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PEI Gets Significant Purse Boost

Published: March 20, 2019 9:05 am ET

Last Comment: March 21, 2019 9:30 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In an announcement made on Tuesday (March 19) by the Hon. Heath MacDonald, Minister of Finance for Prince Edward Island, the harness racing industry in P.E.I. will receive a large purse funding increase from the province's government.

The announcement stated that an additional $1.4 million will be added to the existing purse pool of $2.3 million.

"By supporting the harness racing sector we are preserving agricultural land and improving rural PEI, maintaining PEI's heritage and tradition, drawing off-Island visitors year-round and supporting other business operations," said the Hon. Heath MacDonald, the Minister responsible for harness racing in PEI. "For those reasons and more I am very pleased that the provincial government will invest an additional $1.4 million toward the purse pool.

"Higher purse pools provide incentive to horse ownership, will lead to higher demand for horses and ultimately leads to higher breeding activity, the core of the industry."

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by local participants, on-hand for the announcement.

"It's important as we can stay in it as young people," said horseman Corey MacPherson. "It was kind of a business before where people would say 'oh, you're in harness racing. How do you do that...there's no money in that.' So it really helps me, having a young family, to keep at it."

"I think now with the way things are going, the help from [government] and the support we have from harness racing, I think we're stronger now than we've ever been," said trainer-driver Adam Merner.

By adding to its support for the harness racing industry, MacDonald also noted this purse increase should strengthen the harness racing industry.

"I think we have something pretty special here in PEI and I think this is going to contribute to making it more sustainable." continued MacDonald.

March 21, 2019 - 9:30 amThat's a 60% bump up in

Mike Mobley SAID...

That's a 60% bump up in purses. The Gold Cup and Saucer presently has a purse of $60,000. I wonder if the purse will be increased to $75,000, or possibly even $100,000?

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