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Chouinard, Dr. Reid, Kincade On Alberta Situation

Published: November 20, 2008 3:15 pm ET

Last Comment: December 1, 2008 9:58 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Lynn Chouinard, Dr. David Reid and David Kincade have all been quoted in an Edmonton Journal article which provides an update on the current state of the Alberta standardbred racing industry and the status of the Balzac expansion.

Chouinard, a thoroughbred owner who along with Robert Murphy and Ron Brimacombe is one of the principal investors behind the proposed Balzac racetrack, states that he is shocked about the lack of support for the expansion. The article states that the trio initially invested $20 million in the project. Now the group has $40 million invested and there are still funding issues.

"We've had so very little help. It's incredible to me really," Chouinard was quoted as saying. "People spend more time bad-mouthing the project than trying to make it happen. It's shocking."

The Edmonton Journal story states the expansion needs another $15-$20 million.

"They have had endless opportunities to back out and they haven't taken them," said Dr. Reid.

"With the current financial situation, the big problem is that no one is in a mood to grant us a mortgage. And that is even though we have a great equity-to-debt ratio given that the land under the racetrack is worth around $90 million.

"With another $15 to $20 million we could get a mortgage that would be so ridiculously small I'm sure we could get someone to fund it," said Chouinard.

It is widely known in the Alberta standardbred industry that something has got to give, and fast. The year 2009 is full of uncertainty for the province's standardbred horsepeople. And with a grim reality just around the corner, Alberta horsepeople are scared and want some answers as soon as possible.

"A lot of people are very nervous," said Kincade.

"It's not a pleasant feeling walking around the backstretch and looking at their lives -- wondering where they are going to be in six weeks.

"Without another track it's going to be turbulent."

To read the Edmonton Journal article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from the Edmonton Journal)

December 1, 2008 - 9:58 pmI understand your situation,

Kim (not verified) SAID...

I understand your situation, I'm also new to the harness industry and I also attended college last spring to jump start my career. now I don't know where my trainer will decide to race next year, Grand Prarie doesn't look like an option for us, all I know for sure is I'm sticking with my trainer and staying in the industry, whether that be in Alberta, BC,Ontario or elsewhere.

November 20, 2008 - 7:47 pmAs a newcomer to the

Kristin (not verified) SAID...

As a newcomer to the industry, it's worrisome. I'll be attending college next semester to further my career with harness racing... but will there even be a career for us in Alberta without Balzac?

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