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McCallum: Current Schedule Is Destroying The Industry

Published: April 6, 2011 11:02 pm ET

Last Comment: April 8, 2011 1:30 am ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Concerns for the future of the harness racing industry in British Columbia have been mounting as the first half of the six month, split racing season implemented this year comes to an end on April 15 at Fraser Downs.

Live racing will pick up again in October, but the shortened season has left many horsemen wondering how they will earn a living.

"If we continue with a shortened racing season next year, our breeding industry will be wiped out along with thousands of jobs,” said former Surrey mayor and current CEO of Harness Racing B.C. Doug McCallum in a Cloverdale Reporter article.

The current schedule has some horsemen considering finding part-time jobs to help keep their stables operating during the break or moving to Edmonton, Ontario or California.

In early March, HRBC put out a call for its members to submit testimonials in support of its submission for a 10-month, twice-per-week racing season in 2012 to Great Canadian Gaming and the Provincial Management Committee.

According to the Cloverdale Reporter article, testimonials are pouring in.

“They come from the biggest standardbred owners in the country to the people right at the bottom who can hardly write – it just literally makes me sick, when you listen to these people say how the industry is getting destroyed,” said McCallum.

“The thing that’s made most of the members really upset is the fact that they’re not even asking for any more money from the government and they’re not even asking for any more race dates,” said McCallum. “They’re just asking them for 10 months over the year.”

To read the Cloverdale Reporter article in its entirety, click here.

(With files from the Cloverdale Reporter)

April 8, 2011 - 1:30 amWhat a shame the liberal

cy mcewen SAID...

What a shame the liberal government in BC doesn't give one care for the the thousands of horsemen and women working at fraser downs and all the empoyees that make a living from the spin offs. Saving a vital industry & thousands of jobs as well as supporting local ecomies are not priorities of the liberal Govt. Our liberal government is to blame for all these people losing there jobs and many other forced to leave the province.

This goverment needs to be investigated in regard to its dealings with GCGC and its cosy relationship which has allowed the dismissal ofagreements that were put in place to protect and support standard bred horsemen when GCGC was granted the casino licence . I say to all the horsemen there is an election around the corner and all the elected liberals that have failed to protect you should be remembered.

April 7, 2011 - 8:42 pmDoug is trying everything to


Doug is trying everything to raise awareness of the seriouness of this problem. If we cannot get the government and the new minister in charge, Shirley Bond, to reverse the Horse Racing Management Committee's decision to limit us to 6 months racing with NO overlap with Thorougbreds, then this industry in BC is doomed. This is why I now own more horses in Ontario than I do in BC. Thanks for your efforts Doug.

April 7, 2011 - 2:37 pmWell said Doug! It is

Well said Doug! It is unfortunate that Derek Sturko,and the provincial government felt it was more important to keep GCGC happy, than seeing horse racing, and the people in it move forward.

April 7, 2011 - 10:52 amAn excellent review of the

An excellent review of the situation at Fraser Downs.We are betting 140 thousand a racecard in the cold winter weather,if we raced in the summer months we would bet over 250 thousand. Keep up the good work Doug, a lot of horsepeople are not able to project themselves in this way.

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