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Hardy Looking For Answers

Published: March 25, 2015 10:06 am ET

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The Sarnia Observer has run an article highlighting the upcoming season of live racing at the Hiawatha Horse Park. In the piece, Ontario Harness Horse Association President Ken Hardy rhetorically asks how horsepeople will benefit from racing’s integration into the province’s gaming modernization.

The article has cited Hardy as saying that the roughly $35,000 in nightly purse money that horsepeople will be racing for is not enough to sustain the industry.

"It's pretty tough for the guys to make a living racing for that much money," Hardy was quoted as saying.

An update regarding the status of racing’s integration into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.’s gaming modernization efforts were recently provided, but Hardy has told The Sarnia Observer that “it's never really been explained to us what that actually means.”

He went on to say, "Does that mean we're (horsepeople are) going to get more purse money, or does it just mean the racetracks are going to get more money?"

The Hiawatha Horse Park has been granted 21 race dates for the 2015 season, and the track’s operator, Jim Henderson, has said that the simulcasting aspect of his operations has been doing well recently. "That's really starting to pick up," Henderson said about the simulcasting, which is offered three days per week at the track.

Hiawatha’s season of live racing will get underway on Saturday, May 9. Live racing will then take place at the track every Saturday straight through until September 26.

(With files from The Sarnia Observer)

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