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Manitoba Pacer Creates New Fans

Published: September 22, 2016 9:25 am ET

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The 2016 Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit wrapped up earlier this month with Burn The House winning the most races of the meet and potentially winning over some new owners as well.

The six-time winning pacer was part of an initiative to get new people involved in harness racing created by owner/trainer Trevor Williams, who is also the Vice President of the Manitoba Harness Horsemen Association.

"We held a draw from a couple equine shows and gave away a special prize to three winners," Williams told Trot Insider. "They won the opportunity to partake in the experience of owning a racehorse for the entire summer. Although they weren't official owners, they received the same perks -- backstretch access, winner's circle photos, as well as a 10 percent donation for purse money."

The three winners were Laura Elder, Jennifer McPhail and Dennis Laterz. While each of the winners had their own connection to the equine world, none of them were previously involved in harness racing.

"They came and brought family and friends and seem very thrilled with the possibility of owning Standardbreds in the future," said Williams, noting that the Rideau Carleton-bound Burn The House should be a shoe in for Claimer of the Year in Manitoba. "It helped that I picked a good horse to do it with, but it seemed like everyone cheered for him because they had a reason to, and regardless how he made out they were excited to watch."

The contest is just one of the many new ideas Williams, his father and association President Mike Williams, and the board has developed to help create new fans and potential owners in an effort to revitalize the provincial racing industry going forward.

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