Clinton Raceway's Inaugural Open House A Success

Harness racing at Clinton Raceway
Published: July 16, 2023 06:07 pm EDT

Clinton Raceway hosted its first ever open house on Sunday afternoon (July 16). Opening its doors prior to the afternoon race card, the Huron County harness track invited race fans to come and take a look behind the scenes and get up close and personal with a retired Standardbred race horse.

"This is something that we've been wanting to host for quite some time," said Jessica Carnochan, Clinton Raceway's marketing manager. "We've seen the success of it at other small Ontario racetracks and thought it would be a great opportunity to allow race fans the opportunity to see things that they can't always see on a regular race day." 

Guests were invited to come for two hours in the morning, and they were lined up, waiting to get in. Upon arrival, fans were able to visit the paddock where they could chat with harness drivers Ryan DesRoche and Daryl Thiessen, and track veterinarian Chris Robson. The starting gate was available to climb inside, and a few lucky guests even got to take a lap of the track behind a racehorse. 

Budding race enthusiasts visited the announcer's booth and took their best shot at calling a race replay, with track announcer Tim O'Connor guiding them through the process.  

Karen Allen and her team at Ontario Racing went above and beyond in allowing families to visit with, groom and have a photo taken with a retired Standardbred -- something that not everyone gets to experience. 

Young fans take a picture with a retired Standardbred at Clinton Raceway's open house

The Bill Galvin Racing Alliance was on hand to promote and educate youth through its literary, art and photo derbies. More information can be found at

Following the open house, the 10-race afternoon harness card was highlighted by the track's annual Kids Day event and trackside fundraiser for the Mid Huron Huskies and Huron Heat. Through the day's events, the two local hockey organizations were able to raise around $5,000 for the coming seasons.

The afternoon handle topped the $54,000 mark.

Live harness racing continues every Sunday through Labour Day weekend at the rural Ontario racetrack. A full schedule of events can be found at

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click the following link: Sunday Results - Clinton Raceway.

(With files from Clinton Raceway)

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