job."

On Sunday, both Leamington Raceway and The Red Mile feature under saddle races. The Red Mile's race offers a $12,500 purse with money coming from sponsorships. Canadian rider Riina Rekila, who finished second in last weekend's RUS race at Mohawk, will send out Harlequin in a field of eight trotters.

To listen to the full interview with Walker and Borg, click the play button below.

Trot Radio - Episode 308 - RUS Ontario's Julie Walker
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

(Photo: New Image Media)

The opinions expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

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