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Meridian To Continue Maritime Support

Published: December 14, 2018 3:32 pm ET

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Bill Andrew's Meridian Farms will continue to support harness racing in the Maritimes but has stated that there will be some changes to the existing operations in Atlantic Canada.

In the wake of his brother Brian's passing last week, Andrew told The Charlottetown Guardian that one of the broodmares located in P.E.I. will be sent out west to the Meridian nursery in High River, Alta. The stallions currently located in PEI, however, will no longer be standing at the Milton, P.E.I. farm. Three of those that were in P.E.I. for the 2018 breeding season -- Armbro Barrister, Tad The Stud and Pang Shui -- will stay on the Island at Dusty Lane Farms. Westwardho Hanover has been shifted to Alberta, while Cougar Hall has yet to be relocated.

The broodmare band currently in P.E.I. will be left in the hands of Brian's family, and Andrew went on to say that there are no immediate plans to sell the Milton property.

“There is not the connection on P.E.I. for me to have any broodmares anymore,” said Andrew. “I’m out west and Brian wasn’t getting any younger with no real succession plan, so we planned on winding the broodmare part down anyways. It may mean some stay, and some go but I’m leaving that up to (Brian’s wife) Carol and Blake and Rachel. There are eight weanlings at the farm with potentially two sold … but the Maritime-bred weanlings will likely go through the [Atlantic Classic Yearling] sale next fall.”

For years, Andrew and Meridian were strong supporters of the P.E.I. Matinee program and the trotting arm of the Atlantic Sires Stakes. He confirmed that sponsorship would continue but did indicate that he would be looking to scale back the $20,000 in annual funding the program currently receives, with hopes that the program could secure additional funding from another entity.

“I’ll do it for the good of the program but with us not selling any trotting yearlings anymore it doesn’t make sense for me to do it by myself anymore,” Andrew stated. "Progressing the trotting breed is something I’m very proud of. I never wanted to corner the market, but the good part is that people went out and bought trotters then bred them. It is something that should continue.”

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