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Leadership Shift In Manitoba

Published: December 4, 2018 4:01 pm ET

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The Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit held its annual general meeting this past Saturday in Killarney, where Trevor Williams was voted in as the organization’s new president, taking over from previous president Darryl Mason.

“Darryl has put a lot of effort and dedication into the Manitoba Great Western. I am happy to grab the torch and help this important industry succeed,” said Williams, the former vice president of the Manitoba Harness Horsemen Inc. (MHHI).

Hailing from Winnipeg, Williams, a bank manager by trade, has been an integral part of the industry, owning and training as well as sitting on the board of the MHHI.

This new role will utilize Williams’ vision and passion for the industry in Manitoba, and will allow him to keep continued focus on the stabilization of Manitoba harness racing. He added, “We are in a transition period, and I believe that the time is now to push forward and build towards a better future, for not only the current horsemen and women in Manitoba, but future generations as well.”

A recent study was released by the Manitoba Provincial Government indicating a solution that would see the Manitoba harness racing industry race in a larger market like Winnipeg and had made mention to the Red River Exhibition.

“We are still very much looking at the option of a strong partner like the Red River Ex,” stated Williams. “They bring to the table creativity, business management, and experience that is unparalleled and we would be crazy not to explore that option.”

Williams also added that industry participants, including the towns involved on the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit, plan to meet with the Red River Ex in the near future to discuss plans.

A press release from the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit appears below.

Newly Elected President for Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit Provides Leadership Through Transition

The Manitoba Harness Racing industry is pleased to announce that Trevor Williams has been elected president of the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit (MGWHRC).

Williams takes the reins from past president Darryl Mason who had led the organization for many years. “I am excited by the renewed sense of co-operation between all those involved in the harness racing industry and I look forward to developing plans as we work through this transition period,” said Williams.

The election of a new president supports the efforts being made by this important industry as they work through the transition period and implement changes recently brought forward by Minister Eichler to ensure the sustainability and growth of the industry as a whole.

The Sustainability Review for the Manitoba Horse Racing Industry recently released by the Province of Manitoba states that the economic impact of horse racing in Manitoba is upwards of $142 million. In addition, this important industry provides hundreds of jobs for our province, generates direct tax revenue and is an important contributor to the economy of Manitoba – in both urban and rural settings.

To that end, in many rural towns throughout Manitoba, harness racing is an important activity both from the social and economic activity it brings to those communities.

“We are very fortunate that harness racing comes through our town. The activity from those race days provides a significant economic boost to the local business community,” said Jan Moody, Miami representative and board member MGWHRC.

“As members of this important industry we support the changes taking place that ensure the longevity of our sport”, said Roland Rey, president of the Manitoba Standardbred Sires and Breeders Association.

“The breeding, training and racing of horses in Manitoba is a significant economic activity that supports agricultural linkages and attracts visitors to our province,” said Eichler. “We look forward to working with president Trevor Williams and the MGWHRC to ensure the sustainability of horse racing in our province for years to come.”

The current harness racing circuit offers 10 race days per year, which are spread across four locations throughout Manitoba, including Miami, Killarney, Glenboro and Holland. The Sustainability Review suggests maintaining those 10 summer race days and adding up to six race days during the annual Red River Exhibition in June. The review goes on to suggest that this change will not only elevate the profile of the harness racing industry, but will provide stability and expansion of the circuit, which is imperative in order to realize the growth of harness racing in our province.


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